Security a major concern for mobile device usersThree out of four people share data across mobiles

29 October 2010

Android G1 smartphone

The G1 features a 480x320 pixel touchscreen

Four out of five people cite good security as a priority when buying or using smartphones and tablet computers, new research from Juniper Networks has found.

More than half (58%) of those polled for the research survey said they were often fearful of losing their mobile devices and being unable to recover the data, and therefore protect their identities.

A similar number (64%) said they were ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ concerned about the possibility of identity theft resulting from the unauthorised use of their mobile device.

Secure your smartphone in a few simple steps using Which?’s guide

Despite these fears, nearly three quarters of the respondents said they used their mobile devices to share and access sensitive personal information with others.

Yet only 24% said they frequently changed the security settings on their mobile devices. A further 35% only did so when the need arose and 31% said they rarely or never change their security settings. 

More worrying, 9% of the respondents were unfamiliar with the security settings on their mobile devices and 14% said neither their smartphone nor their tablet was password protected.

Which? responds

Jon Barrow, Which? mobile phone expert, said: ‘Over the last few years we've all become much better at safeguarding our computers, password-protecting them and avoiding downloads from unknown sources.

'It’s a different story for our mobile phones, yet many of us store huge amounts of valuable data on them and use them to access sensitive information, such as our online bank accounts.

As smartphones fall in price and downloadable applications become even more popular, our vulnerability is only going to increase so it's vital that we take precautions to protect our privacy.'

The research study was commissioned by security firm Juniper Networks and carried out by KRC Research. KRC polled 6,000 smartphone and tablet computer users across 16 countries.

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