IT | Security

Are Consumers Dismissive of Mobile Theft?

By: Absolute Team | 4/27/2013

We are a technology-driven society. For many people, adopting the latest smartphone or tablet is now a "must" - it has become an integral part of their everyday life, their work, their reputation management, their social networking, their relaxation - their whole lives. You would think that devices that represent our whole lives would be better protected - the reality is, consumers are pretty cavalier about their mobile security.

According to new research from Jumio, 2 in every 3 Americans use a smartphone or tablet. When it comes to security, the same research shows that nearly half of consumers conduct financial / secure activities on their mobile devices with most planning to increase these activities in future.

Jumio's research shows that 26% of these respondents have been the victim of online or mobile fraud and Pew Research shows that 12% of respondents have had another person access the contents of their phone in a way that invaded their privacy. An average of 113 cell phones are lost every minute in the US, with Pew Research showing that 31% of cell phone owners have experienced a lost or stolen phone (the rate is 45% for the 18-24 group)Despite these figures (and more mobile theft facts), security of any kind is woefully missing on these devices.

Pew Research indicated that smartphone owners are more active in managing their data, but the volume of data and level of activity also increases the risk of exposure. The most common areas for consumers to take an active role in managing their data is in: backing up their phone, turning off location tracking, clearing search browsing. As you can see, these are relatively "passive" security measures, rather than actively pursuing fraud or malware or mobile theft management options.

New research from NQ shows that of every 3 who have lost a mobile phone, at least one of them won't bother to lock their new phone. Even after theft, which can be a devastating situation for many people, some consumers are still treating their devices - and their personal information - as disposable.

Do you really want your photos lost or exposed? Your contacts lost, potentially spammed? Your passwords compromised? Your social networks hacked? Your banking information cracked? Your business information leaked? Your corporate network compromised? Not to mention the trouble to replace and set-up your new device.

If you want to take precautions against mobile theft and other mobile security concerns, read our posts on smartphone security basics and the best practices for mobile security and safety.