Mobile Security Precautions Lag Among Users

Close to one-third (29%) of consumers don’t know when personal information has been accessed by their mobile apps without consent.

According to a study from Blancco Technology Group, inadequate security precautions taken by mobile users not only put their personal information at risk, but also leave corporate data exposed and susceptible to cyber-theft. In fact, a quarter (25%) of consumers mistakenly believe that deleting sensitive files/folders and locking devices with a passcode are effective and trustworthy ways to protect their personal data. In stark contrast, only 5% believe installing software to permanently erase data will safeguard their privacy.

This, despite consumers and legislative authorities demanding more data management responsibility and accountability from companies.

“There is no excuse for not knowing what is happening with your data—be it personal information on a user’s smartphone or tablet, or company files and intellectual property on those same mobile devices,” said Paul Henry, IT security consultant for Blancco Technology Group.

The study also shines a spotlight on the dilemma businesses face of building products, services and customer experiences that are highly personalized and relevant across all channels, while simultaneously protecting customer data from being accessed by cyber-thieves.

When asked to confirm the very first action users would take if their mobile device is lost or stolen, only 4% would report theft to the police. Meanwhile, 21% would rather disable the device through their mobile carrier and buy a replacement, and 19% would use GPS to locate their device.

This has broad-ranging implications for mobile commerce as well. One-third of the surveyed consumers (33%) say they are somewhat confident, but don’t feel safe shopping from their mobile devices. Another 23% are hesitant to link their credit cards to mobile apps. With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, this ongoing battle between personalization and privacy will be a major roadblock in driving sales, not to mention boosting adoption of retail shopping apps and sharing economy services like Uber and Airbnb. 

“The study’s findings point to a larger mindset shift that needs to take place,” said Pat Clawson, CEO at Blancco Technology Group. “Both individuals and businesses cannot simply confine their understanding of security to the scope of devices or IT assets. Instead, they need to approach it from the perspective of information management across the entire lifecycle—from the moment information is created to when it’s transferred to where it’s stored, and finally, to how it’s removed permanently (not just ‘deleted’).”

Photo © Rashevskyi Vyacheslav

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