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Phone users worry about security, but won’t pay for it

A survey of 1026 UK smartphone users carried out by Opinion Matters for Crossbeam Systems examined the importance of security and motivations for switching providers – and discovered a clear link between the two. UK users believe they already pay enough for their phone service and are not willing to pay more for extra security. They are, however, concerned about security and would consider switching provider if that security was breached.

Nevertheless, the survey also indicates a generally confused attitude toward security, suggesting, as Peter Doggart, senior director of global marketing at Crossbeam, puts it, “Smartphone users, like most people, don’t think about the security of their devices until they’ve been hacked.” While they would change provider after a hack, users consider the most likely cause for a change of provider to be high monthly fees (64%), with only 6% believing a lack of security will make them switch; that is, security will only become a major concern after a breach has happened.

If that happens, users are most likely to blame the network provider (38%). Perhaps surprisingly, users are then more likely to blame themselves (32%) rather than phone manufacturer (18%). Despite this, it is the network provider who will bear the brunt for any security incidents. In stark figures, 63% of users are not willing to pay anything more for security, while a further 24% would be willing to pay no more than £1 per month. Nevertheless, 79% of the women surveyed, and 70% of the men surveyed would change networks following a security incident. “The results indicate that mobile network providers will be blamed, regardless of who’s at fault,” commented Doggart.

But he sees this as an opportunity for the providers rather than a threat. “This, more than anything, reveals an important opportunity for providers to be proactive about securing their networks in order to gain customers and minimize churn. As smartphone attacks become more prevalent, the service providers who anticipated the increased need for security and took the time to prepare will be in the best competitive position.”

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