Mobile Security: Should We Be More Careful?

A recent AVG and Ponemon Institute survey reveals that United States mobile customers are excessively relaxed about mobile security. The study examined security precautions in the context of popular activities. The study found that phone, personal email, business email, address book, texting, store or move data, Internet browsing, obtaining documents, calendaring, viewing documents, listening to music, scheduling tasks, shopping, camera, and social networking. Many of these activities involve sharing of personal information through credit card transactions and distribution of personal information.

The study found that people feel relatively safe about their cell phone use with respect to personal and business information and take few precautions to protect information. Few users use phone-locking passwords, and those who do frequently duplicate the passwords that they use for their desktop and laptop computers.

According to the survey, 84 percent of mobile users use the same phone for business and personal use. According to social media blog Mashable, using one phone for both personal and business use can double a user's risk. For instance, if you lose your phone, both your business and personal data becomes vulnerable. If you have one phone for business and one phone for personal use and you only lose one phone, you reduce the risk associated with your confidential data.

With respect to personal data, 66 percent of respondents say that they store  information including contacts, photos, contact lists, and personal dates. This type of information, if in the wrong hands, could expose a user to the risk of identity theft. Another 23 percent of respondents said that they stored password information in their phone.

The survey also addressed the question of whether users were concerned about viruses. According to the report, users were more concerned about receiving marketing promotions and advertisements than getting a mobile virus. Perhaps the growing apps realm is still too new for users to feel concerned about virus. As recent news concerning the Android market place show us; however, mobile viruses are a possibility and legitimate concern.

Sixty-six percent of the survey's respondents reported having made a purchase via mobile phone, and 14 percent engage in mobile banking through apps or browser interfaces. Comparatively, 12 percent of users have experienced mobile fraud. In any case only six percent thoroughly check their monthly cell phone statements, and only eight percent check statements when they are high.

In light of this information, only 29 percent of consumers report that they have considered using a mobile anti-virus software.

What's your opinion? Should we be more wary about our mobile habits?

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Article Source: Mashable.