Mobile Security Is Top Concern

11/2/2010

The “spooky season” may be behind us, but new research regarding connected devices reveals what truly scares many consumers—mobile security.

The 2010 online safety study by the National Cyber Security Alliance, www.staysafeonline.org, and Symantec’s Norton, www.symantec.com, says Americans’ confidence in the safety of their home computers does not translate to their mobile devices. In fact, 87% feel they are less likely to have security concerns when going online from a PC than from a smartphone.

When asked about their cellphones in particular, only 18% of respondents rated the device as “very safe,” and just more than a quarter (28%) labeled their phone as “somewhat safe.” When asked about downloading apps that track location, 23% had used an LBS (location-based service) and 55% said they had not. The remaining 22% were unsure.


In a separate consumer study released last week, Juniper Networks, www.juniper.net, found the majority of people (four out of five) list security as a top priority when using devices designed for access on the go—such as smartphones and tablets.

And while more than half admit to being anxious about losing their mobile devices or protecting their identities, Juniper says 76% of respondents share or access sensitive information via their mobile devices.

As on-the-go connectivity becomes a way of life, the line between personal and professional use of such mobile technologies has begun to blur. According to Juniper, 44% use their devices for both personal and business purposes, while fewer than 4% use them strictly for business.

Of those that share or access sensitive information on their mobile devices, the study found 51% enter or modify passwords; 43% access bank or credit card information; 30% access utility bills; 20% share financial information; 18% access employer’s proprietary information; 17% access medical records; and 16% share social security numbers.

Top consumer fears include losing their devices and not being able to recover the data and information (58%), and identity theft resulting from the use of their mobile device (64%), says Juniper.

Solutions exist for those that want to continue to use their devices with the added peace mind of a security solution, such as the Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite for mobile devices, or even a mobile app such as Wave Secure, www.wavesecure.com, for Android and BlackBerry.

Because connected devices are quickly becoming consumers’ go-to gadgets for information, staying in touch, and even commerce, the issue of security is also becoming a priority.




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