As companies across the globe line up to announce their latest innovations at this week’s Mobile World Congress, a study released today by AVG Technologies N.V. (NYSE: AVG), the provider of Internet and mobile security to 146 million active users, has revealed that one in four average mobile users store intimate photos or videos on a smartphone or tablet. Furthermore – and despite the obvious risks to personal privacy if a device is lost or compromised – yet 70 percent of consumers are unaware of security features that allow such data to be deleted remotely.
Clearly, consumers are embracing the photographic and video capabilities of their devices, however, the global mobile survey also revealed a marked conservatism among consumers when it comes to more practical, everyday features. For example, among the 5,000 smartphone users questioned in the UK, US, France, Germany and Brazil, fewer than 40 percent use their device for either online shopping (35 percent) or online banking (38 percent).
The primary reason given by those holding back from using their device to shop online was a perceived lack of security – nearly 50 percent of smartphone users feel that using a mobile device isn’t as safe or secure as using a computer. Similarly, only 36 percent would consider checking their bank balance from a smartphone, compared to 78 percent when using a PC.
“This survey has clearly demonstrated that there is confusion in the minds of consumers about what is and isn’t safe or sensible to do with a mobile device,” said J.R. Smith, CEO of AVG Technologies. “It is already limiting the appeal of mobile shopping, banking and ticketing, and this is in turn hampering the industry’s efforts to drive new innovations and monetization methods. At the same time, millions of consumers are exposing themselves to risk of personal and professional embarrassment by storing sensitive images on their devices.