Consumers rely on smartphones and tablets more than ever before. From staying in touch with family and friends to keeping up-to-date on corporate email, mobile devices have become our most personal computers. Mobile phones were once used simply as a means to communicate, but today they carry peoples’ most sensitive information, like banking credentials, photos and contacts. Lookout and Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced the results of a national Harris survey 1 revealing smartphone consumers’ mobile behaviors, habits and concerns about privacy.
The findings show wireless users have a striking attachment to mobile devices and a concern about the exposure of their personal information. Sixty-three percent of people surveyed check their smartphone at least once an hour (9 percent check every five minutes), and 33 percent of people would fear the contents of their mobile phone being projected on a big screen. While consumers recognize mobile security is an important issue, people still don’t take the right precautions; only 44 percent of people surveyed set a PIN or a passcode on their phone.
Attachments to Mobile Phones
The majority of Americans surveyed with smartphones said they typically don’t go an hour without checking their phones. Unsurprisingly, the amount of time between phone-checks goes down among the youngest age groups and increased markedly as age goes up.
- Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of people would be upset if they left home without their smartphone.
- When people are without their devices, they miss texting (29 percent) and calling (26 percent) most.
- 97 percent of mobile phone owners report checking their phones occasionally while in the presence of family and friends.
- Personally identifiable information (42 percent)
- Bank and financial information (33 percent)
- Contacts information (29 percent)
- Text messages (23 percent)
- 26 percent of people are not aware of the risks of clicking on unfamiliar links while browsing on mobile.
- 18 percent store password information on their phones.
- Set a PIN or passcode. It’s the first line of defense to keep private information private if a phone is lost or stolen.
- Don’t lose it. Tuck away a smartphone in a zipped pocket or bag when walking in public places.
- Practice safe surfing. Take extra care when browsing websites or clicking on links from a mobile device – the small screen size makes it especially tricky to determine a safe link from a fraudulent one.
- Be cautious when downloading apps. To minimize the risk of picking up a malicious application, only download from official apps stores, read app reviews, and check the developer reputation before installation.
- Keep it safe. Download an app like Lookout to help locate a lost phone, or lock & wipe the data if it cannot be recovered.