Personal and Corporate Data Continues To Be Put at Risk on Mobile Devices
Blancco Technology Group surveyed over 1 400 mobile users in the Unites States, Canada, UK and Australia and they found inadequate mobile security being taken by users is putting their personal information, as well as corporate data at risk to cyber theft.
The results of the survey also demonstrate the difficulty of a business who builds products, services or customer experiences that are highly personalised while simultaneously protecting customer data from being accessed by cyber thieves. The struggle between personalisation and privacy is a major issue, particularly with the festive season fast approaching.
It was found that 29% of the consumers don’t know when their personal information has been accessed without their consent. 33% of the surveyed consumers say they are somewhat confident, but don’t feel safe shopping form their mobile devices. 23% are hesitant to link their credit cards to mobile apps.
According to Pat Clawson, CEO of Blancco Technology Group, “the study’s findings point to a larger mindset shift that needs to take place. Both individuals and businesses cannot simply confine their understanding of security to the scope of devices or IT assets. Instead, they need to approach it from the perspective of information management across the entire lifecycle – from the moment information is created to when it’s transferred to where it’s stored, and finally, to how it’s removed permanently (not just deleted).
Other findings include the fact that mobile users acknowledge the importance of security, but they just don’t take the right precautions. 25% mistake that deleting sensitive files and locking devices with a passcode are effective and trustworthy ways to protect their personal data. Only 5% believe installing software to permanently erase data will safeguard their privacy.
Cyber security isn’t handled with the same level of concern as physical security. As a reaction to a mobile phone being lost or stolen, only 4% would report theft to the police. 21% said they would rather disable the device through their mobile carrier and buy a replacement and 19% would try to locate the device themselves by using GPS.
Tangible proof of data removal is key to adoption of data wiping software. Receiving a tamper-proof certificate displaying all data that’s been erased from mobile devices would 100% affect the purchase decision of 35% of consumers.
To improve security of your mobile devices in order to further protect personal information as well as corporate data, make sure to follow the following steps:
- Keep your device, and it’s applications up to date at all times. Some updates provides cooler functions and improved features but others fix critical security vulnerabilities that you do not want to be exposed to.
- Security software is a must for smartphone users. The fixes which phone manufacturers make to their operating systems do not protect you from other types of malware attacks. The only protection against these is to use mobile security software and keep it up to date. These programs include other features which will help with data and mobile device protection.
- Minimise losses and avoid intrusions with a secure PIN. Be conscious of where you place your phone and always secure it with a unique PIN or password. Don’t share your password with others.
- Think before you click, download, forward or open. Before responding, registering, downloading or providing information, get the facts straight. Go online to check for related scams, research the company or sender, look for hidden fees or reports of malware associated with the company or sender, google search the sender email to see if they are related to scams, enter an attached link on scanurl.net, and lastly, verify with the company they claim to be from.
- Surf safely. Many smartphone users use free WiFi hotspots to access data, but you cannot know if that network is safe or compromised so avoid logging into accounts, especially financial accounts when using public wireless networks.
- Backup your phone’s information. Backing up your data ensure you have all essential information, even when you don’t have your phone.