Security Becomes 'Top Priority' for Smartphone Users

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Four out of five people think "level of security" is high priority when buying or using smartphones and tablet computers, according to a newly released global consumer study by Juniper Networks.

Of those surveyed, more than half said they are worried about losing their mobile devices, and want to protect their identities as well as their families with parental controls.

Need for Mobile Security

The research was commissioned by Juniper and conducted by KRC Research and Synovate. More than 6,000 smartphone and tablet users across 16 countries were surveyed for this research, which revealed that about three out of four people use their mobile devices to share or access sensitive personal or business information.

About 44 per cent of respondents now use their devices for both personal and business purposes and this has given the need for more stringent and better integrated mobile security. A very large number (81 per cent) of respondents said they used their devices to access their employer's network without their employer's knowledge or permission.

"Smartphones and tablets have become the new onramp for information, applications and commerce -- yet they are quickly becoming an onramp for security threats as well," said Mark Bauhaus, executive vice president and general manager, service layer technologies business group at Juniper Networks. "Fortunately, users are growing very aware of the security, identity and privacy issues involved. Now the industry needs to step up and make security an integrated part of the mobile experience, not an optional afterthought."

Fear of Losing Data

The use of mobile devices is increasing each day but more than 58 per cent of smartphone and tablet users fear losing their devices and 64 per cent are concerned about the possibility of identity theft. About 53 per cent of respondents find parental controls very important.

Despite the concern for security, the research found a gap between the level of security that users want and the amount of security they will manage themselves. Of those surveyed, only 24 per cent admitted to frequently change the security settings on their mobile devices.

Ninety per cent of Indians and 86 per cent of Chinese said they are concerned about mobile security issues. About 14 per cent of respondents said neither their smartphone nor their tablet is password protected. Only 35 per cent frequently change the security settings when a need arises, 31 per cent rarely or never change them and nine per cent agreed they are unfamiliar with the security settings on their mobile devices.

This story, "Security Becomes 'Top Priority' for Smartphone Users" was originally published by MIS Asia.

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