Smartphone users fail to secure devices and do not consider the security implications of using them for online shopping

Nine out of ten smartphone users in the UK do not secure their devices against online crime and data theft.

A YouGov survey, conducted by The Carphone Warehouse and Trend Micro, revealed that 93 per cent of users do not secure their devices, while over 60 per cent of smartphones typically contain sensitive information such as login details.

One in two respondents said their greatest concern was the physical loss of devices (59 per cent) and contact information (56 per cent), while over one in ten respondents (12 per cent) said they would regularly access website links via their smartphones.

When asked about online purchases, over half of the respondents (54 per cent) admitted to submitting their credit card details via their smartphones to purchase or download items online on the move over the last three months.

Rik Ferguson, senior security advisor at Trend Micro, claimed that the results were alarming but were not really surprising.

Ferguson said: “People are simply not aware of the kinds of risks they are exposed to through their mobile devices or the amount of personal information stored there. While more and more companies are encrypting their computers, the same cannot be said of protecting personal data that resides on consumer smartphone devices.

“Phishing scams operate in exactly the same way on a mobile device as they do on a PC via spoofed emails. In fact, on many mobile devices dodgy links sent via phishing emails are more difficult to detect with the naked eye as smartphone browsers often do not show the URL in an address bar in the interests of saving precious display space.”

Andrew Harrison, UK CEO of The Carphone Warehouse, said: “We have seen an increase in customers using smartphones to carry, share and manage confidential, personal information.

“The fact that consumers are using their mobile devices to shop or bank online without any protection is alarming and we would urge all smartphone users to take relevant security measures to ensure personal, sensitive and financial data is protected from online crime.”

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