Nearly One in Three Consumers Who Have Lost Their Mobile Devices Still Do Not
Lock Them, New Survey Shows
NQ Mobile™ finds that slightly over half of mobile device users lock them
DALLAS, March 28, 2013
DALLAS, March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- While consumers who have lost a
smartphone or had one stolen in the past are significantly more likely to be
taking basic protective measures with their current device, nearly one-third
have still not learned their lesson, according to new data from NQ Mobile
(NYSE: NQ), a leading global provider of mobile Internet services.
NQ Mobile's latest survey takes a fresh look at how consumers are safeguarding
their devices and the valuable data they hold, as well as what specifically
they feel is most important to protect – and who they most want to protect it
from. The results show that consumers understand the problems they face if
their device or data is lost, however there remains a disconnect in their
behavior to prevent that from happening.
Learning Lessons on Locking Devices
Only 52% of consumers reported requiring a passcode or other authentication
method to access their device; however, younger consumers are more likely to
take this basic step. 64% of respondents aged 18 to 34 use some method of
device locking, as opposed to only 30% aged 55 and up.
According to the survey, losing an unlocked phone is a powerful impetus for
changing behavior. 25% of survey respondents reported either losing their
device or having one stolen in the past, and of these devices, 40% were
unprotected. Upon getting a new phone, 69% of those who lost unlocked phones
implemented a measure of access protection. But surprisingly, there remains
31% who haven't learned from their previous mistake and opt to keep their
device open to anyone who may pick it up in the future.
What (and Who) Are You Afraid Of?
Consumers recognize the perils of losing their smartphones, and some are
taking precautions should that occur. While 48% admitted they'd be "in big
trouble" should they lose their device, 44% were more certain that their
valuable data is adequately backed up.
When asked about what they would be most frightened about if they lost their
device, rather surprisingly, most smartphone owners reported losing their
saved contacts as the scariest thought. In order of concern, this ranked above
having an intruder read their emails or texts (2^nd), having an unauthorized
person post to their social networking accounts (3^rd) and even having their
photos or videos posted publicly (4^th).
When it comes to who might find a lost device, most preferred it be their
significant other, even if it meant having access to everything on it. This
was followed in order by a friend, sibling, parent, child, colleague and
lastly, a stranger. In fact, respondents were unexpectedly confident that
they had nothing to hide, with 67% saying they'd have no problem having a boss
or manager go through the contents of their device vs. 14% who felt that might
jeopardize their career prospects.
Are You SURE You Don't Have Anything to Hide?
Regardless of whether or not it's job-loss worthy, the majority (69%) of
consumers admit they have some sort of personal information on their device.
This percentage was even higher for the younger age groups. 89% of respondents
aged 18 to 34 reported having something private on their smartphone, including
passwords for online log-ins such as bank and social networking accounts (59%
vs. 37% overall), personal financial information (45% vs. 32% overall), risque
photos or videos (38% vs. 20% overall), lewd text messages or emails (39% vs.
19% overall) and confidential work-related items (24% vs. 17% overall).
According to the survey, smartphone owners are aware of the dangers of having
sensitive information from their device fall into unauthorized hands, with
over half of the survey respondents admitting that either they or someone they
know have gotten in trouble as a result of something on their phone. Only 11%
admitted this "someone" was themselves. While most of the trouble involves
someone discovering inappropriate pictures or messages, other results included
breach of bank accounts, loss of business deals, getting fired and even
trouble with law enforcement.
Won't Somebody Think of the Children?
When it comes to kids in the smartphone era, the survey revealed parents'
concerns aren't necessarily what we might think. 44% of respondents with kids
17 and under reported their children had their own smartphones. And what
they're most concerned about isn't bullying (3^rd) or sexting (4^th). In fact,
parents' primary concern is that their kids will use their devices when they
shouldn't, such as late at night or during school. This was followed by worry
that the kids will use their phones to look at inappropriate content.
"Consumers are entrusting their mobile devices with their most valuable
information, and they seem aware of the problems that a loss or breach of
security can cause," says Conrad Edwards, Chief Experience Officer, NQ Mobile.
"Still, we're not seeing people taking the level of ACTION they should in
order to protect themselves."
For those who want to keep their mobile devices private and prevent malicious
intrusions, NQ Mobile offers a few simple tips.
1.Lock It Up. Leaving your smartphone unlocked leaves your sensitive
information vulnerable to snoopers and thieves. Using the auto-lock
capabilities of your device is one of the simplest steps you can take to
protect yourself. Take it one step further by setting a short timer. Even
if you think it's inconvenient, it's nowhere near as inconvenient as what
can happen if you leave your data exposed.
2.Share Wisely. Social networking has broadened the definition of "friends"
and we are now in the habit of sharing intimate details of our lives with
veritable strangers. Don't make it easy for a hacker to gather enough
personal information to get access to bank accounts and more. Just like in
real life, be careful about what information you share with which social
connections. Additionally, remember that once something is posted, it's
almost impossible to take it back. What may seem fun in the moment can
appear to be a major indiscretion later – and can cost you big in the long
3.Do Your Research. The ability to install apps is one of the greatest
things about smart devices. Don't click "Accept" before verifying the app
comfortable with both the amount and type of information you're consenting
to give out. Also make sure the user reviews for your apps are plentiful
4.Arm Your Device. You wouldn't run your laptop without anti-virus software
or with an outdated operating system. The same sorts of risks jeopardize
your mobile device and warrant the same level of precaution. Keep your
device tuned up with the most recent firmware from your carrier. Lastly,
install reputable security apps that can prevent your private data from
getting out and protect against malicious intrusions that may try to get
in without your knowledge.
For more tools to protect your smartphone from intrusions, attacks and snoops,
The survey was conducted online within the United States on behalf of NQ
Mobile from February 22-25, 2013 among 413 adults ages 18 and older. This
online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate
of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
About NQ Mobile
NQ Mobile Inc. (NYSE:NQ) is a leading global provider of mobile Internet
services. NQ Mobile is a mobile security pioneer with proven competency to
acquire, engage, and monetize customers globally. NQ Mobile's portfolio
includes mobile security and mobile games & advertising for the consumer
market and consulting, mobile platforms and mobility services for the
enterprise market. As of December 31, 2012, NQ Mobile maintains a large,
global user base of 283 million registered user accounts and 98 million
monthly active user accounts through its consumer mobile security business, 65
million registered user accounts and 13 million monthly active user accounts
through its mobile games & advertising business and over 1,200 enterprise
customers. NQ Mobile maintains dual headquarters in Dallas, Texas, USA and
Beijing, China. For more information on NQ Mobile, please
SOURCE NQ Mobile Inc.
Contact: Kim Titus, +1-972-841-0506, for NQ Mobile; or, Alex Fencl,
+1-214-414-3330, for MWW Group
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