Many mobile users are uneasy about smartphone security (survey)

Many mobile users are uneasy about smartphone security (survey)

Summary: Nearly half of mobile users have increased data use significantly in the last year, but not even close to all of that population feels that the information is secure.


Data usage among mobile device owners is undoubtedly rising, especially as more consumers start to pick up smartphones and tablets. Yet there is a big disparity between the amount of data being used up and how secure mobile users feel about the transmission of that information, according to Oracle Communications.

The survey, "Opportunity Calling: The Future of Mobile Communications – Take Two," is based upon the responses from more than 3,000 mobile phone users worldwide, examining their perceptions of mobile phones, interest in new technologies, and expectations for the next wave of mobile communications.

Let's look at some initial highlights from the survey, by the numbers:

  • 47 percent of mobile customers said their data use increased in the past 12 months.
  • 32 percent of those users believe the information stored or transmitted by their mobile phone is secure.
  • 16 percent of mobile customers have purchased a tablet computer, while another 41% plan to buy one in the next 12 months.

Continuing on, one reason for why data use is increasing in particular is the adoption of smartphones. But that's because as smartphone technology gets better, it is continuing to replace many other compact gadgets such as digital cameras and portable music players.

Thus, when one device is available at all times like the smartphone is for most owners, then the habit of just grabbing the phone for random tasks that might have been put off for a computer later increases rapidly.

However, that gap between users who believe that their information on mobile devices is secure versus those who aren't could be alarming for mobile manufacturers as well as businesses that cater to mobile products and develop apps for them.

Specifically, 68% of survey respondents replied "unsure" or flat out "no" when asked if they thought the information stored or transmitted on mobile phones is secure.

Mobile payments is one area that appears to be alarming some mobile users. Oracle reports that "while customers are becoming more comfortable with apps and other mobile access features, they still express concerns about information security."

So far, only 21 percent of respondents said they would be “very comfortable” making a purchase with a mobile phone instead of using cash or credit card.

Nevertheless, payments and similar features being adopted by mobile technology is still in its infancy, so these numbers could change drastically in the next few years. Yet, it's still something that businesses targeting these consumers need to keep in mind.


Topics: Enterprise Software, Oracle

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  • RE: Many mobile users are uneasy about smartphone security (survey)

    If more people had car chargers, the gps thing would be a lot higher. The mp3 thing, should be 100% but people aren't that swift sometimes.
    • RE: Many mobile users are uneasy about smartphone security (survey)

      @Peter Perry Pssst... here's the sooper seekret reason why many of us still buy and use (and will continue to use) MP3 players: when audio books are downloaded through public libraries onto say a Sansa Clip, they don't expire... ever.
      • RE: Many mobile users are uneasy about smartphone security (survey)

        +1. You nailed it. :D
        Ram U
    • RE: Many mobile users are uneasy about smartphone security (survey)

      @Peter Perry
      many people dont use their phone for MP3's unless plugged in, as battery power is already an issue, and why run your phone down more listening to music.
      • RE: Many mobile users are uneasy about smartphone security (survey)

        @tiderulz LOL, my Freed and Personalized 3GS usually lasts 24 hours on 3G even though I use it for pretty much, everything it can do; music, video, email and minor gaming. Is that just luck? :|
  • I never...

    had an mp3 player, until I got my first Windows Mobile smartphone.

    To be honest, I only use it for podcasts and my Audible collection.

    As to a camera... Until they get decent lenses, a full sized sensor and manual focus, I won't be switching...

    GPS? I don't have one, I still use Post-Its to get me from A to B.
  • RE: Many mobile users are uneasy about smartphone security (survey)

    I have a couple iPod's and don't use a smartphone as an mp3 player and never will. I only use the mp3 player when I go out running, and only occasionally at that. The iPod shuffle is a heck of a lot smaller and lighter than a smartphone and easier to bring with me on a run. Phone is not practical.

    Camera ... no thanks. For the occasional picture? Yes. I do this now with a blackberry but only when I'm stuck without a camera. I have a DSLR with a bag full of lenses for when I'm really going out taking pictures, not just grabbing an image on the fly.

    GPS? Don't use it. City is small enough that I don't need it.
    • RE: Many mobile users are uneasy about smartphone security (survey)

      I have a Zune HD and it is my music player while walking, jogging or working out. Even in the flight I don't take my phone to listen to music. I use ZuneHD. I always carry my Point and Shoot if travelling alone, and my DSLR with bag of lenses with family travel.

      I use HP iPAQ 300 or Nokia 500 as standalone GPS and they do a lot of decent job than Phones. Sure Phone with all these come handy, ie whenever I am not taking my car and need to go to point A to Point B in a new town while I am on business, as a music player and camera when I am on a day or two trip with less luggage.
      Ram U
  • RE: Many mobile users are uneasy about smartphone security (survey)

    Virtually all Android phones don't have even the latest best patched and bug free versions. Updates when they come are vunerable bugged versions even when the fixed version exists its not pushed out.

    I would not trust anything important to be done on a smartphone and don't store info thats important such as bank or credit card info. They're an open book to hackers.
  • I Must Admit... security has always bee a concern of mine. I will make occasional CC purchases but I will NOT do any financial transactions such as banks, CC management or brokers. I have one CC dedicated to internet purchases with a very low credit limit.
  • <a href="">Android Smartphones</a>

    Consider HTC's recent security issues which include, hackers getting into email, locations and contacts I'm not supprised but then again security will always be an issue. You can't stop a dedicated hacker it's just a matter of time before they get you somehow.
  • RE: Many mobile users are uneasy about smartphone security (survey)

    The blackberry phones are the most secure of all phones and I would not trust using them for internet transactions. Give me face-to-face contact or a sight I KNOW I can trust any day without extra inputs.
  • RE: Many mobile users are uneasy about smartphone security (survey)

    The most interesting item in the study results is the idea that the smartphone is becoming acceptable to replace other devices. This is significant as enterprises look for ways to reduce costs for mobile users. Mobility today typically involves a laptop with all the attendant support and maintenance, and a mobile phone.

    With users more accepting of smartphones for personal use, they are also more inclined to accept the smartphone as their only mobile device. Smartphone cameras are now acceptable for many applications like insurance claims, and GPS can be used to provide location-based services like recording the location of an event. And smartphones will only become more capable with features such as Near Field Communications (NFC) for transactions.

    While products vary, there are Mobile Device Management apps that can protect enterprise data and secure its storage and transit. Of course the downside of one device that does it all is a single point failure. You better be backed up!

    I've actually blogged about CoIT policy and user education recently, which you can read in more detail here:

    - Jan Wiewiora, Chief Systems Architect, Unisys Federal Systems Chief Technology Office
  • RE: Many mobile users are uneasy about smartphone security (survey)

    As well they should be! Who ever said, other than the companies themselves, that they are secure? It's still true that if you don't want it stolen, co not put it on your PC whch is 'net enabled, or the 'net!! Period! There IS NO GUARANTEE possible of security on ANY 'net location!