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 (2nd), having an unauthorized person post to their social networking accounts (3rd) and even having their photos or videos posted publicly (4th).
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 (3rd) or sexting (4th). 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.
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 visit http://www.nq.com.
SOURCE NQ Mobile Inc.