Survey shows Americans are not worried about mobile security

Jul 27, 2012 13:51:06Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

Survey shows Americans are not worried about mobile security

A recent survey conducted by GIF Software showed individuals are interested in location-based services for their cell phones, but not for the reasons many would assume. The survey of 1,000 respondents showed 12 percent would use the service to keep track of their spouse and 31 percent said they would keep tabs on their teen. However, identity theft was not the driving force.

In fact, identity theft ranked fourth among major concerns about losing one's cell phone. Consumers thought the nuisance of buying a new phone, re-submitting their contact list and losing photos were ranked higher than mobile security. Also, 35 percent stated they did not think their personal data was at risk for identity theft.

"This research shows that younger generations are increasingly turning to mobile devices as their go-to-source for communicating and browsing the Web, yet there is still a profound lack of understanding among consumers of all ages about the value of the personal data stored on these devices, as well as confusion over who is responsible for securing them," said Mark Patton, general manager of the Security Business Unit at GFI Software. "For this reason, cybercriminals are increasingly targeting mobile devices, and it's alarming to think about the number of people who aren't leveraging the tools - literally at their fingertips, such as mobile antivirus – that can help protect personal data and prevent identity theft." 

People have been using location-based services on their phones for some time. In 2011, a Pew Research and Life Project report found 28 percent of cell phone owners used location-based services to get directions or look up reviews of places nearby. This translates to 23 percent of all adults. The report also found 5 percent of cell phone owners used check-in capabilities and 9 percent used the location-based services for social media sites. Since this report was released, it is expected the numbers have increased dramatically.

Not only are location-based services becoming more appealing for the cell phone owner, but application developers are also relying on this data. According to TechCrunch, these services are becoming extremely important for software developers and marketers, as they are able to targeting the right audience as well as keeping track of how many people are using their product. In many cases, a consumer does have the option to keep their location private.