Pew Survey Sheds Light on Smart Phone Use
If you feel like you've been seeing more smart phones when you're out and about, you're not imagining things. According to a recent survey from Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project, smart phone usage is up among American adults.
Researchers interviewed 3,014 adults between August 7 and September 6, 2012, finding that around 45 percent of all respondents owned a smart phone, a 10 percent increase from May of 2011. Around 46 percent of male respondents said they use a smart phone, only slightly more than the 45 percent of women who said the same.
Not surprisingly, younger adults between 18 and 29 were more likely to use these devices, with 66 percent reporting ownership. That number dropped to 59 percent among those between 30 and 49, 34 percent for adults between 50 and 64 and 11 percent for seniors 65 years and older.
Annual income also had an affect on how likely people were to use these mobile devices. While 68 percent of people living in households that made $75,000 or more owned a smart phone, only 35 percent of those in households making less than $30,000 used the devices.
Suburban people are more likely to own a smart phone, with 49 percent of those living in such an area reporting ownership. City-dwellers were also quite likely, with 48 percent, though only 29 percent of people living in rural areas use smart phones.
The study also looked at exactly what people are doing with these devices. Researchers found that while texting and photo-taking are the most common activities for people who use mobile phones, 55 percent of smart phone owners also use the technology to surf the web. As many as 17 percent of people who own a smart phone use it as their primary way to go online.
With the rise in the number of people using cell phones as internet tools comes an increase in hackers attempting to access others' personal information and threaten their internet security. One way of protecting online privacy is by knowing what "phishing scams" look like. These forms of cyber attack aim to gather personal information by sending a link, email, text or other form of communication that appears to be legitimate, but in reality can lead to dangerous viruses or compromise one's mobile identity.
According to a study from FireEye, some of the most common words seen in phishing scams this year include DHL, notification, delivery, express, 2012 and label. Keep an eye out for these words in any unfamiliar communications you receive via your mobile device.