McAfee survey highlights alarming mobile security procedures

IT security provider McAfee, in partnership with One Poll, has released a report detailing how one in three smartphone users don’t password protect their devices.

According to the research, 36% of respondents don’t lock their mobile devices with either PIN or password, while nearly one in three (30%) have vital password information stored in notes apps.

“The unfortunate reality is that everyone loses things, and our devices can get stolen,” Robert Siciliano, McAfee identity theft expert wrote in a blog post. “And when that happens to your smartphone or tablet, it can be devastating.”

He’s not wrong. A UK-based survey from Sophos back in October showed how one in three respondents had lost an electronic device in a public place.

The Sophos study also highlighted generational differences; older demographics were less likely to have security measures on their phones (59% of 55-64 year olds had no security measures), whilst the 16-24 age bracket was four times more likely to lose their devices.

McAfee, in its study, examined mobile security and the gender divide. When asked what gives them the most trepidation, men stated they worried most about losing their contacts (52%), while women were most scared about losing their photos (54%). Bank details (10%) came a long way down the list.

The key takeaways of the research have been put in an infographic detailed below (click to enlarge):

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7 Mar 2013, 5:42 p.m.

Managing mobile devices in the enterprise is key to keeping corporate data secure. The proliferation of BYOD in today's corporations expose many to risk that is just unacceptable and a failure of governance. So how do you provide the flexibility that users want with the control that IT needs?