Talking tech since 2003

Which is safer to do on your cell phone: shopping or storing a naked picture?   Well, it seems consumers are a little confused about mobile security.  One in four average mobile users store intimate photos or videos on a smartphone or tablet, while the majority of users are still wary of online shopping and banking, according to a study by AVG Technologies.

AVG Technologies, which provides Internet and mobile security to 146 million active users, surveyed 5,000 smartphone users in the UK, US, France, Germany and Brazil and found that fewer than 40 percent use their device for either online shopping (35 percent) or online banking (38 percent).

The primary reason given by those holding back from using their device to shop online was a perceived lack of security.  The study showed that nearly 50 percent of smartphone users feel that using a mobile device isn’t as safe or secure as using a computer. Similarly, only 36 percent would consider checking their bank balance from a smartphone, compared to 78 percent when using a PC.

The consumers rationale is a bit odd considering that having an “intimate” picture on your phone is typically accessible without a password and can be easily seen if you lose your smartphone.  What’s even more alarming is that 70 percent of those surveyed didn’t even know about “remote wiping,” a way to erase all of your data if you ever lose your mobile device.  That means that the majority of those surveyed storing intimate media are doing so with the idea in mind that if they lose the device, oh well! It’s out there…literally.

“This survey has clearly demonstrated that there is confusion in the minds of consumers about what is and isn`t safe or sensible to do with a mobile device,” said J.R. Smith, CEO of AVG Technologies. “It is already limiting the appeal of mobile shopping, banking and ticketing, and this is in turn hampering the industry`s efforts to drive new innovations and monetization methods. At the same time, millions of consumers are exposing themselves to risk of personal and professional embarrassment by storing sensitive images on their devices.

So I turn to our readers…do you have an intimate picture on your device?

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