Mobile users continue to put personal and corporate data at risk

Blancco Technology Group surveyed over 1,400 mobile users in the United States, Canada, UK and Australia, and found that inadequate security precautions taken by mobile users not only put their personal information at risk, but also leave corporate data exposed and susceptible to cyber theft.


Despite consumers and legislative authorities demanding more data management responsibility and accountability from companies, close to one-third (29 percent) of the surveyed consumers admit they do not know when their personal information has been accessed without their consent.

The study also shines a spotlight on the dilemma businesses face of building products, services and customer experiences that are highly personalized and relevant across all channels, while simultaneously protecting customer data from being accessed by cyber thieves.

One-third of the surveyed consumers (33 percent) say they are somewhat confident, but don’t feel safe shopping from their mobile devices. Another 23 percent are hesitant to link their credit cards to mobile apps. With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, this ongoing battle between personalization and privacy will be a major roadblock in driving sales, not to mention boosting adoption of retail shopping apps and sharing economy services like Uber and Airbnb.

According to Pat Clawson, CEO, Blancco Technology Group, “The study’s findings point to a larger mindset shift that needs to take place. Both individuals and businesses cannot simply confine their understanding of security to the scope of devices or IT assets. Instead, they need to approach it from the perspective of information management across the entire lifecycle – from the moment information is created to when it’s transferred to where it’s stored, and finally, to how it’s removed permanently (not just ‘deleted’).”

Additional key findings from the report include:

While mobile users acknowledge the importance of security, they don’t take the right precautions. 25 percent of consumers mistakenly believe that deleting sensitive files/folders and locking devices with a passcode are effective and trustworthy ways to protect their personal data. In stark contrast, only 5 percent believe installing software to permanently erase data will safeguard their privacy.

Cyber security isn’t handled with the same level of concern as physical security. When asked to confirm the very first action users would take if their mobile device is lost or stolen, only 4 percent would report theft to the police. Meanwhile, 21 percent would rather disable the device through their mobile carrier and buy a replacement, and 19 percent would use GPS to locate their device.

Tangible proof of data removal is key to adoption of data wiping software. Receiving a tamper-proof certificate displaying all data that’s been erased from mobile devices would 100 percent affect the purchase decision of 35 percent of consumers.