Consumers regularly share passcodes, creating compromising situations

Consumers keep more and more sensitive personal and professional information on their mobile phones, but most people remain alarmingly casual about adequately protecting that private content, according to Keepsafe.

share passcodes

People imperil confidential work documents, financial information, personal photos, and myriad other private information because they willingly share their mobile passcodes and often give their unlocked devices to others.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers also found that people are fiercely protective of email passwords, ATM pins and social security numbers, but while they increasingly use their phones to store that information, they are relatively relaxed about protecting access to the phone itself.

“Think about it this way: would you leave valuables lying around the house when you have given multiple people they keys or even worse, never lock the door?” said Keepsafe CEO, Zouhair Belkoura. “This research uncovered the risks people take with their personal information when they casually share their mobile passcodes or hand their phones to others.”

Key findings

  • Is my phone private? 70% of respondents think their personal content and information on their mobile device is only somewhat private or not private at all
  • Why should I protect my info? 50% don’t think they keep private content or information on their phone, despite using phones to send and receive work emails and using mobile banking, payment and shopping apps
  • Can I see your phone? 66% have given their phone passcode to someone else and 74% have handed their phone to someone unlocked, leaving themselves open to privacy breaches.

share passcodes

“Most people don’t think about how often they hand over their phones,” continued Belkoura. “For instance, in this survey, when we asked respondents generally if they had handed their unlocked phone to strangers, only seven percent of people admitted to doing so.

“But, when we conducted an additional, more specific survey of over 1,000 of our own Keepsafe users, 48 percent said they’ve given their unlocked phone to a stranger to have them take a photo, and 82 percent said a stranger had given them an unlocked phone to take a photo. These are exactly the commonplace situations that make us vulnerable,” he said.

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Consumers regularly share passcodes, creating compromising situations