Mobiles without password protection highly susceptible to theft of data

Monday, Jul 23, 2018 14:02

Thieves can get lucky when users’ mobiles are not password-protected. — VNS Photo

With nearly half (48 per cent) of people failing to protect their mobile devices, and only 22 per cent using anti-theft solutions, pickpockets of smartphones can do a great deal of damage, according to the latest survey conducted by Russian-based cybersecurity company, Kaspersky Lab.

Many people today rely on their mobile devices to access the internet and carry out online activities, so losing a device to petty crime is potentially more damaging and upsetting than ever before.

For example, 68 per cent of individuals said they regularly use the internet on a smartphone (up from 60 per cent in 2016) and 34 per cent now regularly use a tablet to get online.

As such, precious data are being stored on, and sent from, these gadgets. But having this data on mobile devices did not necessarily make consumers more security-conscious.

Less than half (48 per cent) of people password-protected their mobile devices and just 14 per cent of people encrypted their files and folders to avoid unauthorised access.

If these devices fall into the wrong hands, all of this data – from personal accounts, to photos, messages and even financial details – could become accessible to someone else.

Even losing devices that are protected with passwords can still have significant consequences.

For example, less than half (41 per cent) of people make backups of their data and only 22 per cent use anti-theft features on their mobile devices, meaning that these devices’ ex-owners will likely experience a lack of access to their own personal information and accounts as a result.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for product marketing, at Kaspersky Lab, said: “These are valuable items that criminals naturally want to get their hands on, and their job is made easier by the fact that every other pickpocketed phone is not password protected.

“There are a few really simple things that everyone can do to secure their devices and the data they hold. By applying password protection and using a dedicated security solution, including anti-theft protection, you can protect your personal information, photos and online accounts from both loss and malicious usage.” — VNS

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