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Shoppers take mobile security for granted, survey finds

05 June 2017 - 11:26 by Graham Miller

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A new study from Opinium conducted on behalf of Virgin Mobile has revealed the extent to which British consumers are complacent about the levels of security which are afforded to them when shopping from a smartphone.

Ninety four per cent of respondents said that they recognised the need to take data protection seriously, but only one in three confirmed that they had installed antivirus apps on their handset of choice to ensure that they can shop online whilst on the move.

This leaves the majority of people exposed to malicious code which lurks on many nefarious sites, or can be distributed by cybercriminal groups via email. And with 17 per cent of respondents saying that they keep private passwords on their mobile, the potential for damaging data loss and identity theft is significant.

The complacency over smartphone security extends even further, with 43 per cent stating that they have not bothered to turn on a password-protected lock screen on their device.

Just over a tenth of those questioned said that they had not ever taken the precautionary step of rotating the passwords they use to protect their various online accounts.

Report spokesperson, Jeff Dodds, said that the survey showed that many consumers in the UK were either unaware of the risks facing them in terms of security on mobile platforms, or were untroubled by the threats that exist today.

He said that it was important for anyone who wants to carry out safe shopping online from a portable device to think carefully about the security implications of doing so, not just in terms of how well protected their handset is but what type of connection is being used to carry out sensitive transactions. This is because public Wi-Fi networks can be especially vulnerable to exploitation.