Despite all the news out there about the proliferation of mobile malware and the willingness of cybercriminals to target unsuspecting smartphone users, many people harbor misconceptions about the security of the data on their devices, according to a new report.
U.K. mobility retailer Carphone Warehouse recently surveyed more than 2,000 Britons to gauge their feelings on mobile data security issues, PC Advisor reported. It was found that more than 50 percent of respondents felt the information stored on their devices was secured even though 86 percent did not have a data security solution installed.
"The more sophisticated the handsets become, the more attractive they are to [cyber] thieves," the Carphone Warehouse's Matt Stringer said.
That certainly has been demonstrated this year, as hackers have begun to take aim at mobile users like never before. In June, AdaptiveMobile released a report that found 83 percent of mobile users are now worried about the security of their devices.
Furthermore, the report also found that mobile users aren't taking proper precautions to protect their devices from physical data breaches. For example, 65 percent of respondents said they didn't have a password in place to protect their voicemail account.
The fact that users willingly ignore voicemail passwords is surprising, especially for those who live in the U.K. given the news of widespread hacking that broke earlier this year.
The incident involving the News of the World infiltrating private citizens' voicemail accounts demonstrated that anyone who wants access to personal information doesn't need help in launching their attacks. Mobile users who don't leverage password authentication are only making it easier for their data to be stolen.
Mobile Internet security expert David Rogers said it isn't difficult to protect a smartphone, so long as the proper solutions are installed and certain steps are taken.
"While technology is evolving, there are easy ways you can keep your data safe and secure when using a mobile phone," Rogers said.
For companies, the consumerization of enterprise mobility is the leading cause for concern when it comes to data security. According to a Forrester Research poll, 26 percent of respondents said they use a smartphone run on the Android mobile operating system at work, while 22 percent have an iPhone. Research In Motion's BlackBerry still leads with 42 percent of respondents. Companies fear that personally owned devices offer fewer security measures and leave data vulnerable to loss.