A new study by Prosper Mobile Insights found that, while the increasing adoption of smartphones and other mobile devices is seen as a boon for most users, the technology also presents a number of new data security and privacy concerns.
In a survey of 102 smartphone users, more than half of respondents indicated smartphones have become an integral part of their lives, used for everything from texting and email to web browsing, shopping and even banking.
Nearly 56 percent of respondents even stated they prefer to use their smartphones over their computers to browse the Internet, while 81.4 percent said they use their smartphones to look up products and services.
However, despite these benefits, the study also found that smartphone owners hold some reservations about the technology. Thirty-one percent stated that they were concerned about someone else accessing their personal information, while 21.6 percent said they worried about financial information being breached.
The top privacy concern, however, was location tracking, cited by 35.3 percent of respondents. This issue has been highlighted in the headlines in recent weeks, as legislators on Capitol Hill have brought in representatives from the smartphone industry to discuss location tracking practices and their privacy implications.
Apple, in particular, was singled out in April, when two customers filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that the company was recording the movements of iPhone and iPad users. Apple quickly and publicly defended itself, saying it has never engaged in location tracking practices, but, rather nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers around a user's current location.
While the storm regarding location tracking has calmed for the time being, it is likely to surface again in the future. In the meantime, businesses can help address these other concerns by incorporating mobile devices into their corporate security policies. In addition, equipping smartphones and other mobile devices with the latest data protection software will also help ward off malware and other cyber attacks.