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Personal information stored on smartphones by 45 percent of UK users

September 2017

With more than half of the world’s population using a smartphone and with over half of the world’s web traffic coming from mobile phones, it’s understandable that 45 percent of UK users store their personal and private information on their smartphones, according to a Bitdefender survey* performed during April 2017.

More than half of smart device users keep their private files and documents on their on their personal computer or laptop (61 percent), according to the same study. However, 4 out of 10 UK smartphone users don’t have a security solution installed nor do they perform firmware updates for their devices. This exposes them to data theft and malware especially since downloaded apps don’t always come from official marketplaces. However, in terms of concerns about smart device security, 49 percent are afraid that their user’s identity can be stolen.

The same study concluded that 7 out of 10 UK smartphone or tablet users claim that they changed the passwords on these devices more than 3 months ago. With an average of 9 smart devices / accessories in a UK user’s home, only 6 out of 10 smart device users claim that they have different passwords for each smart device/ accessory. However, 3 out of 10 have some passwords that they randomly use, and less than 1 out of 10 use only one password for all their smart devices.

Malware for smartphones has skyrocketed during the past couple of years and regardless of the type of mobile operating system you might be using, whether it Android or iOS, there are also phishing or fraudulent websites out there gunning for your private information and credentials. Viruses and phishing are among the top three concerns to smart device users, with 60 and respectively 50 percent of respondents claiming to be weary of.

Because a large number of German smartphone users don’t have a security solution, according to a recent Bitdefender survey*, and because users often install applications from untrusted or third-party marketplaces, there’s a high likelihood that they’ll be infected. With 643,476 new Android malware programs emerging in June 2017 alone, according to independent testing organization AV-TEST, having a mobile security solution that’s able to detect and protect your smartphones is no longer optional, but mandatory.

While iOS might not me so prone to malicious apps being downloaded from third-party marketplaces, users are still vulnerable to phishing or fraudulent websites aiming to collect personal or financial data. To that end, it’s also vital to have a security solution installed that’s able to protect your browsing activity from malicious websites.

Having a mobile security solution that’s able to protect both Android and iOS operating systems from these types of threats is vital especially since half of all smartphone users keep their private information stored on these devices. Whether its malware aiming for your data or other online threats gunning for your credit card information or e-banking credentials, a mobile security solution that’s able to identify all these threats is vital towards protecting your privacy and personal data.

*Note: The study consisted of a survey performed by iSense Solutions at Bitdefender’s request during April 2017, and it’s based on based on 1000 interviews. The sample used in this report is representative for the Smart device users, with WI-FI connection in USA (at age, gender and region level), 18+ y.o.. Error degree is +/-3. 1% at a confidence interval of 95%.