Survey on internet security: smartphone and tablet users most reckless

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It is surprising to see that smartphone owners of all people are taking the biggest risks with data security, considering that 74% of all interviewees regularly use their web-enabled smartphone to browse the internet.

This makes the smartphone almost as popular as the laptop (75.2%) and even more popular than the desktop PC (63.7%) according to the survey. Additionally, very sensitive data such as contact details, addresses and photographs is often stored on the phone.

But how do users protect their smartphone? 48.4% of smartphone owners install regular updates, 48.2% use a password-protected login and an anti-virus programme is used by 38.8%, after all. However, most people shy away from using more complicated measures. Only 3.7% of the interviewees use the safe data encryption software TrueCrypt on their smartphone – despite the recent Snowden incident. 7.4% don’t take any security measures at all.

The easiest aim for hackers, however, may well be the tablet. Tablet users only take very weak measures to protect themselves against trojans, viruses and other cyber threats. Every fourth tablet owner (26.4%) tries to keep their operating system up to date to protect against cyber threats by installing regular updates. Secure access protection and/or password protection is only used by 23.3% of the interviewees. 22.4% run an anti-virus programme on their tablet, and only 16.7% of tablet users have a firewall installed.

On the contrary, data storage on PCs and laptops is much more secured. On two out of three laptops (66.7%), an anti-virus programme has been installed by their users. 60.9% of laptop users keep their device up to date by installing regular updates and 59.5% of the interviewees use a firewall to protect themselves against unwanted malware.

In order to prevent strangers from accessing their personal data, 56.7% use a password-protected login for their laptop and another 29.7% secure their files with passwords. Every fourth desktop PC user (25.8%) takes these measures. Following media reports about theft of user data, 24.7% of users always change their passwords.

Despite countless warnings of security authorities regarding cyber-attacks in China, North Korea and Russia: only every fifth user (19.2%) has previously been a victim of cyber crime in Germany according to the results of the Preisvergleich.de survey. Merely 44% of consumers fear that they may be affected by internet fraud, data theft or hacker attacks in the future.

An infograph showing Internet Security on smartphones
Internet Security on smartphones

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