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More customers taking mobile security measures

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The majority of Americans are taking security measures to protect their mobile devices from possible threats, according to a new study.

A recent Pew Research Center survey of over 2,000 adults showed that smartphone and tablet users are aware of mobile security risks and therefore are more likely than regular cell phone users to institute some form of security on their devices.

 

Privacy is a major concern among smartphone owners. According to the survey, smartphone owners are more likely than regular cell phone users to back up their photographs, files and personal information on a cloud service in an effort to protect data. Thirty-two percent of cell phone owners have also cleared their browsing history once they were finished searching the internet. Nineteen percent of respondents had turned off the tracking device on their mobile device to prevent unauthorized users from accessing data.

 

Americans that are wary of privacy issues are avoiding applications that require the use of personal information, said Mary Madden, co-author of the report. Fifty-four percent of smartphone users have made the decision to not install an application once they noticed the number of requested permissions. The survey also showed that 33 percent of mobile users have uninstalled an application because it was collecting personal data.

 

Although many are taking steps to ease security concerns, nearly a third of both smartphone users and regular cell phone users have lost their phone or reported it stolen.

 

Steps toward mobile security

 

Smartphones, which have become a common unified communications tool, recently endured a surge in malware attacks, according to a recent McAfee report called Threats Report: Second Quarter 2012. As malware threats, like drive-by downloads, ransomware and botnets, target smartphone users, experts remind consumers of the importance of security. Avoiding unsolicited emails and suspicious links is a foolproof way to limit hackers' attempts to control a mobile device.

 

Downloading security software is another form of data protection against unwanted threats. A report by AV-Comparatives, which tested mobile security products from 14 well-known vendors, showed that every product tested well. This can assure mobile users that their device is protected from both theft and malware threats.

 

Whether businesses allow for BYOD or consumers store personal data on their phone, people should enforce security measures on their mobile devices to ease concerns.