GFI Software today released new research showing that location-based services on mobile phones are highly sought after by consumers – and not just to find their lost devices.
In a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. respondents, 12% say they would use location tracking to monitor their spouse’s whereabouts, while 31% of respondents say they would track where their teen goes on a Friday night.
More than half (59%) also say they would use such a service to make sure their children were safe or in the location they are supposed to be.
The independent blind survey was conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of GFI Software and gauged respondents’ opinions on mobile security and functionality, the value of personal data stored on their devices and children’s smartphone use.
Key highlights from the survey include:
- At least one quarter of consumers in both the 16 to 24 (29%) and 25 to 34 (25%) age groups use a smartphone or tablet as their primary means of accessing the Internet or checking email.
- This percentage sharply declines as the age groups increase – 14% for ages 35 to 44, 8% for ages 45-54 and 3% for consumers over the age of 55.
- Identity theft ranked only fourth among the key concerns respondents would have if their phone was lost or stolen. Consumers report that the hassle and cost of buying a new phone, replacing their contact lists and losing memorable photos are more significant concerns.
- 35% of consumers believe their personal data is easily replaceable or does not pose a security risk to them.
- One in three respondents believe that either their service carrier or their phone manufacturer is responsible for securing data stored on their smartphones.
“This research shows that younger generations are increasingly turning to mobile devices as their go-to-source for communicating and browsing the Web, yet there is still a profound lack of understanding among consumers of all ages about the value of the personal data stored on these devices, as well as confusion over who is responsible for securing them,” said Mark Patton, general manager, Security Business Unit at GFI Software.
“For this reason, cybercriminals are increasingly targeting mobile devices, and it’s alarming to think about the number of people who aren’t leveraging the tools – literally at their fingertips, such as mobile antivirus – that can help protect personal data and prevent identity theft.”