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Posts Tagged ‘mobile location based services’

Location-based mobile services highly sought-after, but security often ignored

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

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.”

 

More than a quarter of Americans use mobile or social location-based services

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

various smartphones More than a quarter (28%) of all American adults use mobile or social location-based services of some kind. This includes anyone who takes part in one or more of the following activities:

  • 28% of cell owners use phones to get directions or recommendations based on their current location.
  • A much smaller number (5% of cell owners) use their phones to check in to locations using geosocial services such as Foursquare or Gowalla. Smartphone owners are especially likely to use these services on their phones, with 12% doing so.
  • Nine percent of internet users set up social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn so that their location is automatically included in their posts on those services.

Taken together, 28% of U.S. adults do at least one of these activities either on a computer or using their mobile phones—and many users do several of them. These figures come from a new national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and represent Project’s most expansive study of location services to date.

Location-based services on cell phones
 

All adults

All cell owners

Smartphone owners

Use a geosocial (“check in”) service such as Foursquare or Gowalla

4%

5%

12%

Get location-based directions and recommendations

23

28

55

 
Automatic location-tagging on social media
 

All adults

All internet users

Social media users

Use automatic location-tagging on posts

7%

9%

14%

 
Source: The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, April 26 – May 22, 2011 Spring Tracking Survey. n=2,277 adults ages 18 and older, including 755 cell phone interviews. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish.

“Americans are not currently all that eager to share explicitly their location on social media sites, but they are taking advantage of their phones’ geolocation capabilities in other ways,” said Kathryn Zickuhr, Pew Internet Project research specialist and co-author of the report. “Smartphone owners are using their phones to get fast access to location-relevant information on-the-go.”

Several groups have higher-than-average rates of location service usage, including:

  • Smartphone owners – One in ten smartphone owners (12%) have used a geosocial (“check in”) service such as Foursquare or Gowalla, and 55% of smartphone owners have used a location-based information service to get directions, recommendations, or other information based on their current location.
  • Almost six in ten smartphone owners (58%) use at least one of these services. These are all well above the average for cell owners as a whole.
  • Younger users – Smartphone owners ages 18-49 are more likely than those over 50 to use either geosocial or location-based services on their phones. There are no significant differences among social media users by age in regard to automatic location-tagging.
  • Non-whites – Geosocial services and automatic location-tagging are most popular with minorities, continuing a trend of mobile connectivity that has been seen in other Pew Internet surveys.[1] Hispanics are the most active in these two activities, with a quarter (25%) of Latino smartphone owners using geosocial services and almost a third (31%) of Latino social media users enabling automatic location-tagging. However, though only 7% of white smartphone owners use geosocial services, 59% get location-based information on their phones, compared with 53% of blacks and 44% of Hispanics

Complete survey results.