Mobile Data Security Concerns Consumers
A recent study conducted by iReach Insights has highlighted that consumers on both sides of the Atlantic have major mobile data security concerns, and in particular, about the security of the cloud and the data stored on their portable devices.
The mobile data security concerns are justified. A Smartphone contains original data such as photographs, text messages, conversations and contact details, many of which are irreplaceable. Smartphones also have access to social media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and webmail services can be accessed through the phones giving the user full access to all received and sent emails.
The survey indicates that in the 18-54 age group, 80% of users rated the contents of their phone as equally if not more valuable than the phone itself, while the figure was three quarters for the sample as a whole.
In the UK, consumers are slightly less concerned about the theft of a Smartphone, although they are more worried than this time last year. 22% of respondents were more worried about losing their phone than last year, while the figure is 27% for the United States.
The high volume of data stored on the devices is clearly a concern for all, and there is fear of identity theft and unauthorized disclosure of personal information on both the UK and US as a result of this. Overall, 70% of participants in the survey were concerned that their phones may be stolen for the data they contain, rather than for the cost of the device.
The survey suggests that there is a market for insurance products that can in some way cover data loss from stolen mobiles. Smartphones sold with security apps and other features which protect the phone contents would be welcomed by consumers.
In the United States, 62% of younger Smartphone users would be interested in buying mobile phones with enhanced security features to protect the data in case of theft, while 52% of adults would consider choosing a particular model of mobile if it offered enhanced security.
The use of mobile phones in healthcare poses an even bigger problem, especially with Bring Your Own Device schemes. It is a violation of HIPAA rules to use unencrypted text messages to send PHI, and should a device be lost or stolen, the penalties for exposing data are severe.
If a device is encrypted and the user also switches to a secure messaging solution – a healthcare secure messaging app for instance – it will ensure that even in the event that a device is lost or stolen, it will prevent mobile phone HIPAA violations from occurring. These measures should relieve mobile data security concerns.