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60% store sensitive data on their phone

Nine in ten phones not protected, says study

Over 60 percent of Brits keep sensitive personal data on their smartphone, says The Carphone Warehouse.

According to the mobile phone retailer's research, which was conducted with security firm Trend Micro, 93 percent of UK smartphones aren't protected against online crime and ID theft.

The Carphone Warehouse also said that 54 percent of smartphone owners have purchased goods online using their credit card via their handset in the last three months and 12 percent regularly access websites using URLs stored on their phone.

However, 68 percent of UK smartphone users were not concerned about the possibility of being subject to a phishing scam by navigating to an infected website from their handset.

Instead, 56 percent admitted they were more concerned about actually losing their handset. Losing contacts stored on the phone was also a big concern.

"These results, whilst alarming, are not really surprising", says Rik Ferguson, senior security advisor at Trend Micro.

"People are simply not aware of the kinds of risks they are exposed to through their mobile devices or the amount of personal information stored there. While more and more companies are encrypting their computers, the same cannot be said of protecting personal data that resides on consumer smartphone devices."

"We have seen an increase in customers using smartphones to carry, share and manage confidential, personal information", added Andrew Harrison, UK CEO, The Carphone Warehouse.

"The fact that consumers are using their mobile devices to shop or bank online without any protection is alarming and we would urge all smartphone users to take relevant security measures to ensure personal, sensitive and financial data is protected from online crime."

The mobile phone retailer is offering customers that do want to protect their data, Trend Micro's Mobile Security software, which its says "offers advanced encryption technology to prevent data theft, block viruses and SMS spam, as well as fighting malware designed to extract sensitive data from a smartphone".

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See also: Smartphones, netbooks lead global GPS surge


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