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54% of mobile phone owners believe the data on their handset is secure

However, 86% admit to having no security software installed

More than half (54 percent) of mobile phone owners believe their data would be secure if their handset was lost or stolen, says the Carphone Warehouse.

However, research by the mobile phone retailer of more than 2,000 Brits, revealed that of these 86 percent don't have security software installed on their handset leaving them wide open to nosey thieves that may want to trawl through their personal data.

While 89 percent of PC users secure their laptops and computers, it appears the same security concerns don't follow through to mobile phones.

Nearly half (49 percent) of mobile phone owners admit to using their handset to purchase music, clothes and even insurance online, meaning their account details are logged on their phones and could be accessed by others if the device is lost or stolen. Nearly three quarters (74 percent) also use their handset to take personal photographs.

Furthermore, 65 percent of mobile phone owners they don't have a password on their voicemail, despite the fact nearly a third (32 percent) claim they worry their handsets aren't that secure.

"We've seen a real increase in smartphone users over the past year with roughly 85 percent of handsets sold last year with a postpay connection being smartphones. The more sophisticated the handsets become, the more attractive they are to thieves," said Matt Stringer, UK MD from The Carphone Warehouse.

As a result the retailer has launched Mobile Phone Security Week in a bid to educate mobile phone owners on the importance of securing their device. The Carphone Warehouse has worked with mobile phone security expert, David Rogers, to come up with some easy steps that will make mobile phones more secure.

"While technology is evolving, there are easy ways you can keep your data safe and secure when using a mobile phone. For example, remembering PINs and passwords can be time consuming, but they are a simple and necessary way to deter any prying ears from accessing your handset or hearing your voicemail," said Rogers.

For more help on securing your mobile phone visit the high-street retailers stores or its dedicated web page.

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