Canadians Urgently Need Help To Take Care of Mobile Security, According to IDC
12 May 2014
TORONTO, May 12, 2014 – The recent Heartbleed Bug has highlighted the need for Canadians to take more control of their online security. A new survey from International Data Corporation Canada (IDC Canada) found that Canadians are increasingly logging into their favourite cloud services on a mobile device, but are not taking the security precautions they ought to.
"The results are in, and they don't look good: many Canadians are not practicing safe mobile security," said Krista Napier, Manager for Mobility & Consumer Research at IDC Canada. "But it's not because they don't think it's important, it's because they are unsure how. Given recent events like Heartbleed, these vulnerabilities are becoming even more apparent. These are driving the need for more education to help Canadians better understand how to protect themselves in the mobile world, a more urgent imperative as mobility becomes entwined with cyberspace."
IDC Canada found that Canadian mobile users urgently need help to secure their devices. Most are worried - in fact, only 13% say they aren't too concerned about security on their smartphone. However:
- Only 21% say they are already doing everything they can to secure their devices
- And 35% say they would like to improve security but don't know how
Only 21% claim to be using a different unique password for each of their online accounts, and this number falls to 11% of younger users (ages 18-29). While only 5% are using the same password for all their online accounts, the vast majority (74%) are using the same few passwords repeatedly.
On top of this, online passwords are not being changed often enough. A key strategy for dealing with the Heartbleed Bug was the recommendation to change online passwords, yet only 44% had last changed an online password deliberately in the past month.
Canadian smartphone owners are also slow to protect their devices:
- 58% had locked their device with a PIN number, pattern or fingerprint reader
- 47% had backed up the data stored in the device
- 40% of Android users and 8% of iPhone users had installed an antivirus app on their device
- 29% had installed or activated a recovery app to track and wipe data from a stolen phone
Canadians are looking to their smartphone providers - operating system creators, manufacturers, and telecom service providers - for help in taking care of mobile security. When asked who the most responsible player in smartphone security is:
- 30% said primary responsibility belonged to the phone owner (with only 24% of those aged 18-29 feeling this way)
- 37% said primary responsibility is shared between the phone owner and providers
- 33% said primary responsibility belonged to providers
Kevin Lonergan, Infrastructure analyst at IDC Canada added, "Mobile security is improved with a few simple steps for the end-user. Security and usability are not tradeoffs like they were in the past. Updating your apps, OS, and browser when prompted is a start. Using a password manager such as LastPass, turning on device encryption, and setting a longer login than the 4 digit default will also help. And, of course, always being wary of public Wi-Fi is crucial. The list is a little larger, to be sure, but not nearly as complex as enterprise mobile security, which involves multiple layers from identity to configuration to vulnerability management. Whether home user or large enterprise, be persistent - the bad guys certainly are."
The survey was conducted via the IDC Canada / Research Now Smartphone Panel. 903 Canadian smartphone owners were surveyed from April 24 to April 30, 2014. This study uses a mobile data collection methodology, and the results of surveys using this methodology cannot be extrapolated to the Canadian population as a whole.
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International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. In 2014, IDC celebrates its 50th anniversary of providing strategic insights to help clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.
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