Smartphone users are losing it

The biggest risk to security is human error. While the security conscious are most concerned with identity theft based on information obtained from their handsets or people eavesdropping on conversations, the real risks mostly come from users losing their phones and poor password discipline.

A survey from Ireland-based analyst Research and Markets has revealed that while sophisticated users of wireless services understand the importance of security, many have some serous misconceptions over where the risks lie.

Compounding the matter, security aware users are becoming complacent since the loss or theft of a handset is relatively rare. According to the report, “Mobile Security 2007: End Users Are Losing It,” smartphone users – the very users whose devices cost more and are more likely to have greater access to corporate data – tend to lose their phone 40 per cent more frequently than those with a regular handset.

Worse still, the report claims that while lip service is paid to security issues most users are unwilling to support even basic efforts to secure data if it involves any degree of inconvenience. In addition, they hold others, such as carriers and their email provider, responsible for improving security.

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