Smartphone Users Comfortable with Biometrics, PayPal Survey Finds

by Istvan Fekete on October 10, 2013

Security on mobile devices has never been more in focus: in the light of the growing number of purchases or money transactions completed through smartphones, alongside the deep integration of these handsets into our daily lives, we need a rapid answer from the market. How can I make my smartphone more secure?

To determine how integrated mobile devices have become in the consumer’s daily life and assess their security habits, in the US – where the smartphone adoption stands at 60.8%, according to comScore’s August data – PayPal and the National Cyber Security Alliance have surveyed more than [number] US adults.

According to the survey, about 66% said their smartphones were never more than one room away, while 10% kept the device near, no matter what. Furthermore, 0.25% said that they used their mobile device to make at least one transaction on a daily basis.

Going further, what’s interesting is how these users protect their data stored on mobile devices: 30% said they preferred anti-virus software, and for another 30%, a strong password equalled protection. What raises concern is the 24.4% who said having nothing was their preferred “protective” measure.

Apple shed some light on iDevice owner’s protection habits during the September keynote: a huge percentage of users have no passcode lock to protect the content of their iPhone or iPad. This is why Apple stepped forward and introduced Touch ID, a biometric fingerprint identification process that — despite its flaws — is aimed at making iDevices more secure.

Returning to the survey, biometrics received 18.7% of the total votes for making the device more secure. Furthermore, more than 50% of those surveyed said they were comfortable with the use of fingerprint identification on a mobile device, while 45% said automated facial recognition would be acceptable, and a further 31% said hand-gesture recognition would be fine with them.

In the end, the Touch ID could make biometrics cool in gadgets, and could mean the start of a new era of biometric authentication on mobile devices. Until then, smartphone users should keep their data secure by using simple measures at no cost: use a PIN or lock function on your mobile device, automate software updates, use common sense when downloading apps — choose only official apps and beware of those that contain malware, enable “Find My Device”, secure accounts beyond passwords.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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