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Securing smartphones, users fail to take precautions

A recent ESET survey of around 500 smartphone users on social media to gather data on mobile security revealed that 9.7% have had their smartphones lost or stolen, 29.3% do not lock it and 19.7% do not back up at all.

ESET, the pioneers of proactive cyber-protection, has conducted a survey on social media of smartphone usage ahead of the Mobile World Congress.

According to Raphael Labaca Castro, ESET Security Researcher and Editor in Chief of WeLiveSecurity.com, it is essential to back up data regularly to protect against damage. Apart from the 19.7%, 35.7% only do sometimes (14.7% do so daily, 19.9% weekly and 10% monthly).

One of the best protection tools against physical breaches of phones is locking the device. However, 29.3% do not lock their phone or screen against unwanted access at all with the vast majority - 55.3% - doing so with a PIN number (12.5% use fingerprint and 3% face detector).

Go for 2-factor authentication

Carey van Vlaanderen
Carey van Vlaanderen

"One of the best ways to protect access to business networks, as well as personal emails is to use 2-factor authentication," says Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO of ESET Southern Africa.

Here we can support a welcome trend, 64.9% of those surveyed already used some form of second authentication for online services (e.g. via text messages). This can be especially important for services like online banking, which is accessed by 53% of surveyed users.

In addition, the survey highlighted the importance of protecting the 'cloud' of smartphone users, with 26.9% already using solely these cloud services and 23.1% saving the data both locally and in the cloud.


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