Home Security Australians doing little to secure mobile devices despite breaches: PayPal

Australians doing little to secure mobile devices despite breaches: PayPal

Australians are concerned about mobile security, but the majority aren’t doing enough about it, according to research which reveals that 40% have been victim to a mobile security breach.

PayPal urged Australians to properly protect their smartphones after the company’s latest research published in its mCommerce Index Trends Report showed Aussies were “addicted” to mobile devices, with 64% not going anywhere without their device.

And despite the breaches of mobile security, half (49%) of the survey respondents say they are concerned about mobile security.

The research also reveals that close to a quarter of respondents (22%) have experienced a fraudulent transaction, and another quarter (25%) have experienced the loss or theft of a mobile device.

PayPal says that, despite the security breaches, a large majority of Australians who shop using their mobiles say that they could do more to protect their financial details (67%), a third are not sure what security features are on their mobile devices (32%) and another third aren’t sure how to protect themselves when shopping on a mobile device (34%).

“Shockingly, one-in-four mobile shoppers (23%) say they only do the minimum to protect their financial details on their mobile device with another quarter admitting to using a pet’s name or their birthday as a password,” PayPal  notes.

“PayPal is concerned that Australians don’t take mobile security seriously. The PayPal mCommerce Index: Trends Report shows a worrying gap between Australians’ high understanding of the importance of mobile security, and our low level of action to protect ourselves,” says PayPal Shopping Expert, Emily Curlewis.

“With more than a quarter of Australian smartphone users having experienced fraud, loss or theft, it’s worrying that only a third of us have bothered to enable all the security features available on our devices.

“Our mobiles carry all our personal information and financial details, yet Australians aren’t taking the time to protect themselves. We should know better than to use easy-to-guess passwords like a birthday or a pet’s name, yet a quarter of Australians still do it. Australia is a tech-savvy country, but we need to take mobile security more seriously.”

The research also reveals that “tech savvy” millennials (18-34 year-olds) are least likely to have secure mobiles and that they have the highest rate of lost and stolen devices (33%), but are the least likely (23%) to think about the implications of financial details falling into the wrong hands.

According to the study, millennials are the age group that’s most attached to their mobiles (73% won’t go anywhere without them) but are also most likely not to take action to keep their details safe, with 28% stating they only do the minimum to protect their financial details on a mobile device. This compares with 19% of 35-49 year-olds and 16% of smartphone users over-50.

The PayPal report also reveals that 50% of mobile shoppers believe it’s their responsibility to ensure the security of their financial details, but 3 in 10 (28%) believe it is the responsibility of the businesses they buy from.

And, for the under-50s, the group that PayPal says engages most with mobile commerce, the figure is higher with a third (32%) stating that the businesses they buy from are the most responsible for protecting their financial details.  A further 16% state the responsibility lies with their financial institutions.

“With a third of under-50s believing that Australian businesses are responsible for shoppers’ financial details, it’s critical companies invest in secure payment platforms for their mobile checkout experience,” Curlewis says.

“We’d like to see Australians taking a proactive approach to understanding how to secure their financial details on their mobile device to avoid security breaches.  But businesses also have a crucial role to play in education around online security, and ensuring their own systems are safe so customers have peace of mind.”

To access the PayPal mCommerce Index: Trend Report click here.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).