Came across this release by Symantec a week back. Now why is this geek not surprised? Guess the now and current is more important to many than the past. Interesting angle Symantec took to do the survey, I must say, including questions on whether victims would be willing to pay a ransom to get their phones back. This geek was just musing about “internet dependency”. I guess this warrants some thought on the new topic “mobile dependency”.
About half of Singaporeans have had their mobile phone lost or stolen and 84 percent of them found the experience stressful.
SINGAPORE, 15 March 2011 – Smartphones today have become an indispensable tool in our everyday life; as our primary way to communicate, work, share and collaborate. A survey conducted by Norton reveals that 52 percent of adults in Singapore have fallen victim to mobile phone loss or theft, and despite that, only 37 percent currently have a password protecting their devices. The imminent need for mobile protection is increasingly important in Singapore where 89 percent of Singaporeans never leave home without their mobile phones and nearly half cannot live without their phones.
Losing Data, Finding Frustration
As annoying as it is to lose their mobile phones, 87 percent of victims considered the loss of contact information the worst part of the experience and also a huge inconvenience. It is no wonder then that ‘frustration’ was the single most dominant feeling expressed (62 percent) and a whopping 89 percent of victims noting that they could neither remotely lock nor wipe the phone’s memory after the device was stolen or lost. Of the affected Singaporeans, half had expressed concerns over privacy and sensitive information being divulged. This could account for nearly three quarters saying that the process for resolving the situation was difficult and another 84 percent saying that the experience was stressful.
Feeling Lost, Asking For Help
Not surprisingly, more than half of the victims said that they were willing to pay a ransom (an average of SGD $148) to resolve the situation. More often than not though, it is a case of “finders, keepers”, for lost and stolen mobile phones. Getting help may not entirely be straightforward either, with less than a quarter (24 percent) of Singaporeans agreeing that it is easy to get help to recover a stolen or lost mobile phone. Most agree that there is a limited number of resources available in such occasions, with only a minority (30 percent) of consumers indicating that they are aware of many services or outlets available to help when a mobile phone is stolen or lost.
“The survey results are clear: mobile phone loss and theft is a significant issue for consumers today,” says Effendy Ibrahim, Internet Safety Advocate and Consumer Business Head, Asia, Symantec, “As smartphones become more pervasive in our lives, there is a greater need to protect the data on such devices. This is one of the reasons why Norton is taking security beyond the PC to develop solutions that protect consumers, regardless of the device they use.”
Once Bitten, Twice Shy: Better Safe Than Sorry
The study also found that Singaporeans are more likely to have a password if they currently own a smartphone or have lost their mobile phone or had it stolen in the past. Currently, only 37 percent of users in Singapore have password-protected mobile phones - of which, 49 percent currently own a smartphone and another 42 percent were previously victims of mobile phone loss or theft. On the whole, a significant number of Singaporeans consider security factors before making a mobile phone purchase, with 72 percent noting that they are more likely to make a purchase if their mobile device or software is able to be locked remotely and has the ability to erase all the data on their device remotely.
Mobile Phones Growing in Importance
Consumers are becoming more attached to their mobile phones. In fact, 32 percent of Singaporeans would rather lose their childhood photographs than lose their mobile phones. Seventeen percent of Singaporeans would respectively rather get a root canal, eat rotten eggs or go to work dressed as Lady Gaga for a week. With mobile phones becoming such a central device in the lives of consumers, it is important to protect these devices, especially the data that is stored on such devices.
Staying Protected With Norton Mobile Security
With an explosion in the number of mobile phones and the increasing reliance on smartphones, this means greater opportunity for cybercriminals. Symantec has introduced Norton Mobile Security as part of the Norton Everywhere three-part initiative, which will address some of today’s most common issues for smartphones, including device loss and data protection. Norton Mobile Security will allow users to locate and remotely wipe or lock their lost or stolen Android phones with a quick text message. Consumers can currently download a free limited-trial beta version directly from the Android Market.
About Norton by Symantec
Symantec’s Norton products protect consumers from cybercrime with technologies like antivirus, anti-spyware and phishing protection — while also being light on system resources. The company also provides services such as online backup, PC tuneup, and family online safety. Like Norton on Facebook at www.facebook.com/norton and follow @NortonOnline on Twitter.
Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world. Our software and services protect against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or stored. More information is available at http://sg.norton.com.
Norton Mobile Survey
The Norton Mobile Survey is based on research conducted in January 2011 by The Leading Edge, an independent market research firm, on behalf of Symantec Corporation. The Leading Edge conducted an online survey among 500 adults, between the ages 18 and 54, within each of the following six markets: Singapore, India, Australia, Taiwan, China and Japan.
Singapore sample size comprised of 51% female and 49% male of which 26% were 45 to 54 years old; 34% were 35 to 44 years old; 27% were 25 to 34 years old and 13% were 18 to 24 years old. Additionally, 42% owned standard mobile phones while 58% were owners of smartphones – with an average of 23 free Apps and an average of 3 paid Apps.