Smartphone users think security is ‘too expensive’

Fear, confusion and prices keep smartphone security at ba

Despite widespread security concerns by smartphone users, 82 per cent do not have any security products installed, a survey by research group NPD has found.

One of the perceived barriers for the quarter of all iPhone and Android respondents that did not install any security products was that they were too expensive.

This conflicted with the finding that of those that had security installed, 75 per cent paid nothing while the mean price was $3.

"Consumers are both unaware of security for their phones and reluctant to pay for it when they are aware," said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis for NPD.

iPhone users were much less likely to install security products than Android. Just six per cent of iPhone users have any security product installed on their phones, while 30 per cent of Android users have some form of security installed.

Many security features exist for the iPhone, such as password locks, device encryption, and remote data wiping, however Apple has yet to allow security vendors to develop the most widely used third-party security product on PCs: antivirus.  

The failure to implement security did not however mean that users were not concerned about it.

According to the research, 40 per cent of respondents were worried about hacking, credit card security, monitoring and viruses, while a third were worried about malicious apps, emails and location tracking.

Besides the perceived cost of security, NPD found some confusion as to what steps to take to address these concerns. 

Smartphone owners were “thoroughly confused about what to do about them," Baker said, noting that the biggest concern was theft or damage over other threats like hacking.

"Their biggest concerns were much more likely to be fears that their iPhone would be stolen or damaged, than any unwanted or harmful activities." 

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