Half of UAE users fail to password-protect mobile devices: Kaspersky Lab

With half, almost 47 percent of people in UAE, still failing to protect their mobile devices, and only 25 percent using anti-theft solutions, pick pocketers that get their hands on a smartphone could be in for more of a treat than even they hope for.

This is one of the latest concerns raised by cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab, which claims to have found in a survey that people are leaving their devices — and the increasing amount of precious data on them — accessible to anyone.

Many people nowadays rely on their mobile devices to access the Internet and carry out online activities, so losing a device to petty crime is potentially more damaging and upsetting than ever before. For example, 75 percent of individuals surveyed in the UAE say they regularly use the Internet on a smartphone and 36 percent now regularly use a tablet to get online.

As such, several types of precious data are being stored on, and sent from, these gadgets. For example, over a third (41 percent) of people use their smartphone for online banking, which of course provides access to valuable financial information. Furthermore, 65 percent of people regularly use their smartphone for accessing their personal email accounts and 66 percent say they use it for social media activities, both of which involve a huge quantity of sensitive data.

But having a lot of precious data on their mobile devices doesn’t necessarily make people conscious and secure – only (53 percent) of people password-protect their mobile devices and just 14% of people encrypt their files and folders to avoid unauthorised access. So, if these devices fall into the wrong hands, all of this data – from personal accounts, to photos, messages and even financial details – could become accessible to someone else.

Even losing devices that are protected with passwords can still have significant consequences. For example, less than half (46 percent) of people make backups of their data and only 47 percent use anti-theft features on their mobile devices, meaning that these devices’ ex-owners will likely experience a lack of access to their own personal information and accounts as a result.

“We all love our connected devices because they give us access to vital information, from anywhere at any time. They are valuable items that criminals naturally want to get their hands on, and their job is made easier by the fact that every other pickpocketed phone is not password protected.” Dmitry Aleshin, vice president for product marketing at Kaspersky Lab, said,

“There are a few really simple things that everyone can do to secure their devices and the data they hold. By applying password protection and using a dedicated security solution, including anti-theft protection, you can protect your personal information, photos and online accounts from both loss and malicious usage.”

Kaspersky Internet Security for Android is designed to help individuals protect their mobile devices. It urges users to password protect their devices, successfully securing them against both online and offline threats – be it theft, malware or the prying eyes of strangers.