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Consumers putting sensitive data at risk on unsecured digital devices

Users are putting their personal information at risk by storing it on digital devices without proper security protection, according to a new report.

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A survey by Kaspersky Lab revealed that 88 per cent of users store private and personal information on such devices, but many do not take appropriate security measures.

48 per cent store their email and online account passwords on their devices, while 28 per cent store financial information including bank details, payment credentials and PIN codes.

Smartphones are the most popular device used to store personal information, with 87 per cent of users admitting to keeping sensitive data on their phones.

This was closely followed by computers at 84 per cent and tablets at 76 per cent.

But 17 per cent of tablet users say they have neither password protection nor any security solution installed on their devices, putting that information at risk from hackers.

This is also true for 13 per cent of smartphone users and three per cent of computer users.

Meanwhile, only eight per cent delete private information from their devices immediately and just 17 per cent create password-protected folders for their sensitive data.

Only seven per cent said they encrypt data from prying eyes, according to the study, and – somewhat worryingly – 27 per cent believe they have no confidential information at all.

“With the use of digital devices intrinsically linked to our offline world, consumers are entrusting more information to their smartphones, tablets and computers without a second thought,” said Victor Yablokov, head of mobile product line at Kaspersky Lab.

“This change in lifestyle has not necessarily led to a change in mind-set however, with the safety of this information often overlooked in favour of ease of access and convenience. Protecting your confidential data and mobile devices with security solutions and passwords is essential to keeping the cyber criminals out in the cold and your personal data remaining private.”

This is just the latest study to bring concerning figures about consumers’ digital safety.

In the run-up to Christmas it was revealed that more than a quarter of UK and US shoppers would snap up a good deal before checking the security of a retail site.

For more on the survey, see the Kaspersky Lab website.


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