Mobile devices not protected in SA

South African adults are relying on their mobile devices now more than ever to access the internet, yet according to a recent study by Norton, very few are taking the necessary precautions to keep the devices safe and secure.

Norton has released new insights into South African consumers’ mobile use and behaviours, revealing that adults rely on their mobile devices more than ever, yet few are taking some of the necessary precautions to keep their devices and content safe and secure.

Consumers in South Africa are now living various aspects of their work, social and online lives through their mobile devices. From surfing online to downloading apps, shopping and making payments from their mobile device, Norton found that nine out of 10 online adults (93%) in the South Africa are mobile device users, of which a large majority (84%) are using them to access the internet.

“People are relying more and more on their mobile phones and tablets to navigate, share, socialise and shop in today’s constantly-connected world,” said Kara Rawden, senior marketing manager, consumer – Middle East and  Africa. “What many consumers may not realise is exactly how much of their personal and private information is up for grabs should these devices be compromised, lost or stolen.

Considering the sensitive nature of data that is accessible from personal mobile devices, consumers need to take some basic, yet easy, precautions to protect it from falling into the wrong hands.”

'Risky Business' on mobile devices
Yet as people expand their online lives through mobile devices, many are not taking steps to secure their device and the content it contains, specifically:

  • One in five mobile device users (20%) in South Africa admit to not always downloading applications from trustworthy source
  • One in five (20%) indicated that they do not use secure payment methods when making purchases from their mobile device, leaving their sensitive information such as credit card details vulnerable
  • In addition, more than one-quarter (28%), admitted to not using a password to help protect their personal data. In the event of theft or loss, a treasure trove of personal information stored on the device can potentially be accessed including personal emails, a possible gateway to other sensitive information such as work correspondence and documents (64%), passwords for other online accounts (21%), and bank statements (42%).

The lack of precaution taken by mobile users can have unfortunate consequences for some: more than one in five mobile users in South Africa have fallen victim to mobile cybercrime.

“Consumers know how important it is to protect their computer from the wide range of threats they can encounter when online and off,” said Rawden.

“Yet, provisions also need to be taken to secure internet-connected mobile devices that are just as vulnerable to cybercriminals looking to make some quick cash or to steal personal information. In the case of theft or loss, your data is in someone else’s hands. By installing mobile security software which protects against malicious online threats and enables you to lock, locate and wipe your device remotely, you can secure your personal life from potential intruders.”

Visit for additional insights from Norton mobile security experts, including articles, videos, widgets and infographics shedding light on timely mobile topics.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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