Not so smartphones?

shutterstock 638186110

So, we are all using smartphones nowadays; some of us have smartphones for work, some of us have smartphones as a personal device and some of us have both.

And I’m one of them – I have an iPhone for my personal life and I have a Windows phone for work. According to a survey of 2,500 UK adults by Trend Micro and Vision Critical, people like me are more than twice as likely to lose a work device, than a personal device. How dare they!

Hello. My name is Damian and I am careless.

Actually, they’re right. I have never lost an iPhone (and I first owned one on release day back in July 2007) but I have lost a BlackBerry work phone (and terminally damaged another). The survey links these losses to a ‘culture of carelessness’. Now, I’m first to admit that I’m careless but is it this label that bothers/interests me? Or is it the other data that comes out of the survey that caught my attention (and probably the attention of any budding/established cybercriminal looking to exploit businesses data)? We all use Wi-Fi hotspots and I find myself mildly panicking if I have no 3G and Wi-Fi is unavailable.

But I rarely check the level of security before connecting – and the same can be said for 56% of us according to the survey’s results.

Smartphones v dumb users

And so we arrive at passwords. 63% of respondents owned up to using the same passwords – or variations thereof – for their electronic logins. And an alarming 57% admitted that they do not use a password lock on their smartphone at all (I have the six-digit variety FYI – I know, I feel naively safe!).

Just under half admitted, yes admitted, to being more concerned about losing personal data (which when questioned included photos, bank details, online shopping logins etc) than sensitive business data.

So, I care less about my work device than my own iPhone (not true, but both history and statistics now back this up).

We have a user interface error. Yes, I’m talking about you.

We need to start taking the same amount of care with our work devices as we do personal ones (I do – I bought my own cover to protect it!).  But joking aside, when we lose a work device it isn’t just a lump of technology that’s insured anyway – it’s a lump that contains potentially sensitive business and personal data. And that has implications beyond me and my Amazon login. 

So dig deep and soul search, because we all know it’s true... don’t we?