Security Worries Scare Mobile Users Off New Services

June 23, 2009

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Email | Financial Services | Privacy & Security | Retail & E-Commerce | Telecom

Nearly two thirds (65%) of mobile-device owners are concerned about the security of their device, and this anxiety is preventing half of them from conducting financial and shopping transactions via mobile, according to a consumer survey commissioned by Cloudmark, Inc.

The study, which was conducted by Harris Interactive, also found that mobile spam is affecting nearly half of mobile device owners.

Perception of Insecurity is Barrier to Adoption

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Although new applications and services are rapidly emerging for mobile devices, users’ perception of security is proving to be a significant barrier to their adoption, especially for mobile financial transactions, the survey found. Some 46% of those who are concerned about mobile security say their worries about security have prevented them from conducting activities on their mobile device.

Of the activities mobile device owners say they didn’t do because of their concerns, financial transactions such as paying bills, conducting banking activities and shopping were named most often:

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  • 73% report they were prevented from paying bills
  • 71% didn’t conduct banking activities
  • 56% didn’t shop
  • 36% didn’t download productivity applications

Moreover, respondents who are concerned about mobile security have overall lower response rates for internet browsing (31%), visiting social networks (28%), and emailing (26%).

The survey found that vast majority of owners are not transmitting confidential information via mobile at all. Only 21% report that they have transmitted confidential data on their mobile device. Cloudmark suggests that this can potentially be attributed to a lack of confidence in the security of their devices and networks and should be of concern to marketers seeking to offer more services via mobile.

Spam Proves Troublesome

Mobile spam has established a highly visible presence on networks, with 44% of owners indicating that they have received spam on their mobile device, the survey found.

Device owners who have received mobile spam report the following as the most common types of mobile spam:

  • Messages asking them to call another number (45%)
  • Messages containing a link to another website (42%)
  • Phishing messages encouraging them to disclose of personal information (29%)
  • Messages from a person or entity posing as a trusted contact/source (24%)

About the survey: Harris Interactive fielded the study on behalf of Cloudmark, Inc., from May 27-29, 2009 via its QuickQuery online omnibus service. The nationwide sample included 2,028 US adults ages 18+, of whom 1,812 own a mobile device. Data are weighted to be representative of the total US adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online.

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