Sloppy handheld habits continue to plague users

A third of professionals using mobile devices such as PDAs and smartphones are failing to use passwords or any other security protection, and even store their PIN numbers, passwords and other corporate information on the devices.

A third of professionals using mobile devices such as PDAs and smartphones are failing to use passwords or any other security protection, and even store their PIN numbers, passwords and other corporate information on the devices. 

The findings, from Pointsec’s Annual Mobile Usage Survey, shows that corporate personnel now store significant amounts of corporate data on their mobile devices, including customer contacts, email details, passwords and bank account details, together with personal and private information such as friends’ details, and personal images, giving little or no consideration to security.
 
Some 78% of users do not encrypt the information on their PDA or smartphone, with 81% using these devices to store business names and addresses, 45% to receive and view emails and 27% to store corporate information. For 59% of users their PDA or smartphone is also used as a business diary and 14% use them to store information regarding their customers.

What’s surprising about the survey is people’s propensity to lose the very devices on which their lives depend so much. Last year, 16% of users had lost one, while this year the number has increased to 22%. Of those that lost their device, 81% had not encrypted their information and admitted that they were worried that the information could fall into the wrong hands and either cause embarrassment, or that they would lose "everything" as they hadn't backed-up their information. 

When it comes to PDA security, it seems anything that could go wrong, does go wrong. Hopefully, users will learn about security the hard way. Once you’ve lost all your contacts, numbers etc once, you’ll make sure you don’t do it again.

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