Festive gift buying goes mobile in 2011: Webroot Research
Purchases via mobile devices will more than double while the majority of users leave their data and devices exposed to security risks
Bracknell, UK, November 17, 2011 – The power and portability of smartphones and tablets will save time and money for many people this holiday season. Over two times more shoppers plan to purchase gifts and 50 per cent more plan to book travel using their mobile devices this year, according to new research from Webroot, a leader in delivering Internet security as a service. But convenience may come at a cost for those who skip certain measures to secure their devices and personal data.
In a survey of 1,215 mobile device users, Webroot assessed people’s preferences for using mobile devices versus traditional means for researching and buying Christmas gifts, and for planning and booking trips. In addition, Webroot explored how people secure themselves on their mobile devices.
Webroot found that 50 per cent are likely to purchase Christmas gifts using their smartphone or tablet this year – up from 22 per cent who did so in 2010. Additionally, one third (33 per cent) of respondents plan to use their mobile devices to book travel, up from 22 per cent who did so in 2010. But only 40 per cent of respondents have a security app installed to block threats or remotely lock and locate a lost device, and a surprising 53 per cent leave their devices unlocked – potentially exposing their personal information to prying eyes.
“People using mobile devices are exposed to a new set of online risks: cybercriminals seed mobile markets with malicious apps that can steal your personal data or send texts and SMS messages to premium numbers. And because of their size, smartphones and tablets are easier to lose or have stolen than laptops and notebooks, which puts the vast amounts of personal data stored on them at risk. Mobile security services are now a must - lost device protection, secure web browsing, and antimalware provide essential protection,” said Chad Bacher, vice president of Mobile Solutions at Webroot.
Webroot found several differences between how US and UK residents prefer to use their mobile devices during the festive season. Webroot also found several key differences in behavior among age groups, gender, and people using devices on the Android™ and iOS operating systems.
The US favors mobile devices for Christmas shopping while the UK leverages them for travel planning:
Webroot security experts recommend three key steps for securing mobile devices:
Webroot conducted a blind online survey November 4-7, 2011 in the United States and United Kingdom, using Research Now panel members. Respondents qualified for the survey if they were at least 18 years old, own a smartphone or tablet, and plan to purchase holiday gifts and/or make holiday travel arrangements using a smartphone or tablet. The margin of error in the United States is ±3.6 (835 respondents), and ±4.4 in the United Kingdom (490 respondents).
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