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What Would You Rather Lose: Your Wallet or Your Phone?

If you’re like the 500 IT professionals SecurEnvoy interviewed at the Infosecurity Europe 2012 conference, you’re more likely to be concerned about losing your mobile phone than the contents of your wallet.

The company, which specializes in tokenless two-factor authentication, said its poll results, released today, reveal that respondents would rather lose what’s in their wallet than lose their mobile phone.

When asked what people would “most fear losing from their back pocket,” more than a third (37 percent) said it was their personal phone; another 20 percent didn’t want to lose their company phone. Just one quarter said “£50,” and 18 percent said they didn’t want to lose their credit cards.

A poll the company conducted in January revealed that “two thirds of respondents feared losing their mobile phone.” In fact, “so great was this worry that 41 percent had two phones or more in an effort to stay connected.” [emphasis mine]

The concern over cell-phone separation is only likely to grow, as Andy Kemshall, co-founder and CTO of SecurEnvoy, points out.

“This study really highlights just how high a value we place on them, especially with so many preferring to lose a relatively significant amount of money to their phone. As functionality increases on devices, so too will our dependence on them -- we can already use them for so much more than talking. With that in mind, using a mobile phone as your authentication token seems a natural choice and far more convenient than carrying old-fashioned style hardware.”

Security admins’ concerns over mobile security seems justified after I read this comment from Kemshall: “The study we conducted in January found [that] 46 percent do not use any protection at all. Perhaps it’s time we showed these little devices just how much we love them and secure them.”

Well said.

-- James E. Powell
Editorial Director, ESJ

Posted on 06/07/2012

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