Mobile Device Security Practices Vary by Age and Income: Report

Depending on your gender, your industry and your salary, you may have a very different view and approach to security, according to a new global study from Aruba Networks. The study asked 11,500 participants across 23 countries about their behaviors and security practices and found some surprising results.

60 percent of respondents admitted to sharing their work and personal devices with others. Of those, nearly 20 percent didn’t have their devices protected by a password.

While users may have some unsafe device usage practices, one of the reasons is likely because they think their companies will protect them. The study found that 87 percent of respondents assume that their IT departments are defending them against threat. That said, even with that expectation, 31 percent of respondents admit they have lost mobile device data due to some form of misuse.

Mobile device data loss varies across industries, with the highest amount of data loss being reported by those working in financial institutions, where 39 percent of respondents admitted to losing data.

There is also a gender disparity when it comes to mobile device data loss, with men more likely to be have lost mobile device data than women. The disparity also carries though to income levels, with higher wage earners more likely to have lost mobile data.

According to Aruba’s data, employees earning more than $60K are more than twice as likely as employees earning less than $18K to have lost company financial data, and 20 percent more likely to lose personal data due to misuse or theft of a mobile device.

Apparently, with age comes the wisdom to not engage in risky security practices. Aruba found that those between the ages of 25 and 34 years old had the highest chances of data and identity theft. Those over the age of 55 were found to be less than half as likely as their younger counterparts to lose mobile data.

Overall, while mobile device technology has some risks, 51 percent of the study’s respondents noted that mobility enables them to be more productive.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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