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Canadians ‘urgently’ need mobile security help: IDC

May 8, 2014  

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The recent Heartbleed Bug has highlighted the need for Canadians to take more control of their online security. Findings of a survey conducted by International Data Corp. Canada (IDC Canada) released today show that Canadians are increasingly logging into their favourite cloud services on a mobile device, but are not taking the security precautions they ought to.

“The results are in and they do not look good: many Canadians are not practicing safe mobile security,” said Krista Napier, manager for mobility & consumer research at IDC Canada.

She added that it is not because they do not think it is important, but because they are unsure how.

“Given recent events like Heartbleed, these vulnerabilities are becoming even more apparent,” Napier said. “These are driving the need for more education to help Canadians better understand how to protect themselves in the mobile world, a more urgent imperative as mobility becomes entwined with cyberspace.”

The survey found that:

* Only 21% of those surveyed are currently doing everything they can to secure their devices

*  35% would like to improve security but do not know how

* 58% had locked their device with a PIN number, pattern or fingerprint reader

* 47% had backed up the data stored in the device

* 40% of Android users and 8% of iPhone users had installed an antivirus app on their device

* 29% had installed or activated a recovery app to track and wipe data from a stolen phone.

“Mobile security is improved with a few simple steps for the end-user,” said  Kevin Longergan, infrastructure analyst at IDC Canada. “Security and usability are not tradeoffs like they were in the past. Updating your apps, OS and browser when prompted is a start. Using a password manager such as LastPass, turning on device encryption and setting a longer login than the four-digit default will also help. And of course, always being wary of public WiFi.

“The list is a little larger, to be sure, but not nearly as complex as enterprise mobile security, which involves multiple layers from identity to configuration to vulnerability management. Whether a home user or large enterprise, be persistent — the bad guys certainly are.”