Port Washington, N.Y. - While smartphone owners are concerned about security threats to their phones, very few of them use security software.
According to a new report from The NPD Group, nearly 40 percent of all smartphone users are concerned about such threats as activity monitoring, hacking, credit-card security and viruses, while more than one-third are worried about harmful apps, malicious emails and the potential for user-location tracking.
But among smartphone users, 82 percent have no security products installed on their phones. However, the percentage of users addressing this concern varies by platform, according to NPD's "Emerging Technology Trends: Mobile Security" report.
Although iPhone and Android smartphone owners share similar security concerns, 30 percent of Android smartphone owners have installed security products on their phones, compared with just 6 percent of iPhone owners.
"Even though iPhone users are less concerned than Android users about device security, they are still clearly worried," said Stephen Baker, industry analysis VP for NPD. "Their biggest concerns were much more likely to be fears that their iPhone would be stolen or damaged, than any unwanted or harmful activities."
Baker noted, "While smartphone owners are worried about security threats, they are also thoroughly confused about what to do about them," Baker said.
In fact, NPD's report shows that 83 percent of all smartphone owners who have not installed security would be motivated to do so if they were to encounter harmful virus, spam or other event; however, more than 25 percent of smartphone owners (and 35 percent of iPhone owners) don't know how to acquire security software for their devices.
Approximately one-quarter of all smartphone owners who have no security felt security products were too expensive. Yet among those owners with security products installed, 75 percent paid nothing, and the mean price paid was less than $3. "Consumers are both unaware of security for their phones and reluctant to pay for it when they are aware," Baker said.
Information in NPD's "Emerging Technology Trends: Mobile Security" report is based on online surveys fielded in July to a representative sample of 1,085 panelists from NPD's online panel. Results were balanced to represent the U.S. adult population.