Mobile Privacy Concern Fueled by Bank Info, Racy Content

By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2013-12-16

More than one-half of Americans (52 percent) would be embarrassed about friends or family seeing certain files or documents on their smartphones, and one-quarter of Americans don’t want bank account information seen by others on their smartphones, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted by TNS and sponsored by KS Mobile.

Emails or texts written on a smartphone came in as a close second with 24 percent, followed by emails or texts received (23 percent), Websites visited (15 percent), and adult content (10 percent). Eight percent of Americans said they would be embarrassed about friends or family seeing explicit "selfies" on their smartphone.

The survey also discovered that smartphone privacy concerns vary by gender, with men twice as likely as women to have compromising photos of themselves on their phone (7 percent of men versus 3 percent of women) and four times as likely to have compromising photos of others (9 percent of men versus 2 percent of women).

Additionally, the survey indicated men are more likely than women to be embarrassed about friends or family seeing certain content on their smartphones, such as Websites they have visited (20 percent of men versus 11 percent of women) and adult content (15 percent of men versus 5 percent of women).

"Our research proves there’s a real need for American smartphone users to have more control over the privacy of their most intimate and personal information," Sheng Fu, CEO of KS Mobile, said in a statement. "While Americans might not consider smartphone maintenance or safety a priority, those who are interacting with mobile devices so personally need a protection and performance tool that is easy to use, effective and accessible. Clean Master is uniquely designed to meet these needs."

Most Americans (81 percent) feel the need to keep files on their smartphones private, and the reasons vary widely, with 29 percent fearing the phones will get lost, and 28 percent worried about their handsets getting hacked.

A significant number of respondents (16 percent) said they don’t have a security code to keep their content private, and sharing phones with friends was cited by 6 percent of respondents as a reason to keep files private.

When asked whom Americans most want to prevent from accessing files on their smartphones, friends ranked first (22 percent), followed closely by children (21 percent) and coworkers (21 percent).

Furthermore, out of more than one-half (58 percent) of American adults who have smartphones, more than one-quarter (27 percent) said they feel the need to delete data or files to make storage space available, with 14 percent indicating they feel the need to do so, either very often or often.

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