Mobile Security Not a Major Concern for Holiday Shoppers

Despite the increased mobile security risks, a Tripwire survey suggests consumers are not so preoccupied with keeping their mobile purchases safe.

Despite mobile malware concerns, many plan to use their mobile phones for holiday shopping, with consumers from wealthier households three times more likely to shop for the holidays using their mobile devices, according to a survey of 1,400 consumers in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The survey, commissioned by security and compliance management solutions specialist Tripwire and conducted by Dimensional Research and OnePoll, found 50 percent more men than women say the convenience of mobile shopping overrides security concerns.

The vast majority--91 percent of U.S. consumers and 83 percent of U.K. respondents—said they believe that shopping on a computer provides more security than shopping on a mobile phone.

The report also revealed 59 percent of U.S. respondents and 65 percent of U.K. respondents said they do not have any security software on their mobile phone.

In addition, male respondents are 50 percent more likely than female respondents to shop on their mobile devices at work, and respondents from wealthier households are seven times more likely to say there is no maximum price for items they would purchase with their mobile device.

"Shopping on mobile devices is all about convenience, and it is clear from the data that consumers are quite willing to forgo security for that convenience," Dwayne Melancon, chief technology officer for Tripwire, said in a statement. "The survey also seems to confirm the stereotype that men do not like to shop and will go out of their way to avoid shopping malls. It is also not surprising that affluent households are more likely to shop on mobile devices this holiday season; after all, they will have more discretionary income to spend and typically place a higher value on the convenience of shopping online."

Mobile shopping is expected to increase dramatically this holiday season. Digital measurement company comScore recently announced that mobile commerce spending on smartphones and tablets in the United States increased $5.8 billion in the third quarter, representing a 26 percent increase over the same period last year.

Yet, during the same time period, mobile malware threats also increased 26 percent, suggesting consumers are more vulnerable to mobile attacks than ever before.

According to a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, more than half (55 percent) of consumers it surveyed said they would be using their mobile devices to check the availability of items before they go to the store.

One-half said they would be powering up their smartphones to track sales at stores and find items that are on sale, and just under one-half (49 percent) said they would use their mobile device to research gift ideas.