Young Adults Most Likely to Lose a Phone, Making Them Top Targets for Mobile Hackers

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In the past year, over one-in-four young Internet users have lost their devices (17%) or had their devices stolen (13%), with a third losing access to their online accounts, or suffering from a loss of data privacy as a result. According to the research from Kaspersky Lab and B2B International, young users lose devices more frequently than older adults.

Whilst one-in-seven users (14%) overall has experienced the loss or theft of a device, this figure rises to 26% among users under the age of 24. Of the 16 to 24 year olds affected, 83% say they suffered negative consequences afterwards, slightly higher than the overall average of 77%.

A third (32%) of 16-24 year olds have had their online accounts hacked as a result (compared to 27% on average). One-in-four has suffered the permanent loss of precious personal images and videos (25%), along with the leaking of personal and sensitive information (24%).

A fifth of users overall were disciplined at work after having their device lost or stolen, because the device in question contained business data (22%). In addition, a fifth noticed that financial details stored on the device had been misused (21%).

When affected by loss or theft, to protect themselves, only four-in-ten blocked the device through their mobile operator or reported the incident to the police, and only 29% remotely wiped the device or tried to track it down using ‘find my device’ software (15%).

“Mobile devices have become central to our lives. They are like friends that we carry everywhere with us. Most of us store sensitive and personal information on them, whether that is pictures of our family, online banking details, personal email messages or passwords to access our daily lives Yet, it is easy for our devices, when lost or stolen to become digital frenemies,” comments Evgeny Guryanov, Product Manager at Kaspersky Lab.

“Device loss or theft is not just an inconvenience but a breach of your very identity and privacy. It is therefore imperative that it is, at the very least, password protected, that all sensitive data is encrypted, and that mobile security apps are up to date. Using an anti-theft feature as part of a wider security solution to block third-parties, help locate the device and clean it of personal data if necessary, can go a long way to protecting users, even after loss or theft,” adds Guryanov.

Kaspersky Internet Security for Android helps mitigate the risks for users of Android mobile devices. Its anti-theft protection, combined with a powerful combination of anti-malware, privacy and web protection, enhances the security of user data; offering privacy even in the event of device theft or loss.

Survey Methodology

Kaspersky Lab’s Consumer Security Risks Survey 2015 was conducted online by B2B International in June 2015. Users from 26 countries were surveyed online, up from 23 in 2014.

A total of 12,355 people aged 16 and over were surveyed, equally split between men and women. One in three (29%) was aged under 24, 26% was aged between 25 and 34, 19% was aged 35 to 44, 14% was aged 45 to 54, and 12% was aged 55 and over. Just under half (42%) of those surveyed had children aged 16 or younger in the household.