A new report from youth insights consultancy Voxburner into online security and data privacy reveals that only 19% of 16-24s use security software on their mobile device, compared to 87% who do so on their laptop or PC.
The vast majority of young people (93%) believe they have a high or good ability to deal with security threats across all their devices, whilst over half (58%) consider themselves only at minor risk.
Young males consider themselves to have a higher ability to spot dangers than their female counterparts. 45% of male 18-24s say they are very confident in their ability to avoid online security threats, compared to 28% of female 18-24s.
Commenting on the results Luke Mitchell, Head of Insights at Voxburner, says “Most young people regard themselves as advanced technology users who are experienced enough to recognise scams and avoid viruses, but it is surprising how little concern they show when it comes to their phone being at risk. There is an worrying assumption that they are safe from dangers on their mobiles.”
Zoe, aged 21 from Kingston upon Hull says, “I didn’t even know you could get antivirus for your phone. To be honest I don’t download anything on to my phone anyway so I don’t know how I could get a virus.”
Jess, aged 19 from Cardiff says, “I have heard of antivirus software for phones, however I think people chose not to get it due to the limited space available on their phones. Having an antivirus software might prevent people from having so many songs, or even apps and photos.”
The report also revealed young technology users are resistant to thumbprint scanning built into the lock screen of their phone. Even if it offers some benefits, 18-24s spoke of the disruption to their user experience - they value convenience and speed above improved security.
April, 19 from Reading says, “OTT much! And what if you need someone to use your phone quickly for you? For laptops I can just about understand it, or for a front door. But a phone? No way.”
Raphael aged 20 says, “It’s a pretty cool feature, but I’m not too keen on Apple having my fingerprints no matter how much they say it’s private and secure. It’s also not worth upgrading from the iPhone 5 for the new features.”