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A report resurfaced by the Pew Research Center recently shows many Americans don’t even take the most basic steps to secure their smartphones, like, enabling the lock screen.
The survey, which was conducted last spring, found that 28 percent (!) of respondents didn’t even use a lock screen on their smartphone. It’s the simplest way to protect the phone, and it’s effortless with the ubiquitous thumbprint scanner. Leaving the phone totally unlocked doesn’t even protect against a snooping parent or significant other. Those without lock screens must be very open to anyone scrolling through their phones.
Keeping phones up to date was also a challenge for a large chunk of the phone-owning public, as a full 40 percent of respondents said they only update their devices when it’s convenient. A smaller group of smartphone owners, 14 percent, admitted to never updating their phone’s software. People are paying hundreds of dollars for smartphones and then letting them run below their full potential.
Here’s a message for those who refuse to update their software: The phone crashing and the personal data being compromised by flaws from running an outdated OS is way more inconvenient than taking a few moments to update. You don’t necessarily run any risk by waiting a bit to update after a new OS rolls out, but for security’s sake, moving to the new system in a somewhat timely fashion is the best way to go. It shouldn’t just be when it’s convenient — it should be a priority.
Only 22 percent of respondents were responsible, using lock screens and making a point to update their apps and OS right away. The Pew Research Center report surveyed 1,040 people.