Kaspersky Antivirus 2017
Kaspersky Antivirus 2017Kaspersky

Over 50 percent of smartphone users do not use passwords or anti-theft solutions, leaving their devices and the increasing amount of precious data on them accessible to anyone, says a survey.

Many people today rely on their mobile devices to access the Internet and carry out online activities, such as online banking, emails and social media activities, all of which involves a huge quantity of sensitive data.

The survey by Russia-based cyber security company Kaspersky Lab showed that less than 48 per cent of people password-protect their mobile devices and just 14 per cent of people encrypt their files and folders to avoid unauthorized access.

"We all love our connected devices because they give us access to vital information, from anywhere at any time. They are valuable items that criminals naturally want to get their hands on, and their job is made easier by the fact that every other pickpocketed phone is not password protected," said Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab.

Further, the survey showed that less than half (41 per cent) of people make backups of their data and only 22 per cent use anti-theft features on their mobile devices.

If these devices fall into the wrong hands, all of this data from personal accounts, including photos, messages and even financial details could become accessible to someone else, the study said.

"There are a few really simple things that everyone can do to secure their devices and the data they hold. By applying password protection and using a dedicated security solution, including anti-theft protection, you can protect your personal information, photos and online accounts from both loss and malicious usage," Aleshin added.

Mobile security has become a key area of contention between law enforcement officials and tech companies of late. While most companies happily unlock their devices for police, Apple has been engaging in a longstanding battle with the FBI over whether or not to provide a backdoor access to iOS.