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Consumers’ Casual Privacy Habits Risk Sensitive Mobile Content

Consumers Share Passcodes and Unlocked Phones, Potentially Exposing Work, Financial and Personal Information

SAN FRANCISCO — December 13, 2016 — Consumers keep more and more sensitive personal and professional information on their mobile phones, but most people remain alarmingly casual about adequately protecting that private content, according to a new report.

The report from Keepsafe, the leader in Content Privacy, entitled The Myth of Mobile Phone Privacy revealed that people imperil confidential work documents, financial information, personal photos, and myriad other private information because they willingly share their mobile passcodes and often give their unlocked devices to others.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers also found that people are fiercely protective of email passwords, ATM pins and social security numbers, but while they increasingly use their phones to store that information, they are relatively relaxed about protecting access to the phone itself.

“Think about it this way: would you leave valuables lying around the house when you have given multiple people the keys or even worse, never lock the door?” said Keepsafe CEO, Zouhair Belkoura. “This research uncovered the risks people take with their personal information when they casually share their mobile passcodes or hand their phones to others.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Is my phone private? 70% of respondents think their personal content and information on their mobile device is only somewhat private or not private at all;
  • Why should I protect my info? 50% don’t think they keep private content or information on their phone, despite using phones to send and receive work emails and using mobile banking, payment and shopping apps;
  • Can I see your phone? 66% have given their phone passcode to someone else and 74% have handed their phone to someone unlocked, leaving themselves open to privacy breaches.

“Most people don’t think about how often they hand over their phones,” continued Belkoura. “For instance, in this survey, when we asked respondents generally if they had handed their unlocked phone to strangers, only seven percent of people admitted to doing so.”

“But when we conducted an additional, more specific survey of over 1,000 of our own Keepsafe users, 48 percent said they’ve given their unlocked phone to a stranger to have them take a photo, and 82 percent said a stranger had given them an unlocked phone to take a photo. These are exactly the commonplace situations that make us vulnerable,” he said.

Keepsafe is also releasing an infographic based on the survey data, highlighting the embarrassing situations that arise when personal content inopportunely pops up on phones. The data shows 1 in 3 people have had something pop up on their phones that others saw, and 1 in 4 people say it was something embarrassing — data that further demonstrates how basic passcodes fail to deliver the content privacy that consumers need.

Download the full report and infographic.

About Keepsafe

Keepsafe makes privacy simple in the digital world. Over 50 million people use Keepsafe’s secure vault to protect their private photos, videos, and documents. For consumers who want more control over their privacy, the freedom to be themselves, and peace of mind, Keepsafe locks down personal items so they stay private.

Founded in 2012 and based in San Francisco, CA, Keepsafe is on a mission to change the conversation — and the technology — around digital privacy.

Kelli Flores
104 West Partners for Keepsafe

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