PayPal and the National Cyber Security Alliance Unveil Results of New Mobile Security Survey

More than Half of Mobile Consumers Comfortable with Biometric Authentication

SAN JOSE, Calif.--()--PayPal and the National Cyber Security Alliance today unveiled the results from a new Zogby Poll highlighting the latest trends, concerns and misperceptions around mobile security and commerce. The survey is in support of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), an effort that educates millions of people each year about the importance of online safety and security.

"Mobile devices present unique security advantages including location information and biometric authentication. According to our survey, more than half of mobile consumers are comfortable using biometrics to authenticate themselves on mobile devices. Many users do not realize that location information can help detect and prevent fraudulent transactions. For example, if a transaction takes place in San Francisco and another one in Dallas a few minutes later, we can investigate for suspicious activity," said Andy Steingruebl, Director of Ecosystem Security, PayPal. "NCSAM presents a great opportunity for PayPal and the NCSA to educate consumers on mobile security, and highlight the continued innovation across the industry to keep users safe online."

The national survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults underscores how deeply entrenched in American’s daily lives mobile devices have become. For example, two-thirds of the people surveyed told us that their smartphone is never further than one room away, and one in ten said they keep their phone handy everywhere they go, with the possible exception of the bathroom. In addition, the survey highlighted the growing importance of mobile devices as a tool for shopping, with one in four respondents reporting that they complete at least one transaction per day on their smartphone, while one in six say they make at least 25 percent of all their purchases on their smartphone.

The survey also uncovered a general sense of unease about the security of financial information on mobile devices if lost or stolen and made it clear that many people aren’t taking the steps necessary to use their mobile devices safely.

For example, nearly 70 percent of Americans believe that storing payment information on their smartphone is unsafe. At PayPal, customers' information is securely stored in the cloud. The survey also found that 63 percent of people do not have a clear idea about what financial information is stored on their smartphones and more than half don’t lock their mobile device with a PIN.

"The survey results clearly indicate that consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices to conduct transactions," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. "However, they also show that consumers need to get more active about mobile security, especially around basic security measures such as adding a PIN code or password to their devices and understanding what kinds of information their devices store."

The NCSA and PayPal advise that the common action step for all Internet users is STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Take safety and security precautions, understand the consequences of your actions and behaviors and connect and enjoy the Internet. Other helpful mobile safety tips include:

  • Always activate a PIN or lock function for your mobile device: A PIN is the simplest and most important thing you can do to ensure security on your mobile device especially if it is lost or stolen.
  • Automate software updates: Many software programs automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates on your mobile device if that’s an available option.
  • Use common sense when downloading apps: Unknown or repackaged apps can contain malware designed to steal financial information from a mobile device, so always purchase or download apps from companies that you trust and check reviews. When installing new applications, review permissions and decide whether you’re comfortable granting the access that an application asks for.
  • Enable "Find My Device": If your phone, carrier or antivirus software supports the "find my device" feature, it’s a good idea to activate it. This functionality will help you find your device if it’s lost or stolen, and lock it or wipe it clean remotely if you need to.
  • Backup your device: It is critical to backup your device on a regular basis. Some operating systems offer this option as an automated service. If you ever need to exercise the remote wipe feature mentioned above, you will be glad you have a current backup that you can recover to a new device.

The survey found that many people are open to new approaches to mobile security that would increase their safety. In particular, there are strong indications that many people are willing to take advantage of biometric technology to protect themselves against mobile security threats. The survey found that Americans are overwhelmingly comfortable replacing passwords with newer security technologies such as fingerprint identification (53 percent) and retinal scans (45 percent).

Consumer security is of upmost importance to PayPal, supported by strong purchase protection, storing information securely in the cloud and utilizing advanced technologies for fraud detection. This also includes efforts like the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, where PayPal and other industry leaders are working together to develop new and better ways to make online authentication faster, easier and more secure.

In honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the NCSA and STOP. THINK. CONNECT., the national cyber security education and awareness campaign, developed a "Safety & Security Tips On the Go" brochure, which has more information about mobile security. It’s available at: http://staysafeonline.org/ncsam/resources/.

NCSA and PayPal will also discuss the survey results and mobile security tips during a Mobile & On the Go Twitter Chat on Thursday, October 10 at 3 p.m. ET. Participants can use the hashtag #ChatSTC to join. More information is available at: www.stopthinkconnect.org/twitterchats.

About National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Now in its 10th year, NCSAM is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity in order to increase the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber-incident. Since President Obama’s proclamation in 2004, NCSAM has been formally recognized by Congress; federal, state and local governments, as well as leaders from industry and academia. This united effort is necessary to maintain a cyberspace that is safer, more resilient and remains a source of tremendous opportunity and growth for years to come. For more information, visit http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam or www.dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month.

About PayPal

PayPal is the faster, safer way to pay and get paid online. The service allows people to send payments without sharing financial information, with the flexibility to pay using their account balances, bank accounts (where available), credit and debit cards in various markets. PayPal is an eBay (Nasdaq:EBAY) company and enables global e-commerce with over 132 million active accounts in 193 markets and 25 currencies around the world. PayPal is headquartered in San Jose, California and its international headquarters is located in Singapore. More information about the company can be found at https://www.paypal.com.

About The National Cyber Security Alliance

The National Cyber Security Alliance is a non-profit organization. Through collaboration with the government, corporate, non-profit and academic sectors, the mission of the NCSA is to educate and empower a digital citizenry to use the Internet securely and safely protect themselves and the technology they use and the digital assets we all share. NCSA board members include: ADP, AT&T, Bank of America, Comcast, EMC Corporation, ESET, Facebook, Google, Intel, McAfee, Microsoft, PayPal, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Symantec, Trend Micro, Verizon and Visa. Visit www.staysafeonline.org for more information and join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/staysafeonline.

Contacts

MSLGroup for PayPal
Heather Craft, 415-817-2532
heather.craft@mslgroup.com
or
463 Communications for the National Cyber Security Alliance
Krista Alestock, 202-463-0060
krista.alestock@463.com

Release Summary

PayPal and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) release results of survey on mobile security and commerce.

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Contacts

MSLGroup for PayPal
Heather Craft, 415-817-2532
heather.craft@mslgroup.com
or
463 Communications for the National Cyber Security Alliance
Krista Alestock, 202-463-0060
krista.alestock@463.com