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Study Highlights Mobile Data Security Concerns

A recent comparative study conducted on mobile phone users on both sides of the Atlantic has highlighted the differences and similarities in attitudes about the security of mobile phones and the data they contain.

The survey, conducted by iReach Insights on behalf of Inhance Technologies, set out to investigate attitudes to mobile phone security and whether there is interested in enhanced product warranties which include coverage of the data contained on mobile devices.

The data from the survey showed that in both the UK and the USA mobile phone users are concerned about the security of the data stored on their phones and in the cloud. While today’s Smartphones are expensive, the majority of users rate the data stored on their mobiles as being at least of equal value to the phone itself. Three quarters of U.S respondents believed the data to be of equal value as the phone, with the figure rising to 80% in the 18-54 age range.

Fear of loss of a phone has increased with over a quarter (27%) of U.S respondents more worried about the loss of their device than 12 months previously, while the figure stands at 22% in the UK. With an increased fear of loss and a high value placed on the data stored on Smartphones the market is ripe for tech companies and insurers who can offer enhanced data security tools to protect Smartphone data. Insurance policies covering the device itself could give way to more comprehensive policies which also take the value of the data into account.

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Insurance providers have previously offered only device coverage in the event of theft, which for first and second generation mobile phones was sufficient. Today, with the huge volume of data stored on Smartphones and tablets, product warranties need to change to provide the coverage that today’s mobile users require.

70 percent of respondents were concerned about their phone being stolen, not for the cost of replacement of the phone itself, but the loss of data which in many cases is irreplaceable.

Added security features would be of interest to consumers and are a major selling point according to the study which showed that 52% of adults in the United States would be more likely to choose a particular mobile if it had enhanced security features that protected the content in the event of theft, while younger users are even more likely to purchase mobiles with security apps and features. 62% of respondents would be likely to purchase insurance to cover both device and data if it was available.

So while the general public is increasingly concerned with data privacy, a large majority of medical service providers do not yet have a HIPAA texting policy in place to protect patient data.

Author: Steve Alder is the editor-in-chief of HIPAA Journal. Steve is responsible for editorial policy regarding the topics covered on HIPAA Journal. He is a specialist on healthcare industry legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA and other related legal topics. Steve has developed a deep understanding of regulatory issues surrounding the use of information technology in the healthcare industry and has written hundreds of articles on HIPAA-related topics.