Smartphone users want more protection – and don’t mind being fingerprinted, says Paypal

Smartphone users want more protection for the data on their cellphone – and are perfectly comfortable being fingerprinted if that’s the best option, accoriding to a new survey commissioned by PayPal.

A survey of 1,000 Americans commissioned by PayPal and the National Cyber Security Alliance found that users were most comfortable with having antivirus or security software on their cellphones to protect their data – with 30% of polled users picking this option, according to The Next Web.

Biometrics – including the fingerprint reader on the iPhone 5S – were also popular with those polled, with 18.7% of users willing to protect their device this way.

 The increasing need for security on mobile devices was also highlighted by other answers from the survey, with one in six of those surveyed saying that they made 25% of their purchases using a smartphone or mobile device, according to CNBC.

Around 70% of users believe that storing financial data on smartphones or mobile devices without additional protection is unsafe.

Reports this week suggested that Android devices may soon be offered a standardised fingerprint ID system, and leaks from within Samsung suggested that future Note and Galaxy devices could ship with the security hardware built in according to Phones Review.

“Mobile devices present unique security advantages including location information and biometric authentication,” said Andy Steingruebl, Director of Ecosystem Security, PayPal. “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.”

 Apple’s choice of biometric security for its new iPhone has sparked much discussion of biometrics as a way to improve security – as witness We Live Security reports here.

 Stephen Cobb, Security Researcher with ESET says that we may be on the verge of widespread deployment of biometrics. Cobb says, “Successful implementation of biometrics in a segment leading product could bode well for consumer acceptance.”

 “I have been a fan of biometrics as an added authentication factor ever since I first researched multi-factor and 2FA systems 20 years ago, however, user adoption is very sensitive to performance; in other words the iPhone 5S could advance biometrics, or put a whole lot of people off biometrics.”

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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