Survey Says: Business Users, Tablets Increase Sensitive Data Transfers

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Half of all people using mobile devices for business transfer “sensitive” data over smartphones and tablets, according to a Harris Poll released Thursday. Results of the survey, compiled from the responses of more than 2300 Americans in late January 2011 indicate tablets such as Apple’s iPad may herald a post-PC society, with men and younger audiences more likely to trust the security of their mobile data.

FuzeBox, developers of collaboration solutions for desktop and mobile installations, commissioned the survey, which found that sensitive data transfers appear to be increasing in the mobile universe as professionals begin to adopt tablets in larger numbers, and that tablets, generally, increase the likelihood of transferring sensitive and private information.

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People under the age of 45 are significantly more likely to both use tablets to transfer sensitive data and to trust in the security of such transfers, according to the survey. Other recent surveys on the matter indicate problems with mobile data security are a concern more for IT managers and corporate CIOs than they are for users themselves.

Interestingly, the Harris poll out Thursday shows that strong feelings at the margins are nearly identical, with 18% of all mobile device users being “extremely confident” in the security of their mobile data, while 15% have no faith in its security at all.

“We have effectively entered the post PC era,” said Jeff Cavins, CEO of FuzeBox. “As the use of Tablets increase across the world, mobile security will become vitally important, especially as users more willingly trust these devices for sensitive and private information.”

Specific findings of the poll include:

Sensitive data

Of online adults who own and use a tablet:

48% transfer sensitive data
42% transfer sensitive data for personal use
20% transfer sensitive data for business/professional use

Of online adults who own and use a smartphone:

30% transfer sensitive data
26% transfer sensitive data for personal use
14% transfer sensitive data for business/professional use.

Subgroup Differences

Based on the results of the survey it appears that men are generally more likely to own/use these devices, and to use them to transfer sensitive data.

Of those who own and use a smartphone and/or tablet PC for personal and/or business/professional use:

Men are more likely than women to say they are at least confident in the security of the data that is being transferred over their smartphone or tablet PC (47% vs. 34% respectively).

Younger adults aged 18-34 (52%) are more likely than adults aged 35-44 (41%), 45-54 (28%) and 55+ (33%) to be at least confident in the security of the data that is being transferred over their smartphone or tablet PC.

Of those who own and use a smartphone:

Adults ages 18-34 (37%), 35-44 (33%) and 45-54 (21%) are more likely than those aged 55+ (9%) to use it to transfer sensitive data.

Of those who own and use a tablet PC:

Adults ages 18-34 (61%) and 35-44 (56%) are more likely than those ages 45-54 (33%) and 55+ (20%) to use it to transfer sensitive data.

Of those who own and use a smartphone and/or tablet PC:

Those who use it for business/professional use are more likely to be at least confident in the security of the data that is being transferred over their smartphone or tablet PC than those who use it for personal use (52% vs. 42% respectively).

Confidence in mobile security

Of adults who own and use a tablet or smartphone:

18% are extremely/very confident in the security of the data that is being transferred over their device(s).

15% are not at all confident in the security of the data that is being transferred over their device(s).

About the survey

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of FuzeBox, from January 27 to 31, 2011 among 2,364 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact kayvan(at)vscconsulting(dot)com

About Harris

Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris Interactive specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit http://www.harrisinteractive.com.

About FuzeBox

FuzeBox is a leading platform provider of real time visual collaboration applications for millions of end users across various businesses. Its applications – Fuze Meeting, Fuze Messenger, Fuze Movie and Tweetshare – allow people to communicate, collaborate and share content from any device, anywhere in the world. Fuze Meeting is a mobile and web-based collaboration service that features integrated audio conferencing as well as high-definition, synchronized video and image sharing. The company’s technology is based on a real-time visual communications platform that converges telephony, high-definition, synchronized video and image sharing across the enterprise, the web and mobile networks. FuzeBox, and its subsidiary Callwave have been awarded and holds 22 patents, with over 44 more pending in the fields of telephony, web and visual media technologies to transform how professionals and individuals communicate. For more information, please visit http://www.fuzebox.com.