More Than 1/3 of Americans Leave Phones Unlocked

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

It turns out that American smartphone owners are not great at protecting their privacy. In a new report from security firm Lookout, 34 percent of American mobile users who claimed to be the most aware of privacy risks didn't even set a pin or passcode on their phone. Another 35 percent downloaded apps from unofficial marketplaces, which is a great way to get malware on your phone. The results come from 1,012 U.S. respondents found through an online survey. Most of them (52 percent) didn't read the privacy policy before downloading app — which might be because it would take 76 work days to read all the lengthy privacy policies the average Internet user encounters in a year. A full 76 percent of the respondents said that they had connected to public or open Wi-Fi, something Lookout said was a bad idea. (Connecting to those open networks through a virtual private network (VPN) is a good idea.) Despite their bad habits, 91 percent of Americans view their security practices as average or above average.



— Keith Wagstaff