Research from Kaspersky Lab has found that 52 percent of people do not password-protect their mobile devices, and only 22 percent of consumers use anti-theft solutions on their phones.

According to the report, today, most consumers rely heavily on mobile devices to store and access sensitive digital data. For example, over a third (35%) of people use their smartphone for online banking. Furthermore, 57 percent of people regularly use their smartphone to access personal email accounts and 55 percent use it for social media activities.

However, having a lot of precious data stored on their mobile device does not necessarily make consumers more security-conscious. Kaspersky Lab found that less than half (48%) of those surveyed password-protect their mobile devices, and just 14 percent encrypt their files and folders to avoid unauthorized access. This means that losing a device to petty crime could have serious consequences beyond the cost of the device itself, as all of the data on it– including photos, messages, and even financial details – could be compromised. 

Even if a device is protected by a password, many consumers are failing to take basic precautions to ensure that all is not lost if their device is broken or stolen. In fact, less than half (41%) of the respondents make backups of their data, so regardless of whether a criminal can access the data on a stolen device, it will not be recoverable to the owner. 

“We all love our connected devices because they give us access to vital information, from anywhere at any time,” said Dmitry Aleshin, VP for product marketing, Kaspersky Lab. “They are valuable items that criminals naturally want to get their hands on, and their job is made easier by the fact that every other pickpocketed phone is not password protected. By applying password protection and using a dedicated security solution, including anti-theft protection, you can protect your personal information, photos and online accounts from both loss and malicious usage.”