Only 40% of Canadian cell phone users password-protect their phones or use other privacy options, a survey by Canada's privacy commissioner found. The results of the 2000-person survey were released in August and written up in a Globe And Mail piece entitled "How private is that text message?".
When I saw the headline, I honestly thought it was going to be something about the security of SMS messages... but in fact it was about the security of the cell phones themselves. If the phones aren't secured then someone can go in and look at your text messages. Ergo... the link-bait title of the article. (And yes, it got me to look.)
Still, it had some interesting data points such as the fact that the users from age 18 to 34 were the ones most likely to use privacy tools, which is good to see, since they are probably the ones pumping the most information out online.
Nice to see, too, that 82 percent did not think police should have access to your online usage info without a warrant.
I was surprised, in all honestly, about the 40% number... I actually might have thought of it being lower as I know MANY people who don't password-protect their phones mostly because of the "inconvenience" of having to enter the password to get into the phone.
And in truth the % who password-protect their phones may be lower... the article says that "only four in 10 people password-protect their phones or adjust privacy settings on personal-information sharing via downloaded applications". The number of people who adjust privacy settings - but don't password-protect their phone - may be driving that % up.
I wonder what a survey like this might find in the United States?
Do you password-protect your phone? (I do)
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