Despite an increasing number of Australians using their smartphones to shop and pay bills, many do not protect the information on their mobiles.
According to new research from PayPal Australia, one in six (16 per cent) Australian smartphone users have lost, misplaced or had their phone stolen in the last year, but only 30 per cent remotely wiped their data after losing their smartphone and less than half (43 per cent) changed their online passwords. Many Australians have not even set up a first line of defence for their smartphone as half (49 per cent) of Australian smartphone users don’t use a passcode on their mobile device, according to the secure payments provider.
“Australia is among one of the largest mobile markets in terms of smartphone penetration,” says Prashanth Ranganathan, director of mobile security and risk at PayPal.
“Australian consumers are increasingly using their smartphones to shop and pay while on the go but are unaware of the size of the digital footprint stored in their smartphones. By transacting through PayPal, consumers are provisioned with an additional layer of protection by ensuring their personal financial information is never stored on the physical device and never shared with businesses they are transacting with.”
Australians are keen to take advantage of the mobile convenience of smartphone technology, but according to PayPal’s research are not protecting themselves beyond the home. Smartphone owners were three times more likely to be more mindful of the security of their wallets than of their smartphones and one in three (36 per cent) stay logged into mobile applications. 
“With over 12 million Australian smartphone users expected in 2012, criminals are now making moves to target mobile users,” Alastair MacGibbon, director at CIS says.
“Australians must stay alert and ensure they protect themselves across all their devices. As the technology evolves and more Australians use their smartphone devices to fulfil a wider range of functions, consumers need to keep an eye out for fraudulent encounters and be educated about ways to safeguard their smartphones from cybercrime.”
Jeff Clementz, managing director of PayPal Australia says that with 4.5 million active users in Australia, PayPal is committed to protecting the personal information of its customers by ensuring their financial information is never shared. 
“Australians now expect to be able to shop and pay no matter where they are, whether it be in-store, online or via their mobile,” he says. “Consumers need to ensure they are armed with the knowledge and tools necessary to protect themselves while enjoying the convenience afforded by new technologies.”