Dutch people don't pay enough attention to smartphone security

In the Netherlands, only a third of people use their fingerprints or PINs to secure their smartphones, and 37 per cent have 'find my phone' or 'remote location' features enabled. Fortunately, nearly half have anti-virus apps installed.

The figures come from a survey of three thousand people in the Netherlands carried out by SIDN as part of the Hackman campaign. SIDN started Hackman to raise the Dutch public's awareness of on-line identity security issues. The campaign featured a series of videos, in which ethical hacker Rickey Gevers found his way into the virtual world of actress and presenter Lieke van Lexmond.

Hackman -socialpost-persbericht-thumbnail

Automatic updates

As well as watching the videos, visitors to hackman.nl were able to find out how secure their own smartphones were by completing a questionnaire. From the findings, it seems that Dutch people are pretty good about installing software updates: 'only' 12 per cent swipe away update reminders and forget about them. Nearly a third of respondents said that they had automatic updates enabled, and a similar number updated promptly after getting notifications.

Two-factor authentication

One in three respondents said that they use two-factor authentication (2FA) for logging in to their social media accounts. With 2FA, the user has to identify themselves using two out of the three possible ways: with something that they know (e.g. a PIN), with something that they have (e.g. a smartphone), or with some unique physical feature (e.g. a fingerprint). Apps are also available that will handle your social media log-ins on the basis of 2FA. Password managers were used by 14 per cent of the people who completed the questionnaire, while 33 per cent let their phones save their details for automatic log-in. One in five opt to retype their password every time.

"Some Dutch people are aware of the risks of lax smartphone security. However, our findings confirm the bottom line of the National Cybersecurity Awareness Survey 2018, published yesterday by NCTV and the Alert Online initiative. In short: there's enormous room for improvement," says SIDN's CEO Roelof Meijer. "For example, only a third of people are using two-factor authentication for mobile social media log-ins. On the plus side, 60 per cent of the Dutch public say they install software updates straight away, while 30 per cent swipe away update notifications, but install the updates later."


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