Personal information stored on unsecured mobile phones is leaving millions of users exposed to the risk of identity theft and fraud, according to a recent report by data protection firm Credant Technologies.
Eight out of 10 respondents to a recent survey said that they store personal information on their mobile phones that could be accessed by anyone. Four out of 10 admitted that there was not even a basic password on the device to limit entry.
The sensitive information included: bank account details, stored by 16 per cent of respondents; Pins and passwords (24 per cent); and credit card information (10 per cent).
Almost every respondent said that their phone covers business and personal use, and Credant warned that the potential dangers stretch further than the individual who owns the device.
"Once you have access to someone's emails, passwords, birthdays, business diary, documents, children's names and pets' names you can easily masquerade as that person, sending out emails under their name, reading all their corporate data and getting to see every personal detail of their life," said Paul Huntingdon, public sector director at Credant.
"People are ignorant of how easily a professional thief could take over their life and effectively destroy it. It is therefore imperative that all mobile phone users, even with the most basic handset, password protect and encrypt them."
Huntingdon added that this danger is only likely to get worse with the growing trend toward ubiquitous mobile access to business services and applications.