We are ALL about secure communications. So when we recently studied the attitudes of consumers towards the privacy of their mobile communications and the steps they are taking to protect themselves, we uncovered some disturbing facts.
We learned what we already assumed to be true - consumers are generally worried that their text messages and phone calls are not secure and can be hacked or compromised. Our research found that 74 percent of 18-29 year olds are concerned that the government has access to the info on their mobile devices. But it’s not just millennials who have privacy concerns: more than 40 percent of people aged 30-44 are moderately to extremely concerned that their private communications might be seen or heard by others. The older demographic appears to be less anxious about privacy.
The kicker? Only 50 percent of respondents are taking proactive steps to ensure their privacy by using messaging apps that claim security and encryption. The sad reality, however, is that many of these apps have already been hacked, exposing private, personal photos and communications
Also, it’s 2015. Sexting is rampant, especially among millennials. Forty-six percent stated they have sexted but only 5 percent use apps that offer some security. While sexting is indeed risky, the act of texting is also often a source of remorse. Seventy-two percent of millennials told us they have experienced “text regret”. Fifty-six said emotion or anger prompted them to send texts they later wished they could unsend while 43 percent said they’d sent text messages accidentally and wished they could go back in time and delete them.
To us, it’s clear there’s an urgent need for education. Mobile users are putting themselves at risk through sexting and other regrettable activities, and generally assuming that their communications are protected. Sadly, we’ve all read the headlines about leaked photos and messages. The reality is that the word “encryption” is not a panacea for security.
So what’s a consumer to look for when shopping for a messaging app that really does live up to its security claims? Here’s your quick checklist:
The good news? Sixty percent of our study respondents said they’d be eager to use a messaging/voice calling app if it truly guaranteed their privacy. More good news: here’s where you can find it: