Title

RAMIFICATIONS OF MOBILE PHONE ADVANCED O/S ON SECURITY PERCEPTIONS AND PRACTICES

Abstract

The present paper correlates advanced operating systems (O/S) in mobile phones to the security perceptions and practices of users. It is based upon the results of a survey that took place in 17 Universities of 10 Eastern and Southern Europe countries. 7172 questionnaires were gathered and processed with the results showing that there is a statistically significant connection between the type of the phone’s O/S (advanced or not) and the security feeling, awareness and practices of users. Users of advanced O/S believe they are more informed and feel more secure (both statistically proved). Unfortunately, even though they subjectively feel informed, their actual objective score in regards to awareness questions is lower than that of non advanced O/S users, while their actual security behavior, is just slightly better than that of other users. This false sense of security and awareness renders them more vulnerable than others. In any case, the overall percentages reveal general lack of awareness and moderate attention to security issues, with some even alarming findings. As such, the need for security education, combined with transparent security features in the phones is apparent. Furthermore, in regards to this specific research topic, there are not available any already validated questionnaires. Our research, apart from revealing the situation, aims at providing a basis for the formulation of similar questionnaires for future use.

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