Tablet Users Passing More Sensitive Data: Report

Even as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) gets set to release the iPad 2, the next generation of its best-selling iPad on Friday, a new survey raises security concerns related to tablets. The Harris Interactive survey released Thursday shows tablet users transmit more sensitive information on tablet devices than they do on smartphones and aren’t very confident about the security of that data.

For example, 48 percent of tablet users surveyed said they transfer sensitive data on the device. By contrast, only 30 percent of smartphone users in the survey said they use the device to transfer sensitive data. Survey sponsor FuzeBox said participants were given examples of “sensitive data” such as credit card, financial or personal information for personal use of the device and examples like financial and proprietary information for business use.

There was some evidence of a gender gap among the findings. For example, 47 percent of men responding to the survey said they were confident in the security of the data they transfer over smartphone and tablet PCs, while only 34 percent of women responded similarly.

Also, younger adults showed more confidence in the security of data being transferred over their smartphone or tablet PC. More than half (52 percent) of those aged 18-34 said they were confident with the security, while older adults were less so. While 41 percent of those aged 35-44 expressed confidence only 28 percent of those aged 45 to 54 and only 33 percent of those 55 or older, concurred. .

Of those surveyed who own and use a tablet or smartphone only 18 percent overall said they were either extremely or very confident in the security of the data being transferred over their devices. On the flip side, 15 percent said they were not at all confident in the security.

Given its ability to perform closer to a true PC, it’s not surprising that tablet users would process more sensitive information than smartphone users. In fact, some reports have indicated consumers and enterprises are buying tablets instead of notebook PCs.

“We have effectively entered the post PC era. As the use of tablets increase across the world, mobile security will become a vitally important factor in the delivery of services to these platforms, especially as users more willingly trust these devices for sensitive and private information,” said Jeff Cavins, CEO of FuzeBox, in a statement. The FuzeBox platform offers real-time visual collaboration applications across a variety of businesses.

The survey was conducted online in the U.S. by Harris Interactive from January 27 to 31 of this year among 2,364 adults ages 18 and older and was sponsored by

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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David Needle
David Needle is a veteran technology reporter based in Silicon Valley. He covers mobile, big data, customer experience and social media, among other topics. He was formerly news editor at Infoworld, editor of Computer Currents and TabTimes and West Coast bureau chief for both InformationWeek and

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