9 in 10 Mobile Device Users Will Swap Personal Info For Offers

November 12, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Mobile Phone | Privacy & Security | Retail & E-Commerce

Fully 88% of American smartphone and/or tablet users are willing to provide some level of personal information over their devices in exchange for offers that are valuable to them, according to results from a McAfee survey, conducted by Harris Interactive and released in November. These respondents are most commonly (76%) happy to put aside worries about clutter and be willing to provide their email address.

In exchange for such offers as free items, discounts, or reminders about future offers, 62% of smartphone and/or tablet users are willing to provide their names; 56% their ages; and 36% their addresses and mobile phone numbers. Just 7% are willing to provide their credit card numbers, and 3% their social security numbers. A reticent 12% say that they would not be willing to provide any personal information in exchange for such offers.

September findings from LoyaltyOne showed a similar trend among American consumers as a whole ”” that they will share some, but not all personal information, with companies they trust. Incentives to play a role, though: 57% in that survey reported being somewhat or very likely to provide their locations for a cash incentive, with other incentives influencing a minority being reward points (46%), relevant offers (33%), and a chance to win an iPad (28%).

Data Theft A Key Concern With Apps

Consumers are quite concerned that personal information can be stolen when they use mobile applications on smartphones or tablets, as data from McAfee’s “2012 Online/Mobile Shopping Habits & Security Concerns” reveals. Nearly 9 in 10 respondents indicate being at least somewhat concerned about the possibility, including 17% who are extremely concerned and 18% who are very concerned. Just 10% indicate that they are not concerned at all, while 3% report that they don’t use mobile apps.

Respondents appear to view permissions as the key defense in app security, and two-thirds of respondents indicate that they pay attention to permissions when downloading apps, while 28% pay no attention at all, with an additional 6% indicating that they don’t download apps.

With regards to online shopping websites, consumers overall see far more indicators of security, and 8 in 10 confirm using at least one tested method of deeming a shopping site as safe or secure. 66% look for a security icon, while 47% believe the presence of “https” in the website address indicates safety. 7% of respondents indicate indicate they are aware of some other method for verifying security, but, 20% report that they are unable to tell if an online shopping site is secure.

Other Findings:

  • 41% of smartphones and/or tablet owners indicate that they have used their device to research or purchase holiday gifts.
  • One-third of consumers overall plan on using a tablet (21%) or a smartphone (19%) to shop online this holiday season. See here for more on mobile’s influence this upcoming holiday season.

About The Data: The Online/Mobile Shopping Habits & Security Concerns survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of McAfee, Inc. via McAfee’s QuickQuery product from September 24-26, 2012 among 2397 US adults ages 18 and older. 58% of respondents own a smartphone and/or a tablet.

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