As the reliance on mobile phones increases, so do the potential damages that occur by losing them. The dangers extend to all the apps and information that is stored on the device, perhaps most notably, access to banking details.

78% of the respondents use their smartphones for mobile banking. This is according to Nuke From Orbit, a UK Fintech startup. Nuke From Orbit has recently unveiled findings from its latest research report, ‘Evolving smartphone usage and the growing threat to consumers’.

The report sheds light on a concerning trend in smartphone thefts, indicating that in 62% of cases in the UK, the repercussions extend far beyond the initial loss of the device. 

According to the research, not only were respondents’ social media and email accounts accessed, but one in four individuals also fell victim to digital wallet theft, resulting in monetary losses. Alarmingly, the study reveals that one in five respondents experienced compromised personal bank accounts through unauthorised access via mobile banking apps.

The findings come amid the evolving boom in smartphone usage and the growing identity threat that users face. Although smartphones were created to simplify life with their many functions, this convenience has also made consumers more vulnerable to risk in spite of increased security features on devices and apps. 

85% of smartphone users use the device for accessing email

71% of smartphones users use their device for managing social media and 51% for a digital wallet, indicating that cybercriminals can easily access their personal data from a single mobile device. 45% are in the habit of using the same PIN to gain access to the phone and multiple apps, services, and bank cards.

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James O’Sullivan, CEO and founder of Nuke From Orbit commented: “Biometrics were introduced to make smartphones more secure because the frequency with which you need to input a PIN is greatly reduced, but our research shows this has led to some complacency. Criminals are returning to old-school shoulder surfing tactics – that made ATMs a nightmare to access the phones they then steal to commit secondary crimes. As an industry, we need to provide smartphone users with the highest level of protection by harnessing technology for instant data security when their devices are compromised.”