As many Aussie parents are juggling priorities with work and home, new research released in the HMD Global ANZ Smartphone and Data Security Report has found almost a quarter of those with children at home have increased their phone usage during COVID-19 for work related matters. 

The research has revealed that the majority of parents (83%) would use a complimentary work phone if offered one, yet shockingly, only 16% of Aussies employed during the pandemic currently own a work phone.  

The desired reasons for a separate device include security, for work-related communications (31%), security for work-related data and files (27%), convenience (30%) and making it easier not to answer work related communications after work hours (27%). 

With security being at front of mind when using work devices, HMD Global, the home of Nokia mobiles, has shared 5 simple phone safety tips to educate consumers on how to stay connected, safely.

These tips are perfect for parents wanting peace of mind when using their mobile for personal and work reasons, and also for their children who may not understand the importance of mobile data security when using their devices. 

Surprisingly Only 37% of Australian mobile phone owners diligently update their device immediately when prompted.

There are still however, over a quarter (27%) of phone owners in Australia who wait more than a week before doing so – leaving nearly 6.9 million Aussies targets for hackers as they press snooze on their security updates.

  • Although over half (52%) of Australian phone owners are concerned about their phone’s security, a third (37%) have no idea where their data is stored.
  • Over a quarter (28%) of Australians don’t understand how their phone’s manufacturer handles customer data and 24% call for more transparency.
  • 475,000 Australians have accidentally shared a work file with a personal contact whilst on their mobile phone.
  • Over half of Gen Z (54%) employees want clearer boundaries by separating their work and personal devices – compared to a third (31%) of Baby Boomers.

Phone safety tips from HMD Global

  1.  Be security up-to-date: Know which Operating System your smartphone is running on and make sure to immediately update your device with the latest software when prompted, as they ensure your device’s digital safety by updating any security or software vulnerabilities that could put you or your data at risk. 
  2. Protect your device from harmful content – You should be cautious when accepting connectivity requests, browsing the Internet, or downloading content as they may contain malicious software or otherwise harmful content to your device.
  3.  Get cosy with two-factor verification – Applying a two-step authentication process (e.g. combining your regular password with a fingerprint scan, facial recognition or using a smartphone authenticator app) when signing into your accounts on your mobile and other devices keep your data and accounts safe from scammers or hackers.  
  4. Research your phone manufacturer’s data security policy – It’s worth understanding how your phone manufacturer manages customer data so you know who is handling your information and from where in the world.  
  5. Harness technology to set boundaries – A work phone ensures your work-related communications and data is kept safe and secure – and doesn’t accidentally mix with your personal life. If your employer does not offer a work phone, you can still use apps and phone settings to help set up boundaries such as turning work email notifications off and not  checking your work email after 6pm.  

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