Users Weighed Down by Multiple Gadgets and Mobile Devices, New Sophos Survey Reveals

March 18, 2013 Sophos Press Release

Tech lovers can't bear to be apart from their gadgets, a new Sophos survey has revealed, with an average user carrying 2.9 devices.

Sophos' Naked Security site conducted a survey of more than 2,200 users worldwide, asking readers how many devices they carry, and which operating systems they use.

The eye-opening results are revealed in a new infographic, published by Sophos today.

The inspiration for the survey was the many devices of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. The largest number of devices carried by a respondent in the Sophos survey was twelve.

Devices by Country
Of the 2,226 respondents (the majority of whom represent Australia, Canada, Germany, US and UK), residents of Germany on average carry the most devices (3.1). They are also most likely to carry laptops, whereas Americans, Australians, the British, and Canadians are most likely to carry smartphones.

The average number of devices per person per country:

Germany: 3.1
US: 3.0
Canada: 2.7
UK: 2.7
Australia: 2.6

The Most Popular Device Types
The smartphone is by far the most popular device carried by survey respondents (85 percent), while the eReader is the least popular (29 percent).

Smartphone: 85 percent
Laptop: 68 percent
Tablet: 48 percent
MP3 player: 40 percent
eReader: 29 percent

The Most Popular Device Operating Systems
Google’s Android narrowly beats Apple’s iOS as the most popular smartphone OS carried. Here's the breakdown:

Android: 40.9 percent
iPhone: 40.5 percent
Blackberry: 8.9 percent
Windows: 3.4 percent

When it comes to laptops, Windows is the most popular laptop OS (49 percent), more than twice that of Mac (22 percent) and six times more than Linux (8 percent).

Tips for Keeping Devices Safe
Regardless of the number of devices one owns, protecting all of them is paramount. Here are three simple tips to ensure device security:

1. Love your phone? Lock it by enabling strong passcodes or passwords. One of the biggest barriers between a thief and a device’s data can be a password. Learn how passwords can be complex without being complicated. Check out more on the SophosLabs YouTube channel.

2. Keep all software updated, including security software. Install and regularly update security software. There are many out-of-date apps that can pose a security threat. Installing security applications can provide additional protection by encrypting sensitive data, help with retrieving lost or stolen devices and stop malware for little to no cost. Check out Sophos’ free security tools.

3. Only carry necessary devices. This seems like a simple concept, but with the myriad devices offering specific features and functionality, it's sometimes difficult to limit ourselves to just one or two.

“People are buying and using more and more devices, and are increasingly bringing them into the workplace. Inevitably, that trend increases the need to keep those devices safe and secure from threats,” said Graham Cluley, senior security consultant, Sophos. “In this age of BYOD, smart organizations are implementing security policies to ensure that both corporate and personal devices are protected and secured - keeping sensitive information out of the hands of hackers.”

Business owners and IT professionals concerned with securing employee devices should investigate mobile security products, such as those offered by vendors including Sophos. They can protect all of their users' devices, regardless of platform, quantity and location. For more information about Sophos’ mobile offerings, please visit: http://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/mobile.aspx.