Ofcom study shows smartphone is most popular web device, but experts argue security is long overdue


Ofcom study found that smartphones are most popular web device, with laptops and tablets following second and third respectively

Ofcom’s latest report has revealed that the smartphone is 2015’s most popular device for internet access in the UK.

The 2015 Communications Market Report asked 3,095 adults aged over 16 what they thought is the most important device for connecting to the internet. Results show that 33 per cent of the sample see smartphones as the most important device for internet access. Laptops trail behind, with 30 per cent of the sample seeing them as the most important device for accessing the web. Tablets came third at 19 per cent, whilst ‘other’ devices came fourth at 14 per cent.

These figures are a change compared to online usage in 2014. According to Ofcom, only 22 per cent those surveyed in 2014 saw the smartphone as their favourite way of getting online. Up to 40 per cent used their laptops.

The study also found that two-thirds of those asked are smartphone owners, with over half them spending two hours on their devices each day to browse the internet, access online banking or shop for items.

Security risks

Accellion is an U.S-based data security company. Its general manager of Europe, the Middle East and Africa Keith Poyser, who previously worked for IBM, argues that “smartphone security needs attention that, in most organisations, is long overdue”, specifically concerning personal data being stolen in phishing attacks.

Phishing attacks usually involve cyber criminals sending emails which appear to be from an individual’s trusted source, such as their bank. The cyber criminals hope to manipulate the individual’s trust and trick them into giving away their personal details via a link in the email.

Verizon’s latest report revealed that one in four fell victim to a cyber attack by clicking on the phishing email. The average time it took users to fall for a phishing attack was one minute and 22 seconds.