HMD,the powerhouse brand behind the Nokia smartphone business, has today released its report into the Global ANZ Smartphone and Data Security which explores the relationship Australians have with their mobile smartphones which ranges from security concerns, to data transparency through to the complexities of work/life balance through our smartphone age.

The report reveals that over 52% of Australian smartphone users are actively concerned about their devices security, while over 37% admit they have no clue in which country their phone’s data is stored and over 28% not able to understand how manufacturers handle customer data.

Their report highlights that over 30% of Australians are unsure of the importance of security patches or OS updates with survey respondents claiming that these security patches or OS firmware updates are not as important for their device’s ability to run on the latest operating system. This to me personally is a little bit alarming given security patches and firmware updates/upgrades are an important way to ensure your data is kept safe at time where scams and data breaches are becoming common.

While 37% of Australians are quite diligent in ensuring they check their device for the latest security and firmware OS updates and update their device immediately when prompted, 27% of phone owners in Australia wait more than a week before doing. This means that there is approximately 6.9 million Aussies who could be potential targets for hackers for not checking and installing security and firmware OS updates to their device.

The report also advises that approximately only 30% of Australians are willing to seek out information and learn more about how to use their devices safely when it comes to protecting their data security.

James Robinson, HMD Global Country Manager ANZ had said that,

“The attitudes and behaviours in HMD Global’s ANZ report highlight the need for an in-depth, considered conversation around smartphone security and the role phone manufacturers and individuals play in this dynamic. These findings are a wake-up call to both: giving a hefty nudge to the industry to focus on the security of our customers – while empowering everyone to not only demand better from phone manufacturers but also, take simple steps towards keeping safe and connected.

Australians (using HMD devices) are guaranteed a safe and secure device with all activation and performance data stored at the Google Cloud Region in Hamina, Finland and protection via European security measures and legislation, including General Data Protection Regulation.”

As part of the report, HMD Global has shared 5 simple phone safety tips that will help to educate consumers and device owners on how to stay connected, safely in this day and age:

  • Be security up-to-date – check your device settings and check if there are any security patches or OS firmware updates regularly.
  • Protect your device from harmful content – be cautious when opening up messages, emails, links or photos. Don’t accept Bluetooth connections you don’t trust and maybe even consider installing anti-virus protection/services on your device.
  • Get cosy with two factor verification – look at applying a two step authentication process when singing into your accounts of mobile.
  • Research your smartphone manufacturers data security policy – ensure peace of mind by researching the dats and security policy of your devices manufacturer.
  • Harness technology to set boundaries – Look at separating your work apps/service or devices from your own personal devices, ensuring that when you clock off, there is no potential work the work/life balance being corrupted.

You can read the full HMD Global ANZ Smartphone and Data Security report here.

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The paragraph bemoaning Australians delaying installing security updates, quite comprehensively fails to mention any of the reasons Australians give for why they delay.
In my case it’s very straight forwards. I’ll let other users be the public alpha testers for updates. I’ll wait, and read about what problems the updates have caused for their devices, before I do install the updates on mine.


The fifth bullet point is validation for the pain/annoyance of carrying two mobile phones most of the time… my own Pixel and a work-issued iPhone XS (which I hate). I love being able to turn it off on weekends.