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Press Release

Press Release

October 20, 2017

Consumers Increasingly Adopting Safeguards to Protect Mobile Devices Against Cybersecurity Threats .

WASHINGTON – CTIA announced new survey results showing that America’s wireless consumers continue to adopt more advanced security measures for their mobile devices amid ongoing consumer protection and education efforts. The survey, conducted by Harris Poll found that:

  • 77 percent of Americans use PINs/passwords on their smartphones, a 54 percent increase in the last five years. 
  • Nearly 50 percent of Americans have an anti-virus program installed on their smartphone, a 58 percent increase in the last five years.
  • Nearly 60 percent of Americans report having the ability to remotely locate, lock and erase software on their smartphones, a 43 percent increase in the last five years.


“The wireless industry continues to educate mobile consumers on the importance of good cybersecurity practices, and these survey results show that more Americans are taking action to protect their personal information,” said CTIA Vice President of Technology & Cyber Security John Marinho. “As cyber threats continue to evolve, the wireless industry will continue to provide consumers with the tools and knowledge to protect their mobile devices.”

CTIA and the wireless industry have long encouraged consumers to be vigilant in safeguarding their mobile devices through initiatives such as:

  • Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment launched in 2014, under which industry participants agreed to provide remote wipe capabilities on new smartphones among other security measures.
  • Stolen Phone Checker website launched in May 2017, providing consumers the ability to determine if a used or refurbished smartphone has been reported as lost or stolen.

By reducing the incentives to steal phones the Stolen Phone Checker helps safeguard consumers. To date, over 37,000 mobile devices have been checked.

Such ongoing consumer protection efforts have helped combat mobile device theft. In New York for example, the NYPD has reported a 35.6 percent decline in robberies of personal electronic devices since 2013.

For more information and cybersecurity tips and a list of apps to locate, lock and erase your smartphone, consumers can visit:

About the Research

CTIA commissioned Harris Poll to conduct surveys with respect to consumer awareness and adoption of security measures. This is the fourth such survey conducted since 2012. An online survey was conducted from February 19-31, 2017, using a sample from the Harris Poll Panel of 1,007 US adults who own and use a smartphone and/or tablet. A supplemental survey of 1,690 smartphone owners was conducted the week of March 6, 2017. A full methodology is available upon request.


CTIA® ( represents the U.S. wireless communications industry and the companies throughout the mobile ecosystem that enable Americans to lead a 21st century connected life. The association’s members include wireless carriers, device manufacturers, suppliers as well as apps and content companies. CTIA vigorously advocates at all levels of government for policies that foster continued wireless innovation and investment. The association also coordinates the industry’s voluntary best practices, hosts educational events that promote the wireless industry and co-produces the industry’s leading wireless tradeshow. CTIA was founded in 1984 and is based in Washington, D.C.

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