Users feel safer on their PCs than on their mobile devices – but which is actually more secure?

iphoneAre computers safer than mobile devices?

Most people feel their home computers are better protected from viruses, malware, and hackers than their mobile devices.

According to an online Safety Study performed by 2010 National Cyber Security Alliance, 87 percent of people surveyed reported that they feel safer accessing the internet with their PCs than with their phones. But not that safe.

Only 24 percent of respondents feel “very safe” on their home PCs and just 61 percent feel “somewhat safe.” That’s low, but it’s even lower for phones: only 18 percent feel their mobiles phones are very safe and a mere 28 percent feel they are somewhat safe.

“We’re encouraged that more Americans feel safe going online from their home computers,” said National Cyber Security Alliance executive director Michael Kaiser.  “We need to ensure that this is not a false sense of security and that a feeling of safety does not lead to complacency. We need to remain vigilant and be sure that all web-connected hardware has the proper security tools installed and is up to date. In addition, the use of sound judgment and common sense online is necessary to protect personal information and reduce the loss of important data.”

“Computer users can run into online threats regardless of where they might be connected and what device they’re using,” said Marian Merritt, a Norton Internet Safety Advocate. “However, on a Wi-Fi network, there are other risks consumers can run into, like ‘evil twin’ networks that trick people into connecting to unknown networks, giving cybercriminals access to their computer and its contents.  Consumers should ensure they’re connecting to a legitimate network, using the access keys or portal given to them by the Wi-Fi provider.”

Computers are safer than phones in most cases, so users’ beliefs are justified. The fact that overall faith in electronic security is low is also justified—better safe than sorry, especially on the internet.