Retrevo: Android Users Are More Ignorant About Smartphone Security Than iOS, Blackberry Users


An interesting survey spotted by our sister site has made its way to our monitors. Retrevo polled over 1,000 smartphone users regarding physical and remote smartphone security. Long story short – between iOS, Android, and Blackberry, Android’s users are more ignorant to smartphone security than anyone.

When asking users if they have taken any preemptive measures in the event that their smartphones are lost or stolen, only 49% of Android users say their phones are password-protected compared to iPhone’s at 61% and Blackberry’s at 62%.

When asked about alternate security methods, only 19% of Android users protect their cellphones via third-party methods compared 22% of iPhone users and 25% of Blackberry users. Conversely, 39% of Android users have no protection at all compared to 26% on iOS and 30% on Blackberry.

The rest of the survey questioned users regarding their knowledge on which OSs can get viruses and if they had plans in the event that they lost their cell phones. Surveys like these are always interesting, but are hardly scientific and indicative of market status. A sample size of 1,000 users isn’t the end all be all of consumer awareness when it comes to surveys like these.

Patrick of iSource says he thinks the survey results sound way off, and I don’t blame him. It’s always been perceived that Android users are more tech-savvy than iOS users. I can’t say it sounds that farfetch’d up against Blackberry considering many of their users are all about security.

So are iOS users more aware about smartphone security than Android users? This survey says so, but that’s all it is – a survey. And the results were taken from a moderate sample size, no less. And even if these results are accurate, we’re not sure what Retrevo’s message here is. At the end of the day, a user will educate themselves on smartphone security if they feel it is necessary whether they’re tech savvy or not. [Retrevo via iSource]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. First!

    1. Not only are you stupid, but you are wrong.

      1. wtf are you talking about?

        1. You were not first, so you were wrong. And you are stupid for posting that type of comment at all. And the fact that I have to explain it only confirms the fact.

          1. Haha saying you think the ‘first’ comment is stupid is one thing, but how was I not first? Check the time stamps idiot….go troll someplace else.

          2. djw39 and Bobby Boucher were both before you, check the time stamp you idiot. And someone who posts ‘first’ and then calls me a troll?

  2. Title is wrong. Not having a password doesn’t mean you are ignorant about security.

    1. I completely agree, i choose not to have a password protected lock screen. But i have several other ways of protecting my device. This survey is definitely flawed.

      1. Its by a security company of course they are gonna say crap to make us look bad in attempt to get us to buy their useless app

    2. Agreed. I’ve had smartphones for almost 10 years now and NEVER used a password on them. Am I ignorant because of that? Well that’s quite a leap in logic. But its because I don’t want to have to enter a password every single time I want to use my phone, which is a lot of effort (added up over time) for the very slight possibility that my phone is stolen, which will mean I’ve been beaten to a bloody pulp already. Plus, I don’t keep sensitive information easily available, so what the hell am I protecting?

    3. Agreed. Ignorant is completely the wrong word. Possibly a bit lax. Ignorant implies folks don’t know what they are doing. I suspect that is false, anyone that does not use a password is making a choice based on their needs.

  3. What is up with all these articles lately that stereotype people as being “dumb” or “ignorant” based on what product or device they use? Seriously…this is stupid and needs to stop.

    1. I agree with your statement. Just take a look at the most-likely-fake study about browser use and intelligence. I think the concept of this study has more relevance at least, but the methodology and the conclusions that have been made seem to be pretty suspect.

  4. 1000 is better than that asinine survey being toted by click bate happy sites that say all android users plan on ditching android and buy an iphone 5. That survey by the way only has a sample size of 216, all from one city.

    But either way this sample size is still way too small to base anything off of. With millions of smart phone users, that small number really tells us nothing one way or the other.

    1. My wife ran across that and told me and we both LOLed.

    2. I know exactly which survey you’re talking about. There’s a reason you haven’t seen it on Phandroid. :)

    3. You’re stupid and wrong. The time stamps don’t nail it by minute after 1 hour, prior to that I was first by 1 minute. Just sort by ‘oldest’ and mine is up top…idiot ;P

  5. I have a better headline:


    1. Actually looking at the source links.. It is iSource and Phandroid (by repeating the headline) that called Android users ignorant.. The Retrevo site just called us “less protected”.. which is also a wrong way to put it as we are just as protected, but apparently don’t use it.. “Android users live more dangerously” might cover it.

    2. It’s a title that ad’s shock value. In internet marketing terms, it is a title that people will click through to from places like reddit or dig.

  6. What this survey tells you is 61% of iPhone users THINK their phone is password-protected. They also think it’s 4G.

    1. Only 30% think that their iPhone’s 4 are 4G

  7. I’m upset Phandroid has an iphone sister site.

  8. When I bought my Inc the sales rep insisted on pestering me about a screen protector and case. I told him I want neither my phone is too important to me. He looked at me funny and said well isn’t that why you would want this protection. I said not because I guard my phone like its my life because in some ways it is. I don’t drop my phone. I don’t put it a position to scratch the screen. I’m ultra careful because I can’t afford to be down. All that protection does is give me a false sense that I can drop it and be ok.

    For that same reason I don’t have anti-virus or additional tracking software on my phone. I mind what I install and I’d check to see if I had my phone before I’d check to see if my head was still on my neck in case of an accident. Some can say I’m being naive but in all the years of having a smartphone I haven’t lost or left one and have VERY rarely dropped one. My wife thinks I’m crazy for the way I’m careful with it because I get on her about how lax she is with hers. It MIGHT just be possible that some other Android users are the same way. I stick by my belief that Android users actually use their phones. BlackBerry got it start in corporate so its possible folks there are more in tune with corporate smartphone policies.

  9. “It’s always been perceived that Android users are more tech-savvy than iOS users.”

    I don’t know. I think users of high end Android devices are very tech savvy, but then there are the (majority of?) Android users who have low end, entry level phones. I suspect many of them are very low on the tech savvy scale. (But I must concede that I’m making some very broad generalizations.)

  10. I wonder if they included a pattern lock as “password protected”. If someone specifically asked my if my phone was password protected, I would say “no”. (I’m not using a password, but a pattern lock.) And I’m not using a 3rd-party method BECAUSE I’m using the pattern lock. Now let’s ask iOS users how many are using pattern lock. What’s that? 0%! (This proves that iOS users are ignorant about pattern lock, right?)

  11. What apps or security measures should we take besides password protected? (I do have a password, but I want some kind of lost gps locator or something.)

    1. Lookout Mobile Security. It has GPS locator and remote wipe. It can even remote wipe your SDCard. It also scans your apps for the malware/hacker apps. The reason the malware apps are even found in the Android Market is because of those guys.

  12. I’m anything but ignorant about smartphone security. I CHOOSE not to password protect my phone for the same reason as Bobby Boucher – it’s too much trouble to deal with every time I want to use my phone. That, and my personal habits make it extremely unlikely that anyone would ever get their hands on my phone without my permission.

    I would like to see a survey of organizations like Retrevo, identifying how many (percentage) know how to properly construct a survery, and how many can properly determine what conclusions can be drawn from the respondent’s answers. But who could we get to conduct such a survey? Certainly not Retrevo.

  13. I don’t trust any source that starts off a “i” in it. Anything starting with a i will and always relate to a iDevice, which probably means there is a lot of biased statements being made. Which you can blatantly see if you visit iSource, it is a website about Apple devices (iDevices).

  14. insurance is the only protection ANYONE needs

  15. Actually maybe Android users are just smarter and more responsible, and less likely to lose their phone. So we don’t feel the need to use a password. I mean look at all the articles about some dumb ass iPhone user dropping his phone out of a plane, or while skydiving. LOL.

  16. This survey is bullshit.

    Android phones you don’t need a password you can draw out your code to unlock the phone. When people think password they usually think typing in words not drawing it out.

    Other security measures to prevent this … what is this? Most people will answer no not knowing what “this” is.

    I haven’t done anything to prevent data misuse? It’s such a vague question that can mean anything. One if you have a password draw code set up that’s all you really need to do but that question wasn’t asked.

    Nice try apple fanboys. This survey is more vague than your apple users.

    1. Other security measures to prevent this: something like SeekDroid or encrypting the data on the phone/SD card

  17. I don’t use a password on my phone, but I have Seekdroid installed on my phone.

  18. Being ignorant is having to rely on someone / survey to tell you what device/or is right for you.

  19. Sure the tech-folks go for androids, but so do bob and jane who thought the phone looked pwetty!

    just sayin

  20. I think you all are really missing it here. I didn’t know about this survey and therefor did not have a chance to add my input and I know all about security. I am leaning towards more Iphone users tend to do surveys more then Android users. We just have better things to do with our lives.

  21. I think the survey is sending the exact opposite message. iphone users simply have no idea what they are talking about.

  22. The problem is that this survey is based on a flawed assumption.

    It’s based on the assumption that using anti-virus tools or password locks makes one more security-conscious, when in fact it could mean the opposite. I always know where my phone is, as it literally never leaves my person unless I’m at home and either in the shower or in bed. I also don’t have virus problems because I’m smart about the software I install.

    On the other hand, the people I know who have the worst security problems are the ones that are the most well-protected in terms of security software… just the other day, I had to clean a DDOS worm from a computer that had some good anti-virus software on it. The AV software didn’t stop the infection; it simply told the owner something was wrong… and didn’t do a thing to actually stop the virus from wreaking havoc.

    I would “fail” that survey, since I run minimal “protection” on my computers and phones (although i don’t leave them completely undefended), but I’ve never had a major virus infection on my hardware, either.

    That’s because good security isn’t about the software you run. It’s about following safe practices so that the software is not necessary.

  23. The poll should have also included a way to separate every day users from business users – if you use it for business you may be FORCED to password protect it by the company you work at.

    It should also include a section along the lines of “I leave my phone on the table when I go to the bathroom or the land line in the other room rings” / “My phone is in my pocket, in my hand at all times so there is no need to add anything to it”.

    It is a very poorly thought out survey if you ask me.

    Taking into account people who until recently owned iPhones were forced to sacrifice a quality network, they could be assumed on average to be early adopters / tech-needy. A huge portion of android users are complete ‘noobs’ who saw their old dumb flip phone and thought, but I could be more productive if I could get e-mails, and people at work would think I’m cooler if I had a big touch screen”, so they bought an Android phone on the network of their choosing. Not as many Android users could be classified as “Expert users” as most assume, and many average users do not even know they can password protect their lock screen at all!

    Perhaps we should be doing more to educate them, Google (& HTC/Motorola/Samsung, etc)?

  24. I find Apple users are generally shallow people and ignorant about anything other than a Frappuccino at Starbucks.

  25. because they hate open source system, because they can’t make we look dumb like them uses “locked” code, we free do what we want with we system and they don’t have use that. they dumb because they absolutely closed source media. common Phandroid, fight!!.

  26. Apple phone (which I say on purpose) password? What a joke, it’s like protecting yourself in armor from the knees down. Who gives a crap, anything small enough to attack my shins is negligible.

    Any person capable of getting anything useful from a phone (apple phone or android alike) needs to be able to get access to previous inputs and encrypted data, a stupid ****ing four number password isn’t going to do jack.

    It’s probably because apple phone users have lame ***** friends who would access their Facebook and change their status. Luckily I don’t hang out with such ******s.

  27. why do i need to password protect my phone? im just a teen who still goes to school with an android

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