iOS 12 Software Update

New research makes 6 important points about Apple users

F-Secure’s latest research asked 2000 respondents in the United States for their views about security and online privacy, and made some surprising discoveries about Apple users

New research from F-Secure highlights some of the ways Apple users are unique – and similar – to people using other devices. The survey asked 2,000 Americans what device they used the most during their free time, and collected responses from approximately 1000 “Apple respondents” and 1000 “non-Apple respondents”.

F-Secure conducted the research survey in April 2015* to get a better grasp on how people using different devices have different security and privacy needs. F-Secure asked the respondents 20 questions about what sort of devices they use, why they use them, and how they view different aspects of their online privacy and security. Some of the more interesting findings included:

  • 46% of Apple respondents said they used mobile devices to make most of their commercial transactions, compared to just 14% of non-Apple respondents.
  • 56% of Apple respondents said they connect to public Wi-Fi more than once a week, compared to 29% of non-Apple respondents.
  • 44% of Apple respondents either have, or are planning to use, a virtual private network (VPN), compared to just 27% of non-Apple respondents.
  • The majority of Apple respondents said they would pay over 100 dollars to recover lost or stolen content, whereas the majority of respondents using other devices said they would only pay less than 100 dollars.
  • More Apple respondents felt their friends would describe them as “creative”.
  • More Apple respondents felt that their own device community (those using Apple devices the most) was safer than groups of people using other devices.

According to F-Secure Security Advisor Sean Sullivan, the results paint a picture of Apple users as more mobile and more open to taking online risks, but also more open to adopting technologies that allow them to manage those risks. “It’s interesting because people in the Apple community see it as being safer than others, and perhaps that’s why they’re more mobile and flexible when it comes to where they’re willing to make commercial transactions. More Apple users have used VPNs, so more of them seem to be aware of both the problems and solutions to their online privacy.”

Are creative people less delusional about security?

More Apple respondents said that their friends would characterize them as “creative” than non-Apple respondents, making Apple respondents a significant percentage of the total number of creative respondents in the survey. Because more Apple respondents associated themselves with creativity than their counterparts, the creative subpopulation gave some additional insights into how different groups of people view and use their devices differently. Some interesting findings about creative respondents included:

  • The majority of creative respondents said they would pay 100 dollars or more to recover lost or stolen content, while the majority of efficient respondents would only pay less than 100 dollars.
  • 44% of creative respondents either have, or are planning to use a VPN, compared to just 30% of “efficient” respondents.
  • 37% of creative respondents felt that they were more vulnerable to online threats than other people using the same devices, compared to just 25% of efficient respondents.

Sullivan was not surprised to see that the majority of all respondents felt that their community was less vulnerable, but was surprised that creative respondents seemed to contradict this trend. “It’s textbook optimism bias – a well-known psychological phenomenon. But what was fascinating was that creatives exhibited less optimism bias than efficients,” he said. “I’m speculating, but this may be because creatives are better at imagining threats. And if you take into account the way Apple users skew towards the creative, you could say that Apple users are less delusional about their security.”

While Sullivan is a self-professed “Windows guy”, he regularly and enthusiastically uses Freedome on his iPad. “The clean interface and comprehensive set of features is the kind of design that I think is important to Apple users, so it’s an ideal privacy and security solution for people using Apple devices.”


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