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Brits Say Mobile Apps Are As Important As Breathing, Eating And Drinking

31/05/2017 16:05 BST | Updated 31/05/2017 16:05 BST

Global research shows Britons are dependent on their smartphones and apps - but also demonstrate careless mobile behaviour - much more so than European neighbours

A10 Networks has revealed in new research that Britons are so addicted to and dependent upon their smartphones and applications that a quarter believe mobile apps are equally as important as a basic human resource such as eating, breathing and drinking.

The Application Intelligence Report (AIR) is a global research project that examines the behaviour and attitudes of the global workforce toward the use of business and personal apps, and their impact on risk, security, and corporate culture. AIR was commissioned by A10 Networks and conducted independently with the intent to provide education for employers that can help them reassess corporate policies and ultimately protect their businesses - and their applications - by simply becoming more aware of the behaviour of their employees.

The A10 AIR research found that Britons stood out over other countries in a number of ways:

• Brits had the largest percentage of employees (41%) who use non-sanctioned apps at work.

• Over half (55%) of Britons would rather lose their trousers than their smartphone. Germans were the opposite, displaying a much greater attachment to their trousers than their smartphone. 22% more Germans were prepared to lose their smartphone rather than their trousers.

• More Britons claim to have had their mobile devices hacked - one in four (24%) - than any almost any other country globally - and more than any other European country.

• UK participants lose their mobile devices more frequently (24%) - or have them stolen (19%) - than the global average, and more than the rest of Europe.

• Nearly one in three (32%) of UK participants said cyber-attacks are something they "just try not to think about" - more so than the global or European average.

• Brits don't think about security when downloading apps. The countries that think least about security risks are the UK and Japan.

When it comes to what we'd grab in an emergency, Britons showed an almost equal preference for their smartphone (38%) or a safe with important documents (37%), far higher than the number who would save family photos (19%). Only 6% of Britons would save a computer in the event of an emergency.

When compared to the rest of the world, Britons lagged far behind China in their attachment to their smartphone. 74% of Chinese people stated that they would save their smartphone in an emergency as compared to 38% of Britons and only 31% of Americans. The French displayed a below average attachment with only 29% opting to save the smartphone. This was the lowest of all the countries.

The research also showed:

• Over half of employees surveyed in Brazil (61%), Great Britain (55%), India (54%), and the United States (54%) say they could not live without apps.

• Globally, 2 of 5 (42%) survey respondents stated they cannot live without their apps, while another 44% said it would be a struggle to live without them.

• Employees from Great Britain and the US think the likelihood of a mobile hack (45% and 43%, respectively) is comparable to the likelihood of their car being broken into (42% and 41%, respectively).

• The largest percentage of employees who use non-sanctioned apps are located in Great Britain (41%) and India (40%). The global average was 30% and only 14% of Germans use non-sanctioned apps.

• In the UK 51% of people surveyed would rather leave their house unlocked all day than leave their phone unattended and unlocked on a park bench for just one hour.

Overall, the results show that attitudes towards the importance of smartphones and apps vary within Europe and globally. The Germans in particular showed much less interest and attachment to their smartphones and apps compared to those in the UK. Meanwhile those in China and Brazil showed the strongest attachment, nearly always responding far above the global average in response to questions on the importance of their smartphones and apps.

Despite the importance attached to smartphones and applications the research also showed that employees all too often don't consider or take responsibility for security. When compared to the global average Britons were less likely than average to take personal responsibility for security. When asked about who is ultimately responsible for protecting an employee's personal identity and information when a personal, non-business app is used at work only 37% of Britons said it was their responsibility.