A new research study conducted by Kantar Media on behalf of UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has shown that mobile application users believe apps are safer than accessing the internet via a browser.
These consumers also trusted well-known app brands and official app stores to provide a safe, secure and reliable user experience.
However, their perceptions often involved a lack of understanding about the operation of apps and app stores.
Few users were aware of potentially malicious threats from apps, with some even overlooking the fact that apps may require internet connectivity. Most users paid little attention to permission requests, although they expressed concern when the subject was raised. And multi-tasking wasn’t always understood; opening another app was often assumed to close the previous app.
In addition, many users assumed that apps were actively and effectively vetted by official app stores.
The research looked at the Android, Apple iOS, Windows and BlackBerry operating systems running on smartphones, tablets, MP3 players and Smart TVs. It was a qualitative study involving a number of discussion groups and interviews.
[Apps Environment Research Report (pdf)]