This week, the mobile enterprise explores how our own behaviors are making our smartphones less secure, while the demand for mobile devices grows.

Do You Own a Smart Phone or a Stupid Phone?

Security, no matter what device you choose to use, is always an issue. But a new report suggests that we’re not doing enough to keep our information secure.

Security firm AVG and the research and consulting firm The Ponemon Institute joined forces to release the report, Smartphone Security: Survey of U.S. Consumers, which aimed to capture consumers’ perceptions about the potential privacy and security risks when using their smartphones.

What they found might surprise you, but as with any research, it’s always interesting to see it confirmed. According to the report, most respondents (84%) use their mobile device for both work and personal uses. Additionally, a majority of those surveyed (66%) admit that they keep a lot of personal information on their phone, such as email address, name, contact lists, photos, videos, anniversary and personal dates and music.

When it comes to making purchases from their smartphones, 66% say they have paid at least once for an item using their smartphone. 12% of consumers have experienced a fraud attempt via a mobile payment scheme. Yet, only 6% say they check their mobile bill regularly, while less than half of consumers use keypad locks or passwords to secure their smartphones.

What does this mean? If you’re not a thief, it isn’t good. Long story short, there are a lot of simple things we could be doing to help our smartphones live up to their names.

Digital Payment Options Increase

Google isn’t the only company exploring digital payments. The credit card industry is also planning to get in on the action. Both Visa and American Express have announced digital payment and commerce platforms.

Visa has launched a peer-to-peer payment service that will soon give its U.S. customers the ability to receive and send money from their Visa accounts. American Express revealed Serve, a service that will allow users to send or receive money from their Serve accounts, which can be funded by a bank account, debit or credit card or by money from another Serve account.

Additionally, the Mobile Money Network (MNN) has announced the details of its "Simply Tap" service, which allows customers to purchase products using their mobile phones. Customers can use any mobile phone, on any network with a bank account, to buy anything from retailers that are signed up for the service.

Mobile banking and digital payments have gone from zero to sixty in a short amount of time. However, enabling platforms to support mobile payments is just half the battle. The other part includes persuading customers to use it and retailers to participate.

Smartphone Market Grows, Poised for Greatness

The best indicator that the mobile phone industry is thriving are the numbers, of course. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, the worldwide smartphone market is expected to grow 49.2% in 2011. As well, smartphone vendors will ship more than 450 million smartphones in 2011, compared with the 303.4 million units shipped in 2010.

Again, not surprising considering the popularity of iPad 2 and the availability and affordability of a wide variety of smartphones. The mobile device, no matter how you define it, is precariously positioned within the enterprise and the consumer marketplace alike. The access that it provides us is poised to bring us great things in the next few years.