Smartphone users out of the loop on IT security

The ESET-sponsored study, which took in responses from 2,000 smartphone users, found that 31% of users were unaware their mobile is at risk due to viruses, whilst 14% assume security was built into the phone when they bought it.

Delving into the report reveals that more than a third of those surveyed (36%) were aware their smartphone is under threat, but have not yet installed software to protect it. Just 6% of users said they had installed anti-virus software.

The survey, which was carried out by YouGov, revealed that nine out of ten respondents use their phone to browse the internet, 58% of respondents regularly open email attachments on their phone and 21% said they use their phone for internet banking.

Commenting on the results, Quinton Watts, ESET's vice president, said that, as the smartphone continues on its relentless march towards being the primary access point for users accessing the internet, it will continue to attract the attention of the maliciously-minded.

Against this backdrop, Watts argues that it is vital that consumers take measures to mitigate these threats.

"We have seen an increase in the number of attacks against smartphones over the past six months, this is mainly because so many devices are now being connected up to corporate networks and they are an easy entry point for hackers", he said

"What's most worrying about these figures is that if consumers are this relaxed about security on their own phone it is likely they will be even more so with company issued devices", he explained.

Watts went on to say that ESET advises all smartphone users to install suitable software on their mobile devices.

"Many people will have had their computer infected by viruses or other malware and have security software installed to protect them from future harm, but few recognise their smartphones are similarly at risk if they regularly browse the internet, open email attachments or leave their Bluetooth connection open", he explained.

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?