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Mobile Users Do Not Take Security Precautions

  • 06 March, 2008 16:30

<p>F-Secure Corporation, the global leader in providing security as a service through mobile operators and Internet Service Providers, today announced mobile security results from its Online Wellbeing survey. Over three quarters of mobile phone users are aware that malware can infect a mobile device via Bluetooth – but fail to implement any security measureshave security software installed, according to this survey.</p>
<p>Independent research* commissioned by F-Secure questioned web users aged 20 to 40 across the US, Canada, UK, France and Germany about their knowledge of online and mobile security issues.</p>
<p>On average, 28 per cent of all respondents said they use their mobile device to access the Internet. A large majority, 86 per cent admitted to having no mobile security. Out of all the countries questioned, the UK had the highest percentage (47%) of users accessing the Internet through their mobile device, while at the same time being the least likely to have a security product installed on their mobile phone. Most users are aware of the security risks involved with using the connectivity features on their phone: only 21 percent regarded Bluetooth connections safe, and a mere 15 per cent were under the impression WiFi connections are safe.</p>
<p>Over half of those questioned felt it was up to the individual user to ensure their phone was protected. A third expected this to be taken care of by their mobile phone carrier, with the US putting the greater emphasis on third-party responsibility. Only 11 per cent of Germans believed their mobile phone provider should be in charge of security, compared with over 32 per cent in France.</p>
<p>“While the mobile threat is low at present, it’s only a matter of time before Internet criminals start utilizing the growing potential that smartphone usage presents to them,” warned Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure. “So far there have been about 400 mobile viruses detected, but as smartphones replace PC's as the dominant Internet platform, we can expect this figure to rise.”</p>
<p>Geographically the sources of mobile threats are spread around the globe with activity originating for instance in South-East Asia, Russia and South America. While the threat from mobile viruses remains low, there has been increasing activity with spyware applications for mobile phones. Such applications make it possible to get covert access to all the functions of the affected phone, including recording of phone calls, access to messages and switching on the phone's microphone for listening.</p>
<p>The low amount of security software installed on smartphones coupled with the rapidly increasing volume of these devices make them a very vulnerable target for hackers.</p>
<p>*The survey was carried out by a third party in January 2008 across 1,169 Internet users aged 20-40 across the US (225 respondents), Canada (228 respondents), the UK (227 respondents), France (256 respondents) and Germany (224 respondents). F-Secure asked respondents a series of basic online security questions and, using a Likert scale, asked them to rate the extent to which they were confident in the security of given online activities.The survey was carried out by an independent research company in January 2008 with 1,169 Internet users aged 20-40 across the US (225 respondents), Canada (228 respondents), the UK (227 respondents), France (256 respondents) and Germany (224 respondents).</p>
<p>About F-Secure Corporation</p>
<p>F-Secure Corporation protects consumers and businesses against computer viruses and other threats from the Internet and mobile networks. F-Secure’s award-winning solutions are available as a service subscription through more than 160 Internet service providers and mobile operator partners around the world, making F-Secure the global leader in this market. The solutions are also available as licensed products through thousands of resellers globally. The company aspires to be the most reliable security provider, helping make computer and smartphone users’ connected lives safe and easy. This is substantiated by the company’s independently proven ability to respond faster to new threats than its main competitors. Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Finland, F-Secure has been listed on the OMX Nordic Exchange Helsinki since 1999. The company has consistently been one of the fastest growing publicly listed companies in the industry. The latest news on real-time virus threat scenarios is available at the F-Secure Data Security Lab weblog at http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/.</p>

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