Smartphone users not aware of mobile security risks

More than a third of surveyed smartphone users are not aware of the increasing security risks associated with using their phones for financial purposes and to store personal data, revealed a new survey by AVG and the Ponemon Institute.

The study also showed that just 29 percent of surveyed smartphone owners have considered downloading free or paid anti-virus software to help protect their most personal devices.

The survey targeted 734 U.S. consumers over age-18 who own a smartphone such as an iPhone, Blackberry or Android device.

Surveyed consumers also expressed a lack of awareness in respect to a number of key security issues faced by smartphone users, including:

  • Thirteen percent of surveyed smartphone users said location data had been unknowingly embedded on their handset enabling others to track their location. Only 21 percent of respondents were aware this could happen.
  • Six percent of respondents said that mobile applications had transmitted confidential payment information such as credit card details without the users’ knowledge or consent. Only 11 percent of respondents were aware this was possible.
  • Eight percent of surveyed smartphone users said their handset had been infected by malware called “diallerware” that enables criminals to make use of premium services or phone numbers resulting in unexpected monthly charges. Only 10 percent of respondents were aware of this risk.
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Smartphone users not aware of mobile security risks