Europeans store sensitive details on mobiles despite losses, survey shows


Europeans store sensitive details on mobiles despite losses, survey shows

Warwick Ashford

About one third of European smartphone users store credentials to access personal and corporate e-mail on their mobiles, a survey has revealed.

This is despite the fact that 20% of 1,600 smartphone users polled by Kaspersky Labs in the UK, France, Italy and Spain have reported smartphones lost or stolen.


Password protection for smartphones is least common among UK users, where only 47% use a password on their device.

The survey revealed that users are not aware of mobile malware risks, with one third of respondents using their smartphones to access online banking services.

Businesses cannot afford to ignore mobile hacking attacks as they are proving extremely lucrative over shorter periods, a study of mobile threats by security firm AdaptiveMobile has found.

Criminals are rapidly turning to sophisticated compound threats that use text messaging, multi-media messaging, e-mail, web and voice channels, said the report, 2011 Global Security Insights in Mobile.

According to Kaspersky Labs, users perceive the risk of their smartphones becoming infected with malware as small. Half of respondents said they were not concerned and only 27% said they were highly concerned about the risk.

Mobile anti-virus is not widely considered, the survey found, with 52% of smartphone users unaware of the existence of antivirus software for mobile phones.

Only 12% of respondents said they were using antivirus software and another 12% are planning to use it.

Awareness of mobile protection software was lowest in the UK (36%) and France (37%), compared with 67% in Italy and 53% in Spain.

Kaspersky Labs says the low level of threat awareness, combined with the high value of information stored on smartphones, the growing number of malicious programs targeting mobile platforms, and the high chances of loss or theft of a device, indicates an urgent need to educate users about protecting their mobile devices.

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