Smartphone users unaware of hacking risks

More than half of mobile users are unaware that hackers can take control of their smartphones

More than half of mobile users are unaware that hackers can take control of their smartphones, according to research by Kaspersky.

The survey found that 62% of users did not know hackers could access smartphone cameras, with 30% admitting to leaving confidential documents within the sight of personal devices. Just the 20% of smartphone users claimed to be aware of the risk of hacking.

Earlier this week, Apple and the FBI launched an investigation after iCloud account hacks led to nude photos of celebrities appearing online. But, despite high-profile cases such as these, 40% of the users who claimed to be aware of hacking said they try to combat these issues using measures that will not protect them, such closing their camera application.

Kaspersky’s survey found over 80% of people claimed they never turned their phone off, and many were unaware that hackers could gain access to personal files and photos stored on mobile devices.

As more employees take their own devices to work, the importance of understanding these risks increases. A survey by Ovum found 29% of employees will use their personal devices in the office for work-related tasks without knowing whether this is part of their employer's workplace policy.

David Emm, senior security researcher for Kaspersky, said: "We think of our mobile devices as our window on the world, not realising that for cyber criminals it could be their window into ours. Hacking into a device’s camera offers those with malicious intent access to our images, our most intimate moments, our identities – and the people we want most to protect.”

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