Smartphone users are being increasingly targeted by criminal hackers intent on stealing banking and log in details, a survey warned this week.
The independent You Gov survey into smartphone users,
commissioned by Trend Micro and Carphone Warehouse, found that over 60 per
cent of smartphones contain sensitive information such as log-in details or
banking details but only 7 per cent of users have any sort of security measure
on their device.
The problem is set to get worse as sales of smartphones soar, the survey warned. Just this week Apple announced a massive increase in smartphone distribution in the UK with two new deals with Orange and Vodafone to supply its iPhones. Smartphones account for 15% of Vodafone users, the firm revealed last week.
Over 50% of the survey's 2000 respondents admitted to
submitting their credit card details via their smartphones to purchase or
download items online on the move, over the last three months.
“People are simply not aware of the kinds of risks they are
exposed to through their mobile devices or the amount of personal information
stored there,” cyber security expert at Trend Micro, Rik Fergusson, told the Independent. “While more and more companies are encrypting
their computers, the same cannot be said of protecting personal data that
resides on consumer smartphone devices.”
Fergusson warned that because mobile phone users are now using their phones to
make financial transactions, it is only a matter of time
before the hackers start to target mobile devices en masse.
“Without wanting to sound too alarmist, the more people use
their phones to carry out sensitive financial transactions, such as banking or
shopping online through their phones, the more the same criminal networks that
target our computers will start developing ways to attack our phones,” he said.