Number of the week: 40% of modern smartphones owners do not use antivirus software

26 Sep 2012
Virus News

Much has been written about the growing popularity of mobile devices as a tool to make online purchases, manage bank accounts and store confidential data. Despite this, however, the level of protection on many of these devices leaves much to be desired. According to a May 2012 survey for Kaspersky Lab by O+K Research, about 40% of users have no antivirus software on their smartphones.

The number of malicious programs varies greatly depending on the platform - for example, there are already hundreds of thousands of them for Android. In addition to viruses and Trojans there are other threats such as infected or phishing web sites or third-party access to your important data. The low numbers of smartphone users with proper protection demonstrates how little many people understand the levels of danger threatening PCs and smartphones.

Even though cybercriminals are as active on smartphones as on desktop computers, mobile users still feel relatively safe. Indirectly, this confirmed by the fact that just 43% of Apple iPhone owners say they use security systems – a situation not helped by the fact that the development of iOS makes impossible, in principle, to create comprehensive protection. On the Android and Symbian platforms things look a bit better: these smartphones are protected by 53% of owners. 

Regardless of OS, the most popular protection for mobile devices is an antivirus application. Relatively few users install a password to access the device:  31% for Blackberry, 25% for iPhone and only 20% for the other platform users. Only 18% of smartphone owners (except for iPhone and Blackberry) think about the possible loss or theft of a mobile device and the subsequent need to install specialized software with an integrated Anti-Theft module, such as Kaspersky Mobile Security.

Among owners of tablets, the other popular mobile devices, the situation is broadly similar. Almost one third (31%) use no protection software at all. The remainder favors antivirus applications. In terms of password protection or prevention of data loss, tablet owners do not greatly differ from smartphone users. Generally, the O+K Research shows that the users do not pay serious attention to mobile threats even though they actively store important information on their tablets and smartphones.

The full version of the O+K Research report is available at http://www.kaspersky.com/downloads/pdf/kaspersky-lab_ok-consumer-survey-report_eng_final.pdf

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