As many as 61 per cent of smartphone users could be leaving themselves vulnerable to scammers online, according to a new survey.
With more people now shopping online with their phones than ever before, only two in five surveyed by IT security company ESET were certain they had antivirus software on their mobile phones.,
Additionally, many also revealed they would consider downloading an app, entering an online competition, or clicking through to a deal received via email to take advantage of limited-time offers.
Millions of Brits could potentially be at risk from online scammers, after a survey found under four in 10 people had antivirus software on their mobile phones
A quarter felt pressure from brands to click on ‘today-only’ deals and ‘quick-fix’ offers to help them reach their goals.
Branislav Orlik, product manager for mobile security at ESET said: ‘At this time of year, it is incredibly easy to be enticed into exciting offers and quick-fix solutions, while scrolling through our phones or tablets.
‘However, smartphone users with no antivirus software are opening themselves up to some serious threats.
‘While an email deal or competition may seem enticing, clicking through on an unsafe link or entering your details online can make you vulnerable to hackers and leave your personal data at risk.’
This is Money touched on the issue of smartphone security when it came to banking on your mobile back in 2013.
We said that it’s important
Since then, smartphone usage has grown even more ubiquitous. Deloitte estimates that 87 per cent of adults between 18 and 75 owned a smartphone last year, up from 62 per cent in 2013.
According to antivirus developer AVG, in 2016 an Android malware known as Hummingbad appeared on the Google Play Store, allowing hackers total control over devices that installed it.
The company says that mobile malware can also collect personal information including photos, your contact list and email address, and your banking details.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at security software specialist Sophos, previously told This is Money: ‘It makes sense to run antivirus software on your Android device, and there are some good free Android antivirus solutions available from well-known security vendors, including Sophos, AVG and Avast.’
Protect yourself and watch out:
IT security company ESET’s top tips on how to shop online without risking viruses or malware:
– Watch out for increased phishing email attacks in the form of ‘quick-fix’ deals
– If you haven’t visited a particular brand’s website before, do your homework and research reviews and comments from trusted review sites
– Be very cautious of deals you see on Facebook, Instagram and so on – even if there are lots of ‘likes’ on the post. There are plenty of scams that take advantage of easily accessible and cheap social media advertising platforms
Meanwhile mobile operator EE recommends a list of steps to ensure that your device is protected:
– Install a firewall
– Install an anti-virus program
– Always install the latest software updates
– Back up all your important information
– Don’t open unknown files or photos attached to emails unless you’re very sure where they’ve come from