Only half of the World’s Mobile Devices Are Protected from Cybercrime, According to a Kaspersky Lab Study

Woburn, MA – October 26, 2016 – Kaspersky Lab today announced that its Consumer Security Risks Survey shows that half of the mobile devices around the globe are at risk from cybercrime and malicious threats, due to a lack of adequate protection. The annual report was undertaken by Kaspersky Lab to better understand how aware people are about the cyber threats they face online and how they protect themselves from these threats. The results also illustrate a lack of awareness about how to effectively protect mobile devices.

Kaspersky Lab found that that it is mobile devices that are least protected against online threats. Out of the 12,000 respondents surveyed across 21 countries, 53 percent have a security solution installed on their smartphones. People tend to protect their computers (88%) and tablets (57%) more than their mobile devices, a misjudgment when we consider how much important and personal information is carried on mobile devices today.

The report also suggests that people are unaware of the need to protect their mobile devices with a security solution. While 55 percent think that their desktops and laptops definitely need IT security software, only 42 percent feel the same about smartphones and tablets. In fact, a concerning one-in-five (21%) users aren’t even fully aware of mobile malware.

When looking to protect devices, consumers often look to only passwords as the answer. Eighty one percent use only password protection on their computers and 82 percent have protected their smartphones this way, according to the survey. This is concerning because passwords cannot protect a device from malicious malware, fraud or spear phishing attacks. Instead, a combination of passwords and comprehensive security solutions is necessary, which less than half (46%) of participants admitted to doing.

“Mobile devices are an important part of our lives. Not only do they hold important information, they are our gateway to online banking, emails, photo sharing, communicating with loved ones and more,” said Victor Yablokov, Head of Mobile Product Line at Kaspersky Lab. “Not protecting these devices is not an option if we want to protect what matters to us most. But with only half of mobiles being protected effectively, there is a lot more work to be done before we are safe from cyber threats. At Kaspersky Lab, we want to help people become more aware of the dangers they are exposing themselves to. By becoming more cyber-savvy, they can then be more prepared for the online world and the dangers it brings,” he added.

To help people protect their mobile devices from cybercrime, Kaspersky Lab recommends Kaspersky Internet Security for Android. The solution protects smartphones and tablets from dangerous apps and websites, ensures user privacy with the call and text filtering, and guards the safety of user data when a device is lost or stolen with the anti-theft feature.

Mobile malware is also the subject of Europol’s campaign for this year’s Cyber Security Month, the EU’s annual advocacy campaign that takes place in October and aims to raise awareness of cyber security threats, promote cyber security among citizens and provide up to date security information, through education and sharing of good practices.