Do You Have A False Sense of Cybersecurity for Mobile?

Nearly three-quarters of Americans have never installed data protection applications or security software on their mobile devices to prevent data loss or defend against viruses and malware. 72% of us have unsecured smartphones, to be exact, even though we are using them more frequently in our digital lives.

A recent survey shows that 44% of Americans use smartphones to access the Internet, and 75% say they access the Internet more frequently on their device today than they did one year ago.

Digital research firm comScore found that close to 32.5 million Americans accessed banking information via mobile device at the end of the second quarter of 2011, a 21% increase from in the fourth quarter of 2010. Approximately 24% of consumers store computer or banking passwords on their mobile devices, according to Consumer Reports’ 2011 State of the Net Survey. More than half of smartphone users do not use any password protection to prevent unauthorized device access. And according to Gartner, 113 mobile phones are lost every minute in the U.S. alone.

With unit sales of smartphones and tablets eclipsing those of desktop and laptop PCs, cybercriminals will continue setting their sights on mobile, and increased mobile Internet use will continue exacerbating security and data breach issues.

Protect yourself:

Use mobile security software and keep it current. Having complete mobile security protection like that offered in McAfee Mobile Security is a primary safety and security measure.

Automate software updates. Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option.

Protect all devices that connect to the Internet. Along with computers, smartphones, gaming systems, and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.

Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Evangelist to McAfee. See him discussing identity theft on YouTube.(Disclosures)

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