Internet security New Year's resolutions: Europe needs to wise up on mobile and Mac insecurity
(ENP Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ENP Newswire - 16 January 2014
Release date- 06012014 - A startling proportion of Europeans still believe their systems are completely safe to use without any security software, with many convinced their smartphones and Macs don't need any protection, Kaspersky Lab research can reveal.
Despite Android being far and away the most targeted mobile operating system, Europeans are still flouting protection. A Kaspersky Lab survey of consumers found that 36 per cent of Android smartphone users have never installed a security application on their device. France was home to the most unprotected Android devices, with 45 per cent saying they had not downloaded security software for their phone. Only 22 per cent of French respondents could say with certainty they invested in protection from the Google Play store, compared to 37 per cent in Spain, the best performing country.
Users need to be aware that it's not just their photos and text messages that will be compromised if invasive malware lands on their Android device. Their banking details and their employer's data could be put at risk: nine per cent of European users store their online banking passwords on their smartphone, whilst 30 per cent of have work email on their devices.
Tablet owners have also shown bad practice with encryption on their devices too. A shocking 40 per cent of Europeans had not encrypted information on their iPads. In Italy and the Czech Republic, the worst offenders, 66 per cent had not used encryption on their iPad data. Amongst those with a non-Apple tablet, 49 per cent of Europeans had not encrypted data on their devices.
European users still have some strange ideas about Mac security too. A whopping 43 per cent of Europeans believe MacBooks are safe to use without any kind of security software. Yet Kaspersky Lab has found Mac malware to be increasingly common in recent years. In 2013, a major industrial espionage campaign known as Icefog saw hundreds of machines infected with Mac malware.
As ever, many have been guilty of some sloppy password practices in 2013. A fifth of iPhone users in Europe store passwords on their device, meaning their online accounts are at risk if their phone goes missing. That's compared to 17 per cent for non-iPhone or BlackBerry users. Most are not using password managers either, with 70 per cent just relying on their memory.
'It's amazing that after a year of high-profile news security stories, with the Edward Snowden revelations about mass government surveillance and hacking top of the list, people are still not taking a few extra steps to protect their devices. There is no need to place your data at risk when it's cheap and easy to protect your devices, says David Emm, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.
'Encryption might sound hard, but it's not. Off the shelf products can do it all for you. The same goes for anti-malware, backup services and password managers. 2014 will be another year of big security stories, of massive malware outbreaks, so make sure you're not one of those affected, by investing some time protecting your devices, whatever they are.'
As we follow on from a year full of big security news, Kaspersky Lab is recommending users commit to some simple New Year's Resolutions, which could save them distress and bother as digital crime becomes an increasing menace.
1.Use a password manager. These are cheap and easy things, that manage all your logins from the cloud. They can also generate passwords for extra randomness and ensure you aren't using the same logins for different services.
2.Protect every device. Whether it's Android, iOS, Mac OS, Windows or whatever, every machine needs its data protected. Forget the myths and get security on all those machines you use.
3.Be careful who and what you trust. Not everyone on the Internet is your friend. Whether on social networks like Facebook or Twitter or inside your inbox, there are people who want nothing more than your bank account details or your data. So don't click on random links and only respond to messages from people you know to be genuine.
4.Get encrypting. There are many encryption services out there, which will wrap protection around your information, meaning that if your device is lost or stolen, outsiders won't be able to see the data.
5.Use Wi-Fi smartly. Three out of four smartphone users regularly use public Wi-Fi, yet 30 per cent do so without taking additional security measures. Using public Wi-Fi can expose you to various man-in-the-middle attacks, and allow your mobile data to be stolen. If you have to use it, don't access any critical information, as it could be sniffed by malicious actors.
6.Back up your stuff. The average British smartphone contains GBP237 worth of films, music and computer games - all of which could vanish if not backed up. Be smart and invest in backup products, ideally cloud-based ones that allow you to recover data on any device.
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