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Protect the smartphones you sleep with
UAE consumers are ignoring the basics of security, reveals report.
October 3, 2013 11:34 by Muhammad Aldalou
Smartphone users in the UAE clearly care enough about their devices to sleep with them at night, but they’re doing very little to keep them – and, by extension, themselves – protected, according to a new report.
The 2013 Norton Report, released yesterday by cyber security expert Symantec, shows that nearly 41 per cent of mobile users in the country – and 48 per cent globally – do not use even the most basic of precautions, such as using passwords, backing up files or installing security software.
Additionally, on a global scale, 31 per cent of social media users don’t bother to log out after each session, while 73 per cent use public or unsecured WiFi connections.
Tamim Taufiq, OEM and ISP lead for Symantec in the Middle East region, Turkey and Africa, says while most consumers keep their computers protected, there is a general lack of awareness about keeping their tablets and smartphones safe.
“It’s as if they have alarm systems for their homes, but they’re leaving their cars unlocked with the windows wide open,” he says, adding that “if this was a test, mobile consumers in the UAE would be failing”.
Although the number of people who have experienced cybercrimes has decreased, the average cost per victim – while dropping by 24 per cent in the UAE in the past 12 months – has risen by 50 per cent globally.
Taufiq says that today’s cybercriminals are using more sophisticated attacks, such as ransomware and spear-phishing, which “yield them more money per attack than ever before”.
Earlier this month, a research by Google ranked the UAE as number one in global smartphone penetration.