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article image50% of Android users don't install security software on devices

By James Walker     Jul 14, 2015 in Technology
A survey of Android users has found that nearly half of people do not install security software onto a new device because they feel that they do not need to do so, despite most being aware of security weaknesses in Android phones.
The survey was carried out by antivirus firm 360 Mobile Security. Nearly half of the people involved said that they did not have any form of protection installed on their Android phone. The same number admitted that they were not aware that they needed it.
Forty-four percent thought that mobile protection should be free and 80 percent said they would not spend more than $5 on a reputable security app. This suggests many consumers have been misinformed about the potential dangers of using an unsecured Android phone.
Despite this, 90 percent said mobile security was "very important" to them. Twenty-seven percent were concerned about untrustworthy apps while 20 percent worried about the protections offered from online payments. Overall, two thirds of people were aware Android has weaknesses that can be exploited maliciously.
Attacks on Android devices are now used frequently by hackers to collect data on users. Fake apps can give outsiders access to a phone's microphone and camera or send premium rate text messages without the user's knowledge, as in the case of the recently discovered "BatteryBot" app.
Other recent high-profile issues include a keyboard flaw in as many as 600 million Samsung phones that could have allowed hackers to access personal user data and even eavesdrop on conversations. The threat is just one example of the exploits that can be used to attack Android users.
Yan Huang, COO of 360 Mobile Security said: "The survey results are a good reminder that while today's consumers are aware of threats to the Android platform, most are not leveraging the tools and apps needed to protect themselves."
The latest version of Android, 5.0 Lollipop, is more secure than earlier versions. It supports encryption of the whole device — a point of controversy for law enforcement — as well as protections at the kernel level to make it harder for attackers to execute malicious code. Google claimed earlier this year that only 1 percent of Android devices using just the Google Play Store downloaded malware in 2014.
More about Android, User, Smartphone, Security, Threat
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