Over the last decade, we’ve seen malware and hacking become a big problem for both major corporations and consumers. While most associate these problems with a PC environment, the fact is that malware on mobile devices has been on the rise. Cybersecurity firm Proofpoint recently said it detected a 500% increase in malware delivery attempts across Europe. The malware they’ve found can be quite pernicious; aside from aiming to steal usernames and passwords for email or bank accounts, many malware are able to record audio (from calls and apps), track a user’s location, or even outright destroy content or data on a device.
According to security firm Kaspersky, over 9.6 billion malware attempts were made in the third quarter of 2021 alone. The good news for our North American and European readers is that countries in both territories did not crack the top 10 for malware attempts, which was led by Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China.
Experts generally agree that Android devices are more at risk due to the platform being more open than Apple’s iOS. The fact that Google allows users to download apps from unknown sources and third-party app stores also could compromise a user’s device if the person is not careful.
Despite the fact that iPhones are regarded as the more secure option in the smartphone world, the Apple userbase is actually more concerned with data privacy and being hacked than their Android user counterparts. According to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, 54% of iPhone users are concerned about being hacked on their own home networks compared to less than half of Android users.
It’s possible that some Android users feel safer because they’re used to more customization on Android and have become adept at tinkering with the operating system – as such, they’re more likely to understand which apps or third-party stores could be threats. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to follow some basic security guidelines, including never clicking on links in texts from unknown sources (or responding to them), and using the spam reporting feature in your messaging client if available.