In addition, a further 56 per cent of users grossly underestimate the risks of malware being installed on their handsets.
The data, published in the Norton Report, an annual cyber security study carried out by
"If this was a test, mobile consumers in the
"While consumers are protecting their computers, there is a general lack of awareness to safeguard their smartphones and tablets. It's as if they have alarm systems for their homes, but they're leaving their cars unlocked with the windows wide open."
The survey was carried out across 24 countries on 13,000 users.
It claimed that of particular concern to businesses was that people were using the same smartphone for both business and leisure.
"Today's cybercriminals are using more sophisticated attacks, such as ransomware and spear phishing, that yield them more money per attack than ever before," said
"With the findings from the Norton Report that 55 per cent of consumers in the
Part of the problem, he said, was that people think cybercrime is restricted to attacks solely on computers.
"A smartphone is just like a computer," he said. "In fact, your phone actually contains more data than your computer.
"People understand the need for anti-virus on their laptops, but they underestimate the risk on their phones. They still consider their phone to be just a phone."
The Norton Report claimed that 73 per cent of
"There are so many vectors for infecting a phone," said
"You could be driving around and have bluetooth enabled, you could receive a message from someone. That message might contain a link, which you click, and then it downloads a virus or trojan on to your computer.
"We've seen situations where phones have been trojaned, and every text message you send or receive is then forwarded to a website.
"We've seen situations where the webcam can be switched on remotely, or even that the microphone can be switched on remotely and they can listen to the conversation going on in the room."
He said that the most lucrative goal for hackers is simply to steal your address book and sell it to spammers.
"Spam houses are paying something like
The most vulnerable platforms are Apple, which allow users to download third party content, or jail-broken iPhones, which bypass Apple's security protocols.
The report follows a separate study by manufacturer Acer, which found that 18 per cent of the population of the GCC spend more than five hours a day on touch-enabled devices, including smartphones.
In addition, 39 per cent spend less than two hours, while 43 per cent spend two to five hours a day.
"It all comes down to caution while using the internet," he said. "Sadly that's the thing that's lacking most of all."
Most Popular Stories
- Twitter Names Woman to Board
- NSA Tracks 5 Billion Cellphone Records a Day
- Nelson Mandela Dies After Momentous Life
- W.H. Corrects Itself on Unclegate
- Nelson Mandela Dead at 95
- Fast-Food Workers Want $15 an Hour
- Roybal-Allard Tours Gordon Brush Plant
- Pope Francis Says He'll Fight Child Sex Abuse
- Aspen Contracting Adding 300 Jobs
- Yemen Attack Kills 52