Mobile viruses are operator’s problem, says McAfee

Mobile phone owners are increasingly concerned by viruses and spam, but expect telecoms operators to protect their devices.

Whereas PC owners are expected to safeguard their own machines, more than half of phone users believe it is the telecom operator’s responsibility to protect them from spam, fraud and viruses, according to McAfee’s research.

McAfee agrees that operators must act. “Mobile users want to be able to download content and software easily and safely. Therefore, it is up to the operators to safeguard users’ mobile experience as they are the only entities who have the technical ability,” the company says in a statement.

Over a third of mobile phone users receive spam messages at least once a month, while in the Japanese market over a quarter are subjected to spam daily.

The research also shows that users are increasingly aware of the threat of mobile viruses, with more than a third questioning the general safety of mobile services.

Despite such concern, mobile viruses remain relatively rare. The research shows that only 14% of people have been, or know someone who has been, infected with a virus.

More than three quarters of users are concerned about other security risks to their mobile phone, including fraudulent use incurring extra charges and the loss of personal information because of theft.

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