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McAfee Research Reveals Majority of Consumers Concerned Over Mobile Safety

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McAfee announced findings from new research that reveals that almost three out of four mobile consumers (72%) are concerned about the security of today's and tomorrow's mobile services, such as mobile multimedia downloads, mobile payments and mobile ticketing.

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The McAfee Mobile Security Report 2008 discusses in detail users' experiences of traditional and emerging mobile services and their awareness and perceptions of mobile security issues.

Other key findings revealed the following:

* 86% of users are worried about security risks posed to their mobile handset such as fraudulent bill increases or information loss or theft
* More that one third (34%) of global mobile users question the general safety of mobile devices and services
* At least 79% of consumers are knowingly using unprotected devices, with an additional 15% unsure of security levels
* More than half of subscribers (59%) expect mobile operators to take primary responsibility for protecting mobile devices and services

While confidence levels for traditional voice and messaging services remain comparatively high, more than half of all respondents (55%) expressed concerns about mobile payments and banking services. Likewise, more than 40% were worried about mobile multimedia downloads and mobile vouchers and ticketing. Frequent mobile Internet surfers showed levels of concern 80% higher than those who have never used such services. Overall, more than 72% of users expressed concerns regarding the safety of using emerging mobile services, with concern rates rising with market maturity.

Mobile security incidents may not yet rival the scale and scope of PC threats but they are increasing in volume and sophistication. More than one in ten (14%) of global mobile users have already been exposed to mobile virus incidents, either directly or they know someone who has been infected. This awareness strongly impacts user confidence with 80% worried about the possibility of a mobile virus infecting their friends and colleagues.

Mobile messaging is also growing in prevalence. More than a third of subscribers (38.6%) claim to typically receive 'annoying' spam messages at least once a month. In Japan this rises to more than a quarter (26.1%) getting spammed daily.

Despite growing concerns, at least 79% of consumers are knowingly using unprotected devices, with an additional 15% unsure of security levels. Almost 60% of mobile users expect mobile operators to take primary responsibility for protecting their mobile devices and services and more than half (56%) believe security features should be pre-installed on the handset at the time of purchase and provided free of charge.

The research was conducted by Datamonitor amongst 2000 mobile consumers with responses spread evenly across the US, UK and Japan.

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