Beware iPhone and Android Fraud, Javelin Warns

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Now that Mayan end-of-earth concerns have been firmly put to rest, researchers at Javelin offer bankers a new year-end worry: the rising threat of mobile malware, especially to those who shop and bank on their smartphones. This is not a new concern, but Javelin analysts have framed it with new numbers.

There are currently 50 million Android smartphone users and 33 million iPhone users, the Javelin analysts say. These users are shopping more through their mobile browsers than through native apps — iPhone users 49% more and Android users 38% more — which puts them at greater risk for phishing, website spoofing and man-in-the-mobile attacks. And two out of every three mobile shoppers are also conducting mobile banking on their phone.

"To minimize security risks, we recommend that businesses and consumers utilize apps for their mobile transactions," says Al Pascual, industry analyst of security, risk and fraud at Javelin. "We also recommend that businesses focus first on app development for iOS when considering mobile device security," due to iPhone users' higher use of mobile browsers, he says.

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