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Phishing, spam and porn are the biggest threats to your smartphone

Prominent names such as PayPal and Angry Birds are being used to trick users into installing malware, research has found.

"Globally, it's the simple phishing techniques that are most likely to succeed," said Chris Pace, director of product and solutions marketing at Blue Coat Systems.

"Shortened URLs are common and a smartphone or tablet user may be less prepared for dealing with these kinds of links on a shiny new mobile device than they were with their trusty laptop," he continued.

The report notes that in order to understand the risks of mobile malware, one must look at the behavioural patterns of people that use mobile devices.

The average amount of time that a person spends browsing the mobile web is 72 minutes a day (independent of the time spent on native applications). Within that time, about 11 minutes are used for content related to computers/internet.

Furthermore, one hour is used for content consumption ranging from social networking, shopping, business/economy and entertainment.

Among the many causes of mobile malware, pornography poses the biggest risk for mobile users.

"More than 20 percent of the time that a user went to a malicious site, they were coming from a pornography site," the report read.

Pornography was also the leading source of malware for desktops when it was introduced to the internet. Now, search engine poisoning (SEP) has taken its spot as the leading cause of desktop malware.

The report noted that it is reasonable to expect the future of mobile malware to follow in the path of desktops, targeting larger platforms as they become easier to infiltrate.

A few prevention methods for mobile malware that the reports suggests are:

- Block all content to mobile and desktop devices from dangerous categories, including pornography, phishing and spam.

- Block executable content from un- rated domains and categories that typical host malware, such as Dynamic DNS hosts.

The report also advises businesses to enforce policies on web applications (desktops browsing), mobile web applications (mobile browsing) and native mobile applications that are running on its network, especially for businesses moving towards BYOD initiatives.

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