Press release

Get Safe Online Week 2011

The increase in smart phone malware is one of the key threats being highlighted during this year’s annual Get Safe Online Week.

7 November 2011

The increase in smart phone malware is one of the key threats being highlighted during this year’s annual Get Safe Online Week. At a summit to launch the week, Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, launched a new Rough Guide to Internet Security.

The Rt Hon Francis Maude MP comments:

More and more people are using their smart phone to transmit personal and financial information over the internet, whether it’s for online banking, shopping or social networking.

This latest research from Get Safe Online shows that 17 per cent of smart phone users now use their phone for money matters and this doesn’t escape the notice of criminals. 

So while accessing the web via a mobile device can be fun and save time, it’s important to be vigilant.

This week, we are encouraging everyone to take a few moments to visit www.getsafeonline.org and make sure they follow the right advice for using mobile devices securely and safely.” 

Some smart phone users are getting a nasty surprise when they see their monthly bills, discovering that they have run up huge phone bills for premium-rate text messages they did not send. This is one of the latest scams being used by online criminals to profit from the recent boom in smart phones and mobile web applications (apps), experts at GetSafeOnline.org are warning today.

Fraudsters are using online app stores to entice smart phone users to download rogue apps. Often masquerading as ‘free levels’ to popular and legitimate online games, or even as security tools, these rogue apps disguise malicious software (malware) which the user unwittingly downloads at the same time. Once downloaded, this malware enables fraudsters to take control of the victim’s phone, allowing them to make calls, send and intercept SMS and voicemail messages, and browse and download online content. This enables them to gain access to all personal and payment data available on the phone - which can then be sold onto and used by identity fraudsters - and to ‘spam’ other mobile web users to commit further fraud.

For information and advice on how to guard against online fraud and other internet crime, visit the Get Safe Online website. Online fraud should be reported to Action Fraud.

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