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Mobile phones in Africa and Middle East unprotected

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Updated Thursday, April 11th 2013 at 00:00 GMT +3

By Mercy Oyaya

Research released by Norton shows that many mobile phones used in the Middle East and African are not secured and locked posing high risk of mobile cybercrime.

The reports released by the Communications Commission of Kenya in the first quarter of 2012/2013, shows that Kenya’s mobile penetration is at 77.2 per cent; with a market share of 30.4 million mobile subscribers by September last year and that 32.4 per cent of the population accesses the internet via the mobile phone.

According to the Norton Symantec study, nine out of ten adults which narrow to 87% adults living in the Middle East and Africa use mobile to surf online download apps, shopping, advertisement and making payment.

Kara Rawden,the Senior Marketing Manager, Consumer - Middle East & Africa at Norton by Symantec, added that people are relying more and more on their mobile phones and tablets to navigate, share, socialise and shop.

 “What many consumers may not realise is exactly how much of their personal and private information is up for grabs should these devices be compromised, lost or stolen. Considering the sensitive nature of data that is accessible from personal mobile devices, consumers need to take some basic, yet easy, precautions to protect it from falling into the wrong hands,” added Kara.

The study indicates that 29% of the mobile users do not use secure payment method while making purchases from their mobile device, leaving their sensitive information such as credit card details vulnerable.

In addition, 28% admitted to not using a password to help protect their personal data which poses risk to access to personal information.

Mobile devices consumers are advised to protect their phones just like the computer users to cab cybercrime.

“Consumers know how important it is to protect their computer from the wide range of threats they can encounter when online and off,” said Senior Marketing Manager.  

“By installing mobile security software which protects against malicious online threats and enables you to lock, locate and wipe your device remotely, you can secure your personal life from potential intruders,” he added.

 

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