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Mobile Users High Risk-takers than Desktop Users

Mobile computer users often take more security risks compared to users of desktop computers, according to a recent survey involving a large number of computer users in UK, US, Japan and Germany.

The study by Trend Micro discovered that the mobile user tend to give out confidential information more easily through e-mail and instant messaging, as he moves from one place to another.

In the current era of increased mobile working and mobile technology, while the practice greatly benefits workers' effectiveness, accessibility and productivity, it could also expose them to various threats. The study shows that both mobile and desktop end users in large Japanese companies are more prone to disclose confidential information then users elsewhere. These corporate are likely to send their information through Web mail or instant messages to business partners or colleagues.

As mobile workers' tendency for risky behavior increases, it intensifies the challenges for security specialists and IT administrators, said Raimund Genes, CTO for anti-malware at Trend Micro. EARTHtimes.org reported Genes' statement on August 28, 2007. Mobile workers often do not know about the risks they expose the enterprise network to and also how their behavior increases the overall risk for the company's security.

According to the survey, 58% of respondents in the US admitted that they sent out confidential information via Web mail when they accessed the Internet from company laptops outside the corporate network. This is against 42% respondents who admitted doing the same risky act when they used the Internet via the corporate network.

Respondents from the US, UK and Germany said that mobile end users are more inclined to be involved in risky online activity like downloading movies or browsing social networking sites too while using the corporate network. In comparison, this possibility is much less with desktop users. Among German respondents, for instance, 54% of mobile users used the company Internet to download executable files compared to 60% of desktop users.

But Japan showed a contrast to this general finding. There, only 49% of mobile users used the corporate network to download executable files against 60% of desktop users.

Related article: Mobile Spam: How Vulnerable Can your Cell Phone Be?

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