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Australia Worst in the World for Mobile App Threats

by Helen J. Wolf
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Endpoint-to-cloud security provider Lookout has released the latest results of its Lookout App Threats Map, a threat intelligence index based on analysis of more than 160 million applications worldwide. The latest data shows that Australians worldwide are the population most exposed to mobile app threats per device, and iPhone users are significantly more likely to download a risky application than Android users.

“Australians may have become complacent when it comes to downloading applications to their phones at a time when the risks are greater than ever,” said Don Tan, senior director of Asia Pacific and Japan, Lookout.

“Across the country, they use their phones to check in, order food, and more – this common use of phones may have led to complacency about the applications they download. But they need to be more vigilant than ever.”

Australia Worst in the World for Mobile App Threats

The Lookout App Threats Map is derived from anonymous telemetry data extracted from the Lookout Security Graph. The Security Graph analyzes telemetry data from over 200 million devices and 160 million apps, processing and analyzing more than four million URLs daily. By leveraging artificial intelligence, Lookout protects customers from phishing, app, device, and network threats in a way that respects users’ privacy. Using machine learning on data allows Lookout MES to detect threats before they are seen automatically.

Lookout Mobile Endpoint Security fingerprints each mobile device and compares it with data from more than 185 countries to continuously monitor and protect against mobile risks. The current data of the map covers the period from February 2021 to March 2022.

“Crimes targeting smartphone users may appear low risk and invisible until we see Australia on a red colored map, with the highest number of application threats compared to its global counterparts. Then it starts to get very real,” says Tan.

“People across Australia need to be more vigilant when downloading applications, or else this number rises, and their financial and other personal information continue to fall into the hands of criminals,” he says.

“It’s important for people to check the links associated with everything they download, as well as the number of downloads and customer reviews in the app store.”

In addition to Australia having the highest number of mobile app threats in the world, the Lookout App Threats Map revealed that most of these threats come from iOS (30.1%) rather than Android (1.2%) devices.

Tan says this indicates a degree of security complacency within the iOS user community.

“Apple does an excellent job with mobile security, and because of this strong reputation, users are often lax with their security practices,” he says.

“It’s dangerous to work assuming that every device you use is completely safe, regardless of manufacturer, and people should apply the same safety precautions to every device they use.”

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