Smartphone Users at Risk of Theft and Attack, Say Experts

Mobile users are placing themselves at risk of data theft and even physical attack, due to a lack of smartphone security, according to a report by a leading European security agency.

The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) research claims that mobile devices are a "goldmine" of sensitive and personal data, and should be adequately protected.

The agency said that the primary risk faced by smartphone devices came from accidental data leakage owing to the GPS data attached to images.

“Many users are unaware or do not recall that the [location] data is being transmitted, let alone know of the existence of the privacy setting to prevent this. Unintentional disclosure may help attackers to track and trace users and so allow stalking, robbery or hijacking,” the report said.

According to the report, malware designed to steal data, dialerware used to make remote phone calls, stolen or lost smartphones and the overloading of networks by massive data use were some of the other security risks that accompany smartphone devices.