A survey has revealed what British smartphone users are using their devices for and it’s not for making phone calls.
The research from an online retailer reveals that just 27% of respondents said they used their phone for making phone calls every week which is the 11th most popular use.
However, the use of apps is popular though in first place is texting with 88% of smartphone owners regularly sending messages, in second place is emailing and in third place is using Facebook.
Users also use their phone’s camera, in fourth place, and reading the news is in fifth spot.
The top 10 is made up with online shopping (56%), checking weather reports (54%), WhatsApp (51%), banking (45%) and watching YouTube videos (42%).
Android phones hiding pre-installed malware
There are 38 Android phones that are apparently being shipped with malware that is pre-installed during the manufacturing and supply chain process, says Checkpoint Security.
Among the phones included are the Samsung Galaxy A5 and the Asus Zenfone 2.
Checkpoint says that the threat from the malware for users is ‘severe’.
They say they have uncovered the infections on 38 devices using Android that belong to a multinational tech company and a large telecoms firm.
A spokesman explained: “While this isn’t unusual there is one detail of the attacks that stands out which is that the malware was not downloaded a result of the user’s use and arrived with the phone.”
Checkpoint says users should not download phone apps from untrusted or unusual places and to avoid ‘risky websites’.
The Israeli-based firm has also highlighted that several lines of insecure code can be used to hack the WhatsApp application despite the firm saying its system offers users a tight encryption system that cannot be hacked.
Checkpoint has revealed a technique that bypasses the encryption method by hiding code in an innocuous image.
Smartphone owners tend not to secure devices
Research has revealed that most smartphone owners do not take the steps needed to secure their mobile devices.
The survey reveals that users do not update their phone’s apps or the operating system regularly and they don’t use a pass code to restrict access.
According to Pew Research around 28% of US smartphone owners do not use a screen lock or any other security feature.
Also, just 40% will update their apps and operating system, while one in 10 say they never update their device’s operating system or apps.
Google unveils parental control software
Google has unveiled parental control software for its Android system called Family Link.
The system will enable parents to limit their child’s use of mobile devices and which apps they can have access to.
The controls will also enable parents to track and manage screen time so they can impose daily limits and bedtimes for devices so they cannot be used.
Google says that while most mobile device providers offer parental controls, their Family Link differs because it operates like a third-party parental control to monitor software use.
In other Miratrix mobile phone news …
The latest WikiLeaks release offers a good reason for smartphone users to regularly update their apps, says Columbia University’s Steven Bellovin. He says the CIA’s work will inspire ‘low-end hackers’ and Europol is also urging users to update their phone’s apps.
Wishbone, the popular quiz app aimed at teens has, apparently, been hacked with users’ personal information being stolen.
The most popular phones targeted by thieves in the UK are: the HTC M8, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Apple iPhone 6 Plus, Apple iPhone 6, Apple iPhone S6.
Market research firm Statcounter says the dominance of Windows 10 to access the internet is coming to an end with the rapid popularity of Google’s Android OS being used for mobile phones, tablets and desktops and laptops soon to overtake the Windows platform.