A YouGov survey has revealed that 81 per cent of consumers have no security software on their smartphone.
The survey, which was commissioned by security software company ESET UK, found that 31 per cent of consumers don't know that smartphones can get viruses, while 14 per cent assume that security software is built into their handset.
Just over a third (36 per cent) say that they were aware their smartphone is under threat, but have not yet installed software to protect it. Just six per cent have installed anti-virus software.
Despite this, 90 per cent say that they use their phone to browse the internet, while 58 per cent regularly open email attachments on their phone. 21 per cent access their bank account on their smartphone handset. The survey polled 2,000 consumers.
"As the smartphone continues on its relentless march towards being the primary access point for users accessing the internet, it will continue to attract the attention of the maliciously minded," says ESET UK's VP of marketing, Quinton Watts. "It is therefore vital that consumers take measures to mitigate these threats."
Watts says smartphone security attacks are on the up. "This is mainly because so many devices are now being connected up to corporate networks and they are an easy entry point for hackers," he says. "What's most worrying about these figures is that if consumers are this relaxed about security on their own phone it is likely they will be even more so with company issued devices."