Security & Fraud

UK Mobile App Usage Is Risky Business

New research from RiskIQ revealed that mobile app users in the U.K. may be at a greater security risk.

The data, which is based on a nationwide survey of 1,000 people, showed that U.K. consumer identities and devices are at risk due to the combination of poor security awareness and an increasing demand for mobile apps.

The survey results found that 45 percent of respondents do not examine the details of an app and 60 percent never or only occasionally look at privacy policies and permissions prior to downloading.

“Unlike businesses that are becoming increasingly mobile security savvy, many consumers remain unaware and vulnerable. Given the volume of personal information being requested and shared through mobile applications, the need for better mobile security awareness has never been greater,” Colin Verrall, VP EMEA of RiskIQ, said in a press release.

With a fast and carefree approach to downloading apps, U.K. consumers are shown to be more vulnerable to cybercriminal attempts to infect their mobile devices and steal personal data.

Despite the increasing threat of cyberattacks — RiskIQ noted there were 3.8 million cybercrime instances reported in the U.K. last year alone — the survey revealed that almost half (45 percent) of respondents clicked on an ad promoting a mobile app, movie or game.

Approximately 37 percent said they had clicked on a link in an email, website or social media feed in order to download an app, game or movie. Clicking through without properly inspecting the details can significantly increase the risk of downloading a malicious or counterfeit app, RiskIQ pointed out.

“The vastness of the app store ecosystem provides the perfect place for malicious actors to hide, luring consumers into believing their apps are official or their brand affiliation is legitimate. RiskIQ works with many major organizations to police their apps and brands across hundreds of different app stores, but it’s no replacement for consumer vigilance. With the number of blacklisted apps doubling between 2015 and 2016, it’s time for consumers to up their ‘security awareness’ game,” Verrall added.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

Click to comment