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#GJNEWS: Why it is inadvisable to watch porn on your phone.


We're not making any moral
judgments here. But it is
definitively a bad idea to visit
pornography sites on your
smartphone or tablet.
Nearly one-quarter of malware on mobile
devices comes from porn websites, according
to a new study from Blue Coat, a Web security
and optimization company.


Mobile users don't check out porn sites often
-- less than 1% of all mobile traffic is
pornography. But when they do go to those
sites, the risk of inadvertently downloading
malware to their devices increases three-fold.
That makes watching porn on smartphones a
far bigger threat than viewing porn on a PC.
Porn led to more malware on smartphones and
tablets than e-mail spam, malicious websites,
and fake apps combined.
Part of the problem, Blue Coat said, is that the
nature of mobile devices makes differentiating
legitimate sites from malicious ones a tricky
task. There is no way to hover over shortened
URLs to reveal their true destination, for
example.
"No matter how tantalizing a link might look
on a desktop, there are cues that you
shouldn't go there, such as an address that
just doesn't look safe," said Hugh Thompson,
chief security strategist for Blue Coat. "When
you click a link on a mobile phone, it's harder
to know what form of Russian roulette they're
playing."

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Porn is a leading traffic driver on the Internet,
and for many years, porn sites had been a
primary source of malware on PCs as well.
"When you delve into the world of online
pornography, you don't often know where you
are, or where the content is coming from,"
said Thompson. "But when you're visiting
those sites, you are more inclined to make
riskier choices than elsewhere on the Web."
But cyberattackers are increasingly finding
new ways to target an even larger audience,
including phishing, uploading malicious
advertisements and poisoning search engine
results.
Security experts predict that broader-based
cybercrime schemes are likely to appear on
smartphones and tablets soon. For now
though, mobile attacks appear to be mirroring
techniques used on traditional computers.


Still, major security firms have widely
predicted that this will be the year mobile
devices will finally emerge as a major target
for cybercriminals. Smartphones have become
personal computers that travel around with us
at all times, and the vast majority of users
don't even lock them with a password.
Cyberthieves continue to make so much money
attacking Windows PCs that there hasn't been
much incentive to change tactics. But we're
about to hit a tipping point. Most people still
do their online banking and shopping on their
PCs, but those transactions are happening on
mobile phones more frequently.
According to research from Juniper Networks
( ), 300 million smartphones around
the world will be equipped with the near-field
communications (NFC) chips needed for
mobile payments this year. Juniper also
predicts global NFC transactions will total
nearly $50 billion.


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