Muscat: Mobile phone store owners and specialists in Oman have warned users not to visit sites that may seem suspicious, if they want to keep malware infections to a minimum.
“These days, people begin using the internet on their mobiles the moment they get their phones,” said Sakeer, the manager of mobile phone distributors Play Phone Oman. “Everyone wants access to the internet and social media. Previously, phones were only used for phone calls, and this is why malware is spreading so much.”
A recent survey by global internet security firm Trend Micro noticed a 55 per cent increase in malware detections in the region, with the UAE clocking an average of 91,956 detections a month. Oman was last on the list of the four GCC nations polled, registering an average of only 10,173 malware detections.
Saudi Arabia (87,876) and Qatar (21,293) were the other two countries being monitored.
“When users search for results via search engines, they must not click on the ads at the top and the bottom of the search results, as these may have malware attached to them,” explained Basheer, a phone technician. “Malware also comes from certain sites which automatically download files to your phone. These malware then pose as fake software updates for your phone. Antiviruses, said Basheer, are only a preventive measure for phones, and are not as effective at cleaning phones of malware as the public believes they are.
“Most users don’t have any ideas about this sort of technology,” he added. “People think they clean the phone, but the truth is they are not very successful. The important thing is to not give permission to any suspicious-looking software to access your phone.”
Speaking at a recent press conference, Ihab Moawad, a Vice President for Trend Micro, said, “The Middle East is a major driver for the global economy. As such, it will attract cybercriminals. This region is a growth area and we remain committed in our efforts to keeping our customers safe from internet threats.”