A new report from Nokia warns infected smartphones are more common than thought

Nokia sign
Smartphone viruses may not be a security threat you hear about every day, but they are far more common than you might think. According to Nokia on Wednesday, it found that there was an 83 percent rise in monthly smartphone infections in the second half of 2016.

In a survey of 100 million devices across Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East, the rate of infections in mobile networks peaked at 1.35 percent in October and averaged about 1.08 percent in the second half of 2016. That was up from 0.66 percent in the first half of the year or 63 percent.

About 81 percent of infections were on Android devices, 15 percent on Windows devices, and four percent on iPhones and other mobile devices.

The monthly rate of infections on smartphones was 0.9 percent in the second half, up 83 percent from 0.49 percent of devices in the first half. Over the entire year, infections rose a whopping 400 percent.

About 81 percent of infections were on Android devices, 15 percent on Windows devices, and four percent on iPhones and other mobile devices.

The Nokia report joins a growing body of evidence that mobile malware is on the rise.

Google’s Android Security 2016 Year in Review found that Android device infections reached 0.64 percent in the first quarter of 2016 and 0.77 percent in the second quarter — a growth of 0.77 percent. From there, the infection rate moved to 0.67 percent in the third quarter and 0.71 percent in the fourth quarter.

Google said that since 2014, infections on Android have been less than one percent, and it noted that users were 10 times more likely to download malware from outside Google Play than inside its store in 2016.

According to Kaspersky Labs, the number of malicious installations nearly tripled compared to 2015. About 40 million attacks were attempted by mobile malware, and mobile advertising Trojans — viruses capable of aggressively displaying ads on infected devices and secretly installing other applications — were largely responsible, accounting for 16 of the top 20 malicious apps.

Mobile ransomware trojans — apps that disable device with demand messages — were among the most aggressive. More than 153,000 unique users were targeted last year, an increase of 1.6 times compared to 2015. And Kaspersky Labs detected over 260,000 unique varieties over the course of its investigation.  

The takeaway? Exercise common sense when installing an unfamiliar app and consider one of the many third-party security suites available across mobile devices.

Mobile

Huawei can make superb phones, but the Y7 Prime isn’t one of them

We've adored some of the recent Huawei smartphones, including the excellent P20 Pro; but the firm also makes some cheaper hardware. We've been using the $220 Huawei Y7 Prime to find out if it's similarly tempting.
Mobile

The Palm has been revived, and it wants to help you limit your smartphone usage

A reboot of the classic Palm is finally here and it's tiny. It syncs to your phone and acts as a secondary device -- with a feature to help you disconnect from technology. At $350, the Palm will be available exclusively through Verizon.
Photography

Photography News: Raw edits on iPad and an A.I. research lab for PicsArt

In this week's photography news, Canon launched an iPad app that allows for RAW edits on the go. Popular mobile editing app PicsArt now has a research lab dedicated entirely to A.I.-powered tools.
Mobile

Razer Phone 2 vs. Razer Phone: Is it time to level up?

Razer surprised us with a gaming phone last year, but now it's back with a new, improved version. We take a look at the differences between the Razer Phone 2 and the original Razer Phone to find out exactly what has changed.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
Mobile

OnePlus charges into U.K. carrier stores, leaving online-only start in the past

OnePlus's next phone, the OnePlus 6T, will be more widely available than any OnePlus phone before it, as the company has announced major deals with retailers in the U.K. The device launches on October 30.
Product Review

The all-new Palm wants to be many things, but it’s really just a tiny smartphone

The all-new Palm is here, and it’s tinier than ever. Exclusive to Verizon, it syncs to your primary smartphone and acts as a secondary device -- with features to help you disconnect from technology. But at $350, is it worth the high price…
Photography

You can finally throw away your PC; Photoshop is coming to the iPad

A full version of Photoshop is coming to the iPad -- and soon, other tablets, as well. Adobe also launched several new features for Photoshop and Lightroom, including a new Content-Aware Fill tool.
Mobile

The Huawei Mate 20 may come with a massive 40W charger

Huawei is no stranger when it comes to big phones. And this year it plans to go even bigger with the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro. Here's what we think we know about the new range.
Home Theater

Dish Network or DirecTV: Which is the better choice for you?

So, you’ve chosen to go with a satellite television provider. Check out our quick rundown of what both Dish Network and DirecTV offer in terms of content, hardware, and pricing, and why you might choose them over streaming services.
Mobile

Upcoming iPad may lose a few millimeters, along with its headphone jack

The new iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and Apple Watch aren't the last devices we'll see from Apple in 2018. There are plenty of rumors about a new iPad coming this year too, and it may share some design similarities with the new phones.
Product Review

Mediocre battery and a big notch slight Google's otherwise perfect Pixel phone

Google’s Pixel 3 XL has two big flaws: The gigantic notch on the front, and mediocre battery life. That being said, this is the best Android experience you can find in a smartphone today.
Product Review

Google’s Pixel 3 is a hair away from pocket-sized perfection

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is the best Android phone you can buy. It doesn’t have the best looks or the best hardware, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better software and unique A.I. functionalities.
Mobile

The best Pixel 3 screen protectors to keep your phone Pixel perfect

The Pixel 3 is equipped with the hottest hardware and a beautiful 5.5-inch P-OLED display protected by Gorilla Glass 5. But it's not invincible. Here are the best Pixel 3 screen protectors to keep it safe.