There is little doubt that the next frontier for cyber criminals is mobile devices.  It is estimated that cyber-crime cost consumers more than $110 billion worldwide in 2011.  In the United States, the costs were estimated at $21 billion.  As more statistics are gathered about the relationship between cyber-crime and mobile devices a number of shocking results were identified.

35% of Adults Have Lost or Had Their Mobile Device Stolen Internet Security Threats to Mobile Devices

Before smartphones, a stolen phone meant little more than needing to get a replacement.  The introduction of smart phones has made the threat of theft much more problematic.  There is a variety of Internet security threats associated with lost and stolen smart phones.  Considering all of the information stored by apps, a stolen smart phone exponentially increases the risk of identity and data theft.

31% of Mobile Users Have Received a Text or SMS from Someone They Didn’t Know

This may not seem like a big deal, but sending a text message or SMS with an embedded link is a popular technique hackers used to inject malware onto smartphones and other mobile devices.  Another tactic is to have the user dial a phone number to receive an important voice mail.  This technique is a strategy to trick people into handing over personal data.  Seeing how dangerous something as simple as a text message can be illustrates how serious Internet security threats are to mobile device owners.

82% of Malware Targeting Smartphones is tied to Toll Fraud

An Internet security risk which has not received much notoriety is toll fraud malware.  This is malware which secretly contact high-priced SMS services which added hidden fees onto the user’s mobile bill.  Toll fraud is particularly prevalent in Eastern Europe and Russia.

40% of Americans Click on Unsafe Links

The single largest threat to American mobile device users is themselves.  Several studies have shown that more than 40 percent of Americans are likely to click on unsafe links using mobile devices.  These links can be found anywhere.  The most popular methods hackers used to deliver these links include e-mail, social networks, phishing techniques, and SMS spam.

65% of Mobile Devices Don’t Use an Internet Security Solution

According to a recent survey, more than 65% of mobile device users have no Internet security solution on any of their mobile devices.  To make matters worse, 44% of them aren’t even aware that Internet security solutions exist for mobile platforms.

More than 90% of All Mobile Malware Targets Android Devices

Internet security threats are particularly prevalent for anyone who uses an Android mobile device.  More than 90 percent of all mobile malware targets these devices.  Malware found on Android devices can do a variety of tasks.  The most commonly reported mobile malware Internet security threats include sending out SMS messages, charging fraudulent SMS payments, creating mobile bot nets, spyware, and Trojans which steal or destroy data.

Internet security threats targeting mobile devices more than doubled over the previous year.  As the popularity of mobile devices continues to grow, they become a more profitable target for hackers and cyber criminals.  Establishing a routine and a layer of protection, such as a VPN, against common mobile Internet security threats must become a high priority for anyone using a mobile device.