Stay safe, Android users: According to Cisco’s annual security report, 99 percent of all malware in 2013 targeted Android devices. In addition to this, Android users also had the highest encounter rate (71 percent) with all forms of web-delivered malware (which you can see in the graphic below).
Don’t let this scare you out of using your phone or tablet: The real-life problem isn’t quite as dramatic as the numbers make it sound. The report notes that mobile malware that targets specific devices only accounted for 1.2 percent of malware encounters (the rest primarily involved phishing, likejacking and forcible redirects on the web). And according to Cisco, the most commonly encountered form of malware was Andr/Qdplugin-A, which was often disguised alongside legitimate apps and sold through unofficial marketplaces. So as long as you stick to Google Play you’re far safer from a security perspective.
Also worth noting is that, while Cisco’s security report came out late last week, it was brought to my attention via Apple’s Phil Schiller, who shared a link to the report without comment on Twitter today. Schiller is the senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple. And of course, the fact that iOS devices were mostly exempt from malware last year is a fact worth marketing.