Watching Porn On A Smartphone Can Triple Your Chances Of Downloading Malware

Despite the ease of being entertained anywhere that comes with owning a smartphone, only about 1% of all mobile traffic is pornography — after all, maybe you don’t want that grandmother next to you on the bus to see you watching. But a new study says that for those people who do indulge on their devices, they’re putting their phones at a high risk of catching something unhealthy. And by that we mean malware, of course.

A study by Web security and optimization company Blue Coat (via CNNMoney) says almost a quarter of malware on mobile devices can be traced back to porn sites. When a smartphone user surfs over to a porn site, they triple their risk of accidentally downloading malware, which makes it a more dangerous endeavor than watching the stuff on a PC.

Porn tops other malware threats on mobile devices like email spam, malicious sites and fake apps combined, notes the study. It’s all because it’s harder to detect when a site isn’t legitimate because users can’t hover over links on their phones the way they do on computers.

“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.”

Porn roulette sounds kinda interesting, to be sure, but it gets a lot less interesting when malware infects your phone and mucks everything up.

“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.”

We’re sure plenty of people have made that “But I didn’t know where I was!” excuse before.

Your safest bet is to treat your phone like a PC, and don’t click on anything if you’re not 100% where it’s going to take you. The grandmother next to you on the bus will thank you.

Watching porn is bad for your smartphone [CNNMoney]