Guess what? Mobile security is just as important as PC security!
Every day we hear news about new forms of malware storming through people’s computers and hackers attacking corporate networks. With technological advances, new opportunities arise for cybercrooks to put to value their best abilities: breaching internet security, stealing sensitive information and money, or “training” malware to do all those things for them. And with smartphones coming fast from behind and rapidly gaining their fair share of internet users, part of the focus in the online security industry has shifted towards mobile security – but not enough, unfortunately.
People use their smartphones to send e-mails, surf the web, socialize, bank and shop online – all these activities on an increasing scale. And yet, PC security seems to continue being “all that” in the internet security industry, while mobile security seems understated. Which prompts us to ask ourselves:
Why on earth can’t people seem to get their head around the fact that SMARTPHONES ARE COMPUTERS TOO?? Tiny, more convenient computers to carry around, but also more vulnerable to security risks.
Know thy enemy
We’ve been advocating for mobile security since the early stages of smartphone usage. And, unfortunately, our concerns have become reality. We see internet security threats, once ravaging PCs, now being adapted to mobile platforms. Social media attacks, identity theft, and privacy breaches being directed to mobile users. What we don’t see is internet security providers very eager to properly educate and inform their users about mobile security threats.
If you have a smartphone, you need to be up-to-date with all the threats you may come across while going online from it. In order to find a solution to the potential problem you need to know its cause. Also, if your kids use smartphones, you have to educate them about mobile security as well.
Here is a summary of the threats you’re face with while mobile:
- Malicious apps. Malware writers can create seemingly engaging apps containing malicious code. This enables them to remotely control your phone: make calls, send and intercept text and voice messages; browse and download online content.
- Phishing attempts. You can run into a fake version of a legit site that steals your login credentials and other private information.
- Spyware. While surfing the web or e-mailing you can get a pair of prying eyes on your phone. Their goal? Collect information from your phone or track your browsing behaviour.
- Wi-fi dangers. You can access a public network at any hot spot. But are they all safe? A cybercrook can watch your online activity and access your private information (passwords, usernames, credit card details).
- Malicious QR codes. You can scan them to view online content. But cybercrooks might use them to redirect you to malicious websites where you can get infected with some form of malware.
- Exploits of mobile platform vulnerabilities. As patches and updates for mobile operating systems are very rare, hackers have enough time to exploit the vulnerabilities in existent versions and gain control over your phone.
- Cyberstalkers. While you can figure out a cyberstalker on social networks, your kids may be too naïve to recognize them.
- Bluetooth exploits. Your bluetooth connection can be an open door to viruses.
On top of all these online threats, add the possibility of your phone being stolen, and you’ll get a comprehensive overview of the mobile security dangers you face.
Have a smartphone? Stay safe while on the go!
Caution and common sense is what we first and foremost advise smartphone users to apply. You may find the following mobile security tips very useful:
- Download apps only from reputable sites, read carefully their permission requests and look for reviews from other users.
- Keep your mobile operating system up-to-date at all times.
- Turn off Bluetooth and other types of connections when you don’t use them.
- Don’t bank or shop online while connected to a Wi-fi network.
- Don’t scan QR codes placed randomly on walls.
- Talk to your kids about cyberstalking.
- Don’t leave your phone unsupervised in public.
- To prevent having your phone infected with all sorts of malware, your sensitive data or identity stolen, and your kids exposed to indecent content and cyberbulling, install an effective mobile security suite. BullGuard Mobile Security 10 comes with a comprehensive list of mobile security features that protect you, your kids and your device from cybercrime. It also helps you locate your phone in case it gets misplaced.
One last note
Thankfully, you might say, there are internet and mobile security providers to protect us from ever-evolving online threats. But what if even the ones protecting you from being hacked are getting hacked themselves? Over the last few years, big companies dedicated to internet security have had their security compromised, and consequently that of their customers. Why not consider migrating towards smaller security companies? If millions of other users go for the big security provider, you can be sure hackers do too – they go where there’s plenty of fish to catch…