How often do you find yourself surfing the web from your smartphone?
Ever been in a situation where you’ve heard people talking about some topic you had no idea about and looking it up on the web quickly spared you a huge embarrassment? Well, thank you precious smartphone! But what if instead of providing you with the information you needed, surfing the web resulted in you accessing a virus-infected website that put at risk your mobile security? Suddenly, a mobile phone antivirus seems like a must-have app.
Having a mobile phone antivirus installed on your smartphone can protect you from any web-based threats out there, so that you stay safe while getting all knowledgeable.
Web-based threats to your mobile security
Judging by the reasoning behind them, web-based threats for smartphones are just the same as those for computers. Cybercriminals only adapt them to the mobile modus operandi. So when it comes to online security, it goes without saying that mobile phone antivirus protection is just as important as computer antivirus protection.
Now, what are the most common web-based threats you’re faced with when you go online from your smartphone?
When browsing the web, you may run into:
- malicious links – once clicked on, they send you over to sites created by cybercriminals and infected with viruses, spyware or some other form of malware;
- phishing links – usually sent by e-mail and direct you to a cybercriminals’ website that asks you for personal data to log in;
- compromised links – these are links to legit and reputable websites that cybercriminals have breached and placed either malicious ads or code in their structures.
These links usually show up in your browser search results or spam e-mails. However, if you’re a social networking junkie, you may come across them in your Facebook news feeds or tweets from people you follow on Twitter. In any case, you need a mobile phone antivirus to watch over your online presence while on the go.
OS and browser exploits
Whatever operating system runs on your smartphone, cybercrooks can always find vulnerabilities in it to exploit if it’s not updated. Mobile browsers are also vulnerable to direct exploitation, this being the most common type of mobile software exploit out there. However, cybercrooks also target applications that can be launched via a Flash player, PDF reader, or image viewer.
Simply by visiting a malicious website or viewing an item on the web, you can trigger an exploit and, unknowingly, install malware. This, in turn, can take control over your smartphone and steal sensitive data, download apps, deny access to a service etc. A mobile phone antivirus can block such malware and prevent smartphone damages.
While surfing the web from your smartphone you may access a webpage that triggers the automatic download of a malware-infected app. In some cases, such malicious webpages encourage you to open the download to actually infect your phone with malware. Cybercrooks may use spam or malvertising to advertise fun apps – gaming or even mobile phone antivirus apps – and direct you to fake app stores to download them. Once you get to the respective website, what you download is actually malware. Needless to say, obscure app stores are not the best places to get apps from.
6 tips on how to surf the web safely from your smartphone
While going online from your smartphone, your mobile security is the thing to watch out for!
- If you receive a suspicious or “too good to be true” e-mail, ignore it; don’t click on any links it contains.
- Phishing links may come disguised as links to legit websites, but if you look closely at the URLs they are misspelled or pointing to a subdomain (e.g. blog or forum of a website) that in reality doesn’t exist. It’s best you have a mobile phone antivirus app with antiphishing, just in case you fall for a phishing attempt.
- Look at the browser address bar to make sure the websites you log in to or want to buy something from are secured – their ULRs have to begin with https://. The same goes for the webmail service you use.
- Keep your operating system and all applications on your smartphone up to date.
- Download apps directly and only from your mobile platform’s official app store; e.g. Android Market, App World (Blackberry), Ovi Store (Symbian), Apple Store.
- Install a mobile phone antivirus app to protect you from all the web-based threats mentioned above. BullGuard Mobile Security 10 comes with effective mobile phone antivirus and antiphishing features to protect you when you go online, in addition to an antitheft feature that keeps your phone and data on it safe when you’re offline.