Barely a decade ago, the world was still wrapping its head around the concept of smartphones.
Today, smartphones have become an integral part of our lifestyle. They organize our calendars, keep track of our health, manage our business goals, and update us on everything happening worldwide.
But as with everything, this mobile treasure has a downside, and that’s security.
With so much of our personal and business information on these devices, cybercriminals now deem smartphones as a golden minefield for data.
This article guide you through the major threats and their solutions to keep your mobile device secure from all the bad guys.
3 Common mobile security threats mobile users face
Cases of data leakage have drastically increased among smartphone users in 2020. This is mainly because of downloading malicious apps that collect your data and send it back to the attackers.
Cybercriminals have crafted ways to masquerade their malware-ridden apps in legitimate app sources, making it nearly impossible for the user to detect it. Once installed on your phone, the app begins collecting your data, including all your personal information.
Malware attacks remain to be one of the most dangerous and widely used threats for smartphone users. Attackers use trojans, viruses, and spyware, which collect your data and relay it to third parties. Malware also collects your internet usage, contacts, and even location, putting you and your loved ones at risk. Some malware can also hijack your phone and render the whole device useless.
Spoofed Network connections
Hackers have also perfected how to utilize unsecured networks to steal your data. They take advantage of free wi-fi in public spots like airports and restaurants to create false access points. Once you register and connect via these points, the attackers can intercept your data traffic and send you malicious links to steal your information.
Other common mobile attack threats include the widespread phishing attacks, spyware attacks, and data breaches. Since there are so many threats to your smartphone, investing in proper security practices is the only way to stay safe.
5 Ways to secure mobile devices
Here are some of the most effective ways to ensure the safety of your mobile device.
- Maintain updated software
Most software companies regularly send updates for the apps, not just to improve the aesthetics, but mainly to enhance the app’s security. These updates contain patches to some of the identified flaws and vulnerabilities on the app. So, you’d better be keen to install the updates as soon as they are released. This includes your OS system as well.
- Avoid using public wi-fi networks
Using public wi-fi is never a good idea, regardless of how appealing it is. Unsecured wi-fi opens the gates for hackers to throw all their tricks on your device. So, while it might be a bit costly, use your mobile data whenever you can. If you absolutely need to use the wi-fi, then consider using a VPN.
Getting to know how a VPN app works is easy and using it secures your data traffic movement from hackers. Nevertheless, you have to ensure that you have a reliable VPN – most VPNs don’t work as well as they advertise!
- Restricts your app permissions
One way to identify a malicious app is through the permissions it requests. If an app asks for permissions to apps that aren’t related to its use, for instance, a camera app requesting permissions to your contacts, that’s a big red flag. Uninstall the app immediately.
Before installing any app, take time to research the developers and be strict on the permissions. Additionally, if you don’t use an app, get rid of it.
- Use an antivirus
Many users don’t see the need to have an antivirus on their smartphones, and in most cases, you won’t need it. However, with the rise of malware and phishing attacks, you can never be too sure about your mobile security.
An antivirus completes regular scans ensuring that malware and virus don’t hide in your device. Some antiviruses also have ad-blocking features, protecting you from malicious ads.
- Use strong passwords
Cracking passwords has become much easier for hackers today. With the aid of several powerful software, an attacker will crack your ‘1234’ passwords within seconds. You, therefore, need strong, secure passwords for any account you sign up to on your mobile.
Additionally, avoid duplicating one password on multiple sites. Instead, create strong passwords for each site and use a password manager to store them.
Mobile device security is something that all mobile users should pay more attention to. As attackers leverage technology to continue developing more sophisticated threats, only those with good mobile security practices will ensure the safety of their mobile devices and themselves too. So, don’t be left out!