4 Common Mobile Phone Security Threats
Keeping your mobile device secure is much more than just protecting an expensive piece of technology. It is critically important to preventing fraud. In this brief article we will review the four basic tenants of mobile phone security, what you need to know to protect your device and yourself, and what to do if your personal information has been compromised or you find you are a victim of identity theft.
Although new attacks regularly come to the attention of cybersecurity experts, these are the most common types that you can watch for and protect yourself against.
Web-Browsing Malware and Phishing Attempts
Most mobile phone users find themselves browsing websites daily; however, this simple activity could lead to a compromise of the security of your mobile device and a loss of your personal information or worse. Websites can download malware onto your mobile device without your permission or awareness. Plus, these websites may entice you to click on links which can download malware onto your device. For example, a hacker might set up a website that looks legitimate (like a banking site) to capture login credentials. Make sure your mobile phone has the latest version of software designed to detect malicious websites and phishing attempts.
Malicious Mobile Apps
Hackers create malicious apps that you may innocently download or even buy. Once installed, these apps can steal your data from your devices or spend your money with your tap and pay apps. Make sure you check charges and purchases carefully. Keeping mobile software up to date also helps defend against malicious apps, as device makers periodically update their software to patch vulnerabilities that these apps exploit. The goal is to protect the information stored or accessible through the device (including your personal information, social accounts, documents, credentials, etc.).
Mobile devices are usually connected to at least two networks. and sometimes more. These include your cellular connection, WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS. Each of these points of connection can be exploited by hackers to take over a device, trick the user, or penetrate a corporate network.
Make sure security settings are configured to prevent unauthorized WiFi access. Protect your network with a very strong password. Be very careful when using a free WiFi network, such as the airport, hotel, or coffee shop. Always assume that these networks may not be secure and therefore subject to sniffers that can syphon off information. Therefore, you should refrain from accessing important accounts with passwords or completing forms that ask for personal information when using a network you are not confident is secure. You shouild also turn off WiFi and Bluetooth when not in use to make sure that you don’t automatically connect to a network that is not secure.
Mobile phones are carried everywhere and they are small and easy to steal. Once a criminal has your phone, it could be money in their pocket. If you don’t have adequate security on your device at the time it is stolen, it is too late. You may have just handed over a treasure trove of personal information and access to your accounts with no way to stop the damage. However, in our list below we have outlined some easy steps that you can take NOW to make sure that you don’t regret it later. Don’t delay. Tomorrow could be too late.
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