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How to Handle Top Mobile Security Risks

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

As mobile devices get more and more popular, the number of security challenges associated with them have also grown manifold. Mobile devices have now become the preferred target of hackers and criminals so much so that for the first time in history, Android has surpassed Windows as the most targeted Operating system. Once the security of your mobile device gets compromised, criminals have the power to steal your data, money or identity plus they can also use your phone for security attacks (such as DDOS) or render it completely useless. Unfortunately, mobile security does not get the attention it deserves so we have decided to publish some of the topmost threats as well as ways to deal with them.

1) Malware

The number of malwares targeting mobile devices have increased exponentially over the last few years. Malwares may be disguised as apps or they may be passed around through messages (especially MMS). The best way to deal with them is to install a trustworthy security software (anti-virus and firewall) on your device and update it regularly. In addition, you must make it a point not to install suspicious apps, games, security patches or attachments received through messages.

2) Wireless Security

Wireless networks (especially open networks) are considered the best friends of cyber criminals. Since most wireless networks do not encrypt data by default, it is very easy for hackers to steal sensitive information from others who are connected to the network. The best solution to remain protected on Wi-Fi networks (including public Wi-Fi hotspots) is to use a privacy tool like VPN since it encrypts your traffic and makes you invisible on the network.

3) User Authentication

Most mobile users do not use passwords (or biometric security) to secure their devices. What’s worse, even users who lock their devices with passwords use ridiculously bad passwords that can be guessed easily. As a result, mobile thieves can easily get hold of confidential data including credit card numbers and identity. To prevent such a possibility, you must lock your phone with a strong password (or use biometric security if it is available). In addition, you must use 2 step authentication for important websites and applications so that your personal data doesn’t get compromised even if your phone gets lost.

4) Outdated Software

A lot of security attacks target vulnerabilities in mobile OS or specific apps. Unfortunately, mobile OS and even apps like browsers are not updated as frequently as their desktop counterparts. The only way to protect yourself from such threats is to update your security software regularly and install the software updates as soon as they become available.

5) Network Based Attacks

Although Wi-Fi remains the preferred choice of criminals, they may also attack or infect your device through cellular networks or Bluetooth. To prevent such attacks, you must turn off Bluetooth when not required (plus switch off the auto-discovery mode), use a reliable security tool on your device as well as use a privacy tool like VPN to remain protected at all times.

December 17, 2014

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