In this day and age, pretty much everyone has a mobile device. It is extremely beneficial in avoiding security threats with your device.
Everyone knows that smartphone usage is at an all-time high, and that comes with avoiding security threats. The reason is very simple. The more connected to the Internet, the more vulnerable of a hack. Like any other cybersecurity threat, mobile threats can include ID theft, spyware, and phishing scams.
Here are the most common mobile threats you can face and how to avoid them.
Using Public WiFi in Avoiding Security Threats
Connecting to a public WiFi network can be enticing. After all, it's in most public places where you might need it, and it's usually free. However, for your security and privacy, this is one of the worst things you can do to put yourself at risk. Public WiFi networks are usually unsecured, which means they are highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
With this in mind, only use free public WiFi is it is absolutely necessary. And if you must use it, stay clear of your confidential accounts such as email and banking accounts.
Additional tip: Keep an eye out for "network spoofing," a practice when hackers set up lookalike WiFi networks in high-traffic public places. They name the networks "coffeeshop" or "AirportWiFi" to get people to connect and unwittingly hand over their data. Always check that the WiFi you are connecting to is legitimate.
Leaving Bluetooth On
Leaving your Bluetooth on when not in use makes your phone visible to anyone within ~100 feet of you. If a hacker connects to your phone via Bluetooth, they can infect your phone with malware, access your personal data, or track your activities.
To avoid this, simply turn your Bluetooth function off when in public and not in use.
Using Public Charging Ports in Avoiding Security Threats
Using public charging ports can give hackers easy and direct access to your smartphone. The port that you plug your phone into easily hacked to steal the information off your device when it's plugged in.
Avoid this nightmare scenario by fully charging your phone every night or carrying a portable charger when out for long periods of time.
Downloading Questionable Apps
Mobile apps can be quite helpful and convenient, but they can also be a source of cyber attacks, either directly or indirectly. In some cases, cyber criminals build malicious apps to look exactly like a popular app and use it to steal your data. To avoid this, only download apps from official app stores.
However, even if you download legitimate apps from the official app store, you could still be at risk. This is because some apps send your personal data to remote servers easily hacked by cyber criminals. To mitigate this problem, be conscious of the permissions you give to your apps. Only give permissions that the app needs to function, and nothing more.
Opening and Reading Questionable Emails in Avoiding Security Threats
Since we're always on our phones, we are at more of a risk for email phishing attacks. When we receive email notifications, we usually open and read emails that we think look important. However, email apps usually don't display the same amount of information that a computer screen displays, meaning we may miss suspicious signs.
With this in mind, never open unfamiliar email links, even from senders that may seem legitimate. If you're interested in the email, wait until you can view it on a computer to further inspect the email.
Giving Your Child Unsupervised Access to Your Phone
Children are easy targets for hackers for many reasons; they are susceptible to clicking suspicious links and providing the sensitive information to strangers.
It's a good idea to teach your child the basics of staying safe on the Internet. And to be safe, always supervise your child when they are using your mobile device. Alternatively, look into using parental control on your handheld devices.
Staying Safe in the Age of 24/7 Connectivity
In a world where we're connected all the time, it is more important than ever to protect ourselves from cyber attacks. The above tips are a good start towards mobile security, but there's always more we can do to keep ourselves safe. Effective solutions include device security solutions such as VPNs or anti-virus software. For more information, click here. (link to VPN and anti-virus articles)
What Is A VPN? - A Virtual Private Network is a connection method used to add security and privacy to private and public networks. VPNs are most often used by corporations to protect sensitive data. Using a personal VPN is becoming more popular as more interactions that were previously face-to-face transition to the Internet.
Phishing Email Red Flags and How To Recognize - As you've probably heard, phishing is one of the most often-used techniques hackers use to break into devices or computer systems.
Spyware Explained and How it Works - Since the inception of the internet, bad actors have taken advantage of security holes for criminal purposes. To clarify, spyware is one of the oldest and most common threats that we all face on the internet.