With more of our online activity being increasingly conducted through mobile devices and smart phones it is important to understand some of the risks that can occur, often without us ever knowing.
While it is rare that a computer user would access the internet without password protections, antivirus software and firewalls in place, many of us barely give a second thought to using a cell phone to check email, access online banking or login to a whole range of supposedly secure sites to manage our day-to-day affairs.
A BATTLE OF WILLS
The companies that manufacture smart phones do a pretty good job of building in security features and protections designed to keep criminals away from our sensitive data. The trouble is that hackers see this as a challenge to their abilities and are determined to find ways around the protections.
Those with more nefarious intentions look for vulnerabilities and exploit them for criminal purposes. Gaining access to the inner workings of cellular technology can help them figure out ways to advance their knowledge and break systems that were previously thought to be impenetrable.
ALWAYS USE PASSWORDS AND CHANGE THEM FREQUENTLY
The easiest and most basic thing cell phone users can do to keep their information better protected is to always use a password and be sure to change it frequently. It’s akin to locking the front door when you leave the house. A password on your phone is even more important because criminals that access your phone can find a treasure trove of information that when stolen can seriously turn your entire life upside down.
DISCOVERABLE BLUETOOTH AND WI-FI
When out and about and not actually using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi features, don’t leave them open for others to sniff out and discover. Any identifying information about your phone can be a small foothold for malcontents to find out even more.
INSTALL ANTIVIRUS APPS
Think of Mobile Security as a walled city where things mostly run pretty smoothly for those inside. Every now and then though, there are those outside who try to penetrate the walls so they can take what they want from those protected inside.
The job of Panda Mobile Antivirus software is to act as defenders and protectors of the walls so they can keep the bad guys away. These attacks can be sneaky, subtle and not at all obvious but antivirus protection detects what is happening and alerts the cell phone owner of the breach and takes action to fend off and repair the damage.
DOWNLOAD ONLY FROM TRUSTED SOURCES
Many cell phone users want the freedom to use their devices as they see fit without corporations looking over their shoulder declaring what can and cannot be installed on one’s smartphone.
There are phone owners who want to stay far away from the controlling influence of the manufacturers. Phones can be jailbroken, root kits installed and various locks, moats and gates crossed, picked and thrown wide open for the sake of customisation and curiosity.
While doing so can open up more ways of customising a cell phone, it also opens the floodgates to malicious software masquerading as innocent applications, often downloaded for free.
It is crucial to only download applications from authorised sites that have checked and vetted all the apps they offer. This may seem limiting for some but there are sound reasons manufacturers restrict what software can be installed upon your phone.
The issue of Mobile Security is becoming increasingly important as the technology we carry with us becomes more powerful, capable and indispensable. Being vigilant about the risks and responsible about your own actions will go a long way towards ensuring your cell phone remains safe and secure.