There have been so many instances where smartphone users assigned a higher value to the data stored on their mobile devices than the actual value of the smartphone itself. There is no denying the fact that people consider the data more crucial and valuable than anything else. With the advancement in technology, it has become conveniently accessible for smartphone users to store all their crucial data at a single place. But, even though they know they should secure their valuable data on their computers, they often fail to extend that protection to what is on their mobile devices.
When people initially got a first-hand experience of the miraculous innovation known as a smartphone, their reaction was a tad more dramatic than overwhelming. They found it hard to digest the fact that each app opened up a whole new world of possibilities. It took them some time to get accustomed to its sophistication. Offering a plethora of benefits to its users, a smartphone has always been a boon.
The only thing that makes people a tad wary of using smartphones is their security issues. Like any other computing device, a mobile phone is a fragile piece of technology, and it requires two types of protection – physical and cybersecurity protection. In this article, we are going to talk about the concept of cybersecurity and the need to invest in it. We will also be talking about what cybersecurity threats we must be careful of. Without any further ado, let us delve into the intricate details.
Why do we need mobile security?
With the increasing sensitivity of data breach scenarios in today’s world, maintaining the security of that data becomes more crucial to our privacy. There is a plethora of crucial data that can be vulnerable to cyber thieves if they gain access to unsecured phones and tablets. For instance, addresses, personal photos, passwords, phone numbers, and credit card info are some of the most sensitive data.
Exploiting the gaps found at the operating system level comes naturally to OS attacks. Unfortunate, development and coding are a couple of the factors that result in mobile app attacks. And these malware attacks are responsible for corrupting your data or stealing your passwords and other sensitive info. And ransomware is worse; it is accountable for holding access to your computer, and the data stored on it, hostage. When users log into an unsecured or faulty network, attacks on communication networks are most likely to happen.
You might take mobile security breaches to be the same as attacks that occur on desktops, but you cannot be more wrong. They are different for a couple of reasons mentioned below.
1. The fact that mobile users cannot see the entire URL of a site they are visiting, or a link they are about to click on, makes it easier for digital crooks to deploy successful phishing attacks.
2. When it comes to a plethora of mobile apps, users don’t have to log in all the time. And there are many users out there who still don’t set up screen locks on their smartphones. The apps that are always on and running make it easier for would-be cybercriminals to access data on many apps.
Ways to fortify mobile security
There are a plethora of steps that you can take if you wish to secure your mobile devices. The first step would be knowing precisely what data is being collected by the mobile apps you use. These would include photos, call logs, Internet data, and contacts. Understanding how your sensitive data is being stored, used, or shared by these applications is also one critical part of the process.
In the next segment, let us throw some light on mobile security for Apple devices and mobile security threats that can affect both Apple and Android devices.
Mobile security for Apple devices
Different mobile operating systems possess varying strengths and weaknesses. And hence the threats and the security solutions are also various. To know in detail about the mobile risks and best security practices, move on to the next segment.
This is a reasonably new threat for iPhone users. IOS is most likely to ask if you want to trust the computer when you plug your iPhone into the USB port of an unsecured computer. It will have access to your data. And once you agree, this vulnerability is most likely to exploit an iOS feature called iTunes Wi-Fi sync. This feature intends to allow iPhone users to manage their IOS devices without physically connecting it to their computer.
Solution: Turning on USB restricted data to make hacking more difficult is the way to prevent the process of trustjacking.
This type of malware is responsible for infiltrating your device to gain access to your sensitive information and to damage your computer. The worst part is that they attack without you knowing. After gathering your personal information, the spyware relays it to data firms, external users, or advertisers.
Ways to prevent this from happening
Avoid opening emails from unknown senders and downloading files from untrustworthy sources. Clicking on pop-up advertisements must be avoided at all costs. It will be best if you can install and use reputable anti-virus software.
This is one of the most significant sources of attacks. Being on public Wi-Fi puts you at risk for man-in-the-middle attacks. The attackers are responsible for capturing a victim’s information as it moves from their mobile device to another device or a website. MITM attackers have the ability to intercept your emails or text messages on unsecured Wi-Fi.
Staying safe is not a tough nut to crack
A virtual private network can do you a lot more good than you can ever imagine. It is known to create a private network from a public internet connection. Establishing secure and encrypted connections to provide excellent privacy is what VPN services do.
In the above segment, we talked about external attackers, and in the next, we are going to talk about the vulnerabilities in the operating system and built-in apps themselves.
There are chances that the malware might contaminate your device via a weakness in the operating system. Updating your software can help combat these types of attacks by either fixing or removing computer bugs or repairing security holes that have been discovered.
This is the type of fraud that can come in many different forms. Phishing scams are known to employ various online techniques such as pop-up ads and fake emails. They can even include phone calls and text messages. Using fear tactics to encourage victims to take the bait is the strategy on which these attacks work.
Ways to stay protected
Stay vigilant and aware of the communications you receive, whether by text, email, or even voice calls. Avoid clicking on the URL in the message you receive. Instead, type the URL of the website in question into the URL bar.
You might have observed that Apple frequently removes apps from its store. We assume that this probably has something to do with security threats and privacy breaches. They occasionally find apps that force users to click on ads by making it hard to use the app otherwise.
Solution: You ought to be more proactive in regularly checking the apps on devices to see if they are still active. You must delete those apps that are not active.
IoT mobile security threats.’
The proliferation of ransomware is one of the most significant parts of what makes the growth of IoT pose a threat. Having IP addresses has made it easy for the attackers to hack your mobile devices through the Internet. This is the reason why mobile security should not just be about the data and the network, but should extend to include securing the devices as well.
All the devices that have malware on them are added to several other affected devices, known as a botnet. It allows hackers to send spammy emails and other click fraud campaigns that spread the malware to even more devices.
Solution: Setting up straight BYOD policies will help you protect your enterprise network. Educate employees on the policies and what is expected of them to ensure that internal data is kept safe.
Tips to stay safe on a mobile device
If you wish to prevent issues of data breaching, the best thing you can do is use different passwords for different mobile apps and sites. Make your passwords as long and complicated as you can make them. Try including letters, numbers, and symbols in the password. Enabling two-factor authentication can add a second layer of protection.
Avoid using an unsecured Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection. When you aren’t using these features, make sure you turn off the access.
Wrapping it up
If you play your cards right, it is possible to protect the data stored on your mobile device. If you understand the risks and take proper precautions, you will be able to maintain your online privacy and security. You can rely on professional services as well to provide you with all the protection that you need.