Mobile devices include a wide range of technologies today. They’re more than Androids, iPhones, and iPads. Now we have wearables like watches and glasses. And don’t forget the Internet of Things (IoT) devices like Alexa and Echo. All of these all fall under the mobile umbrella and have the ability to impact our lives for the better (or for worse if you’re not careful).
Just like your desktop computer, mobile devices hold the keys to your digital identity. They are connected to your home, your car, and your office. As they continue to increase in presence, it’s important that you understand the potential threats that they pose.
Mobile malware is software that’s designed to attack mobile phones or smartphone systems. It relies on exploits of particular operating systems (OS) and mobile phone software technology.
Mobile malware now represents an increasing portion of malware attacks. One type of mobile malware circulating is used by device data thieves and spies that steal data to profit from.
Another type is rooting malware that infects your device and provides administrative privileges and file access. And there’s more – some mobile malware can perform automatic transactions and relay communications without your knowledge.
The majority of mobile malware targets Android devices as opposed to Apple’s iOS for the iPhone, iPad, and iWatch. Plus, Apple makes iPhone and iPad users get their applications from the Apple App Store, which significantly reduces exposure to malware. However, Apple devices are still vulnerable so don’t think you’re completely safe if you use them.
Just think about it – with many users neglecting to update their operating systems, their mobile devices are probably even less secure. And if you use an older Android device, it may lack the power to run the latest operating system.
Attackers know this, and they like to go after easy targets. They’ve configured malware to attack these devices. Mobile applications to create ransomware increased in 2017 making it easy for criminals to get into the mobile malware market.
And, we all face privacy risks from grayware that leaks our devices’ phone number to hackers. These are applications that behave in an annoying or undesirable manner but aren’t categorized as viruses or malware.
Embrace Network Security At Work And At Home. Mobile device security starts with internet security at the network level. You must remain vigilant and protect your digital life by securing each device. Just like you do with your business technology, consider using built-in security in your home network to ensure every device is protected.
Only Download Applications That You Know Are Secure And Update Them Regularly. You do this at work, shouldn’t you do this at home and on your personal mobile devices? With malware campaigns targeting users on Google Play Stores since its inception, you must be cautious when downloading any third-party apps. Stay informed about the applications that are supported and update them regularly. If an app is no longer supported, delete it.
Always Check Your Application Permissions. When you install new applications on your mobile devices, you’ll be presented with a list of permissions such as tracking your location. Be careful about granting these permissions. They could be used to compromise the security of your device.
Beware Of Clicking Dangerous Web Links: You do this on your computer, why not on your mobile device? Just as you’re wary of these when you get an email or message on your computer, do the same with your mobile device. Malicious links carry malware, viruses and other unwanted content that could be downloaded to your device.
Use A Comprehensive Security Platform. Mobile malware is a moving target. You can’t possibly keep up with it. But there are reliable security software solutions you can use to protect your mobile devices. Ask your IT professional which ones you should use. You can also contact the manufacturer of your mobile device for information about how to address mobile viruses, malware, and OS upgrades.
As you can see, your phone isn’t just a phone, and your tablet isn’t just a tablet. They are tethered to your identity and linked to your digital life, both business and personal. By properly protecting your mobile devices, you can secure your digital identity and guard against mobile malware.
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