The use of mobile computing is rapidly growing throughout the United States and, as a result, so is the trend of mobile hacking. Approximately half of all American adults now own smartphones, according to a study from The Pew Research Center. This survey also found that 17 percent of all smartphone owners use their mobile device as their primary means of accessing the Internet. However, unlike personal desktops or laptops, the concern for device security is not as prevalent.
The Better Business Bureau advises consumers to be wary when using a mobile device. Just like a desktop or laptop computer, all of the personal information accessible through a smartphone can be at risk; these devices are quickly becoming a security liability and if you are not proactive, you could end up paying the price.
Due to increase usage and lack of security, personal smartphones are becoming a treasure trove for hackers and cyber criminals. Everything from confidential information, passwords, contacts, and credit card numbers can be easily accessed through these devices and hackers make the most of it. Ignorance to the fact that these devices can be hacked, just as easily as any other computer, opens up mobile’s vulnerability to malware, spyware, and viruses. However, similar to protecting a desktop or laptop, protecting a mobile device can be fairly simple.
Below are a few easy tips to increase smartphone security:
- Immediately update the operating system and applications when available.
- Keep the device locked, so personal information cannot be stolen.
- Beware of clicking or accessing unknown applications or links.
- Avoid connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi.
- Be wary of unknown text messages, phishing attacks have become more common though short message service (SMS).
- Turn off the Bluetooth when it’s not being used.
- Check all permissions to ensure that only the applications you want access the device.
- Report any stolen or missing devices.
- Back up all of personal information in case of a lost or stolen phone.
- Pay close attention to phone bills and immediately report erroneous charges.
- Keep an eye out for sudden increases in data usage.
- Erase old or unused phones completely.
- Shop online with caution; many hackers steal credit card information this way.
- Consider mobile security applications or anti-virus.
Regardless of what you do on your mobile device, be cognizant that there are serious mobile security threats. If you implement the security measures listed above, your personal information will be that much safer.
This guest blog post was written by Andrew, he works for a Maryland based cyber security training company names Phoenix TS.