Our mobile devices are not just a means to communicate with others. They’ve evolved into a data storage device, a video and sound recorder, as well as an easy way to access our bank accounts.
Mobile security is often overlooked by many technology users, who dismiss the reality of security risks brought by careless interactions with the digital world.
Given the portability and myriad of functionalities, mobile devices are highly susceptible to cyber threats, including malware, spyware and phishing attempts that may compromise that precious piece of tech we keep in our pocket and any information stored on it.
Threat actors know that users often behave recklessly with their smart devices. If they play their cards right, the compromise of a user’s devices can be financially rewarding, offering insight into the private and sensitive information of its owner.
Here are some essential preventive measures to help protect and keep your devices safe from the most frequent mobile security threats out there.
Keep your devices and apps up to date
An up-to-date system can protect your smartphone or tablet from vulnerabilities or loopholes that can be exploited. If you don’t like the automatic updates functionality on mobile devices, watch for software update notifications and reminders that may pop up on your screen and install the patches manually as soon as you have the time.
Delete unused apps from your device
Old and unused apps that have not been kept up to date may conceal severe security flaws that endanger the security of your device.
Consider reviewing the app library for any applications you no longer need. A cleanup will make it easier for you to find your apps and help make your device more secure.
Back up data
Today, memory cards for mobile devices offer a large storage capacity for your contacts, messages, files, videos and photos. However, making regular backups for your data is essential in case of theft or malicious compromise such as a ransomware attack.
Avoid smishing and phishing attacks
Like phishing, SMS-based attacks, also known as smishing, seek to trick recipients into accessing a malicious link via text. Smishing attacks rely on social engineering tactics to fool recipients into handing over personal information or downloading malicious software onto the device.
Treat any unsolicited SMS with caution, especially those that purport to come from your bank and ask you for personal or financial information.
If you’re always checking your emails, be wary of any unsolicited messages that seek to create a sense of urgency or induce a state of panic. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Delete any unexpected messages received via text or email and do not reply to the sender.
Hang up or don’t respond to suspicious phone calls
Fraudsters and scammers may also call you on the phone. Like any good actor, the scammer will attempt to convince you that the call’s offer or purpose is legitimate. If you’re asked for personally identifiable information, bank account numbers, PINs or credit card numbers, hang up immediately. Bullying or threats are another major red flag.
Dodge unsecured public WiFi networks
Public WiFi networks are rarely secured, serving up additional ways to compromise your device. Thus, despite reduced travel and vacationing during the pandemic, the risks of malicious interference have not vanished.
Users handling sensitive information while connected to a public WiFi can face many threats, including theft of personal information such as login and financial data. Additionally, cybercriminals may mimic a legitimate public WiFi, known as man-in-the-middle-attacks. Users who connect to these malicious networks are exposed to data theft, malware infections and financial compromise.
Security at home or on the go
Protecting against mobile security threats doesn’t need to be a painstaking process involving comprehensive security know-how.
A cybersecurity solution on your smartphone or tablet protects your device from internet-enabled threats and guards your personal information from cyber thieves.
Bitdefender’s web attack prevention uses web-filtering technology to ensure you don’t land on malicious websites when browsing. Paired with anti-phishing protection and anti-fraud filtering systems integrated into our security solution, you won’t have to worry about suspicious websites or scams.
Compatible with both iPhone and Android smart devices, Bitdefender Mobile Security will help secure your data by offering full protection against mobile-specific threats whether you’re at home, at your favorite coffee shop, or on vacation.
An extra layer of privacy and security is brought by the integrated VPN that secures all your traffic on public networks and protects your online activity, such as banking or shopping, from prying eyes.