Nearly three-quarters of Americans have never installed any type of data protection or security software on their mobile devices, leaving themselves completely open to data loss, viruses, and malware. 72% of us, to be exact, have unsecured smartphones, even as they take on an increasingly important role in our digital lives.
Update your OS: The expanding selection of mobile devices results in more complex operating systems and applications, which ultimately increases attack opportunities. One hopes that, as criminal hackers and security researchers expose new vulnerabilities, OS manufactures will role out timely updates to fix flaws.
Most OS updates require a USB connection to your Mac or PC and a desktop application that bridges the connection between your device and the manufacturer’s website. Newer OS updates can sometimes be downloaded directly to a phone through a Wi-Fi connection or your carrier’s network.
Update your applications: Just as an operating system can have a security or privacy vulnerability, so can an application. Most applications require functionality updates in order to remain compatible with OS updates. Updating an application should be fairly straightforward. Apps can usually be updated from the phone by accessing the official app store through the carrier’s network. Depending on the size of the download, a Wi-Fi connection may sometimes be necessary.
Lock your mobile device: 4-digit PINs for iPhones; or pattern recognition for Androids, are the current standard security measures. These flimsy defenses need to be updated to a more secure alternative, or at least a longer alphanumeric string, especially for the phones used for business purposes.
A very high percentage of owners lock their devices with a short PIN, and may be unaware of the alternatives to this bare minimum, such as a “non-simple” security option on the iPhone. And most PINs are weak as well as short. Five basic combinations ¾ “1234,” “0000,” “1111,” “2580,” or “0852 ¾ make up more than 10% of all PINs.
Install antivirus protection: Just like on a PC, mobile antivirus products should provide real-time protection against viruses, worms, spyware, Trojan horses, and battery-sapping malware. Adequate mobile antivirus protection guards against threats that originate via email, instant messaging, and Internet downloads. It detects data received from multiple entry and exit points, including email, instant message attachments, Internet downloads, SMS, MMS, WiFi, and Bluetooth.
Robert Siciliano, personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto. Disclosures
About the Author
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- New Mobile Security App for Android Smartphones
Consumers with smartphones understand they are carrying around the functions of a computer, but most users are unaware that smartphones are susceptible to the same security threats that plague laptops and desktops.
As more online retailers introduce mobile e-commerce applications, criminal hackers are taking notice. Existing mobile operating systems are under attack and, like standard PC
- What is mCommerce and how do you keep transactions safe?
mCommerce (or M-commerce) is using a mobile phone to make purchases. Like credit card transactions, your card/device can be either present or not present. In other words, “present” might mean your mobile is equipped with an application that you use to make a purchase in person, such as to buy a cup of coffee or
- Watch for New Attacks Aimed at Mobile Devices
A mobile device is an indispensible extension of your life, containing some of your most private conversations and confidential information. It’s your phone book, email, photo album, social life, and even your wallet, all rolled into one device. Chances are if you own a smartphone or tablet, it is connected to your money or financial
- McAfee Mobile Security Delivers at Mobile World Congress
In Barcelona, Spain on Feb. 27, 2012 McAfee unveils its series of technology advancements that deliver upon its vision of providing comprehensive mobile security and privacy protection for devices, data and apps. McAfee® Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM™) 10.0, available now, includes significant security updates for enterprise customers to enable ‘bring your own device’ practices in the enterprise. With EMM 10.0,
- Virus Hijacks Online Banking Session
Online banking is great. I highly recommend it. But if you aren’t careful to keep your computer secure, getting hacked can turn your online banking session into a nightmare.
OddJob Trojan is the latest in malware and yet another reason to beef up your computer’s security. OddJob hijacks online banking sessions, keeping users’ accounts open after
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.