Once you own a smartphone or tablet, you are not likely to give it up. But it is essential that you can understand where the risks are and steer around them as you enjoy your mobile digital life.
With the growth in mobile exploding, it is only natural for cybercriminals to move towards that device as a means for profit since it has such large numbers. And for us as consumers this means learning about these new ways hackers can trick or deceive us.
Part of the education process is understanding where and how all this malicious activity happens. Unlike PCs where infections typically happen through email (attachments or links) or from visiting an infected website, for mobile devices, malicious software (malware) is distributed primarily through infected apps.
16% (or 1 in 6) of apps are infected with malware or contain links to risky URLs
40% of malware do more than one malicious activity (for instance it may not only send your mobile # and device ID to the hacker, but it may also open a “door” so the hacker can get future information from other apps)
The #1 malicious activity the malicious apps did was send handset and personal information to the hacker
Spyware represents about 1/3 of all malware families in our zoo and 23% of mobile spyware joins a botnet or opens a backdoor, increasing the risk of data loss or device abuse
What does this mean for you?
It means you better be careful with your mobile device and especially what apps you download and use. I don’t know about you, but my smartphone has become an extension of me and without it I’d be lost. And if all the data that was on my phone got into the wrong hands, I shudder to think of what could happen.
That’s why it’s critical that you are careful when using apps. Here’s some tips to stay safe:
Watch where you download: Only download apps from reputable app stores
Investigate the app: Researching it by reading reviews and checking its ratings
Check the permissions: Make sure the app is only accessing data it really needs to function- studies have shown that 1/3 of apps ask for more permission than they need.
Don’t store your logins: Do not choose the “remember me” option for apps and mobile browser for your login information, even though this is not as easy. This way, if a stranger accesses your device they cannot log into your accounts as you.
Use security software: Software such as McAfee® Mobile Security can also help protect your phone against malware, bad apps and other mobile threats. It also allows you to remotely locate, track and lock your device in the case of loss or theft.
Even though 51% of us would rather lose our wallet than our smartphone, only 4% use mobile security software. It’s time….save yourself the hassle later and make security a priority for your mobile device and yourself.
Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Expert to McAfee. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! Disclosures.
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.
- What is malware and why should I be concerned?
“Malware” is a shortened version of the words malicious software. It is defined as: a generic term used to describe any type of software or code specifically designed to exploit a computer/mobile device or the data it contains, without consent. Most malware is designed to have some financial gain for the cybercriminal. Whether they are seeking
- What You Should be Aware of When Using Your Android Device
As we all migrate towards using smartphones and tablets, we need to be aware of the risks associated with them. Most of us know that we need to protect our computers with security software, but we don’t always take that precaution with our mobile devices. In fact nearly 75% of Americans do not use mobile
- How to Avoid Bad Apps
If you think there’s like a million apps out there, that’s not exactly an exaggeration. For sure, there are more than you can imagine, which makes it easy to conceive that many certainly come with security problems. In fact, out of the top 25 most popular apps, 18 of them bombed on a security test from
- What is a Botnet?
The word botnet or bot is short for robot network. A botnet is a group of Internet-connected personal computers that have been infected by a malicious application (malware) that allows a hacker to control the infected computers or mobile devices without the knowledge of the device owners. When malware is launched on your computer or
- The Guide to Securing Your New Tech Toys
Ho ho ho! It seems that this year, Santa’s sleigh was filled with technology—laptops, smartphones, gaming consoles, etc. Playing with and learning about your new tech toy is fun, but remember to secure your device. It would be a total bummer if your new toy was suddenly compromised by a virus or hacked into. Luckily,
One Response to “Risky Mobile Applications Plague Users”
[…] Once you own a smartphone or tablet, you are not likely to give it up. But it is essential that you can understand where the risks are and steer around them as you enjoy your mobile digital life. http://robertsiciliano.com/blog/2013/03/15/risky-mobile-applications-plague-users/ […]
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.