Mobile Security: More Important Than Ever

3 min read

We carry our smartphones with us at all times. However, how many of us are aware of the dangers they create? The following are examples of rising dangers to mobile device security. More than 60 per cent of all instances of digital fraud are now carried out on mobile devices. This includes phishing attacks and stolen passwords. The fact that we now conduct sensitive activities on our mobile devices, such as banking, makes security an even greater priority.

In the past few months, many of us have seen a significant increase in the degree to which we rely on mobile capabilities. Mobile communications are more widespread than they have ever been. All thanks to the growing number of technologies, such as corporate mobile applications, virtual private networks (VPNs), hot spots, and many more. Due to this increased and sudden dependence on mobile functionalities, mobile security must be at the forefront of everybody’s mind.

Types of Malicious Threats to Mobile Security

Types of Malicious Threats to Mobile Security

Attacks that are meant to compromise or steal information from mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are examples of mobile security threats. Malware and spyware are the most common forms of attack, allowing hackers to take control of a computer without the user’s knowledge.

When an attacker has access to a device, they are in a position to commit a wide range of cyber-attacks, such as stealing data and selling it, accessing contacts, sending messages, and making calls. They are also able to use the device to steal the login credentials of other users and spoof their identities. These attacks affect individual users as well as organisations, as a single breach can lead to widespread data loss if it isn’t patched quickly enough.

Threats Posed by Mobile Apps

Applications frequently serve as the source of vulnerabilities in mobile devices. Users can fall victim to these kinds of attacks when they download malicious applications or grant apps permission to view their device data without first verifying whether or not it’s safe to do so.

Mobile Web-based Threats

Phishing and spoofing are typically how a web-based mobile attack is carried out. Attackers will send a message via email, text, or any other form of instant messaging, that appears to have come from a reliable source. However, the message will contain a link or attachment that is malicious. 

The malicious attacker can gain access to a user’s mobile device or credentials to spoof their identity once they click through or even provide personal information.

Risks Posed by Wi-Fi Networks

A mobile attack of this kind takes place when malicious actors aim their attention at unsecured or open public Wi-Fi connections. In some instances, hackers go so far as to create a honeypot Wi-Fi network in an attempt to trick users. This practice is known as network spoofing. Herein, hackers can compromise devices and credentials by taking advantage of spoofed networks, which prompts users to create an account complete with a username and password.

Dangers to Personal Identity

Users are vulnerable to a variety of cell phone security issues if their devices are lost, stolen, or left unattended. Your mobile device is susceptible to hacking if you do not protect it with a robust password, personal identification number (PIN), or biometric authentication. Hacking is also possible if you use apps and services that do not encrypt your data.

Protecting Your Smartphone from Mobile-based Threats

Protecting Your Smartphone from Mobile-based Threats

According to Europol, mobile devices have rapidly replaced personal computers at home and at the workplace. Protecting our smartphones and tablets is just like protecting any other electronic equipment. They are subject to the same dangers, or even greater ones than a personal computer or a laptop.

The report, Verizon Mobile Security Index (2020) found 43 per cent of surveyed businesses had compromised their security. This was done to meet efficiency, ease of access, profitability targets, or because of lack of budget or expertise.

Here are some points to note that will help you in protecting your smartphone from security threats:

  • Never download applications from a source besides Google Play, Apple’s App Store, and other credible sources. Also, make sure that you turn off permissions, such as access to your GPS data, camera, and microphone, unless the app you’re accessing absolutely needs it.
  • Never use a Wi-Fi hotspot that demands you to sign up for an account or enter a password. If you absolutely have to use one of these networks, limit yourself to low-risk activities. You should never use them to access your social media profiles, banking apps, or to make a purchase online.
  • Be extremely cautious when opening links in emails and texts. This is even if the sender appears to be someone you know and trust. You should always enter the URL into the address bar of your internet browser. This will help to confirm that the link leads to the appropriate location.
  • Use robust passwords, implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) measures, and configure your devices to perform automatic software updates. Also, ensure that you log out of all websites and applications when you finish using them. Also, be sure to keep all of your private information and login credentials to yourself.
  • To protect your personal and professional data, make sure you and others who use your apps and online tools, prioritise the safety of your identities and data.

Smartphone and mobile security threats must be taken more seriously as hackers keep targeting mobile devices. Mobile devices are just as susceptible to attacks, if not even more than personal computers and other computer hardware. They are just as vulnerable to dangers such as malware, social engineering, web attacks, security breaches, and even theft in the physical world.

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