When you think about protecting devices from malware, what do you generally protect? Many people will instantly think of their PCs, as there have always been malware risks. But during the first few months of 2022, mobile malware attacks have seen a significant increase. This is alarming both in scale and because many people aren’t yet protecting smartphones.
For years, mobile phones have become more powerful. They now do many of the same functions as a computer – just with a much smaller screen. Many people have replaced their PCs with phones completely, yet tend to secure computers better than they do their smartphones.
Over 60% of digital fraud now occurs through mobile devices. That makes them highly risky if they aren’t properly protected.
Many of these are the same types of protections you have on your computer. Not protecting your mobile device? It’s time to start.
Tips to Improve the Security of Your Smartphone
Use Mobile Anti-malware
Malware can and does infect smartphones and tablets. Don’t believe the myths that they can’t be infected. You should make sure you have a reliable mobile anti-malware app installed.
And always be cautious of free apps. Malware is often hidden inside free apps, so you should be prepared to part with a small amount of cash. It’s ironic that apps designed to keep you safe can often do the exact opposite.
Don’t Download Apps from Unknown Sources
Only download mobile apps from trusted sources. Do not download outside a main app store. Apple user? Stick to the App Store. Running Android? You get the picture.
You also take care when downloading new apps. Make sure an app’s developers have a good reputation, and check out reviews. Once you download a dangerous app to your phone, it can infect it with malware. That malware can remain behind even if you delete the app later.
Don’t Assume Email is Safe
A lot of people have switched from PC to mobile devices because of the convenience. Checking email on a mobile is a great example of this. But they have a false sense of security about the safety of emails when viewed on a mobile device.
Treat opening emails the same, regardless of the device. Be just as wary about unexpected emails and scam emails masquerading as legitimate.
On a phone, it’s difficult to hover over a link without clicking. It’s best to be safe, and not click links in unexpected emails until you can verify on a PC.
Beware of SMS Phishing (aka “Smishing”)
How often do you get a text from an unknown number? Often claiming to be from a reputable company, we’ve noticed an increase in the number of unwanted texts we’re receiving.
Smishing is the text version of phishing. These texts usually contain malicious links. A hacker can potentially breach your device if you click them. The message may also ask you to text back personal information.
Keep an eye out for text messages that don’t make sense. For example, getting a shipping notification when you haven’t ordered anything. Also, be wary of texts from unknown sources.
Always be vigilant when you receive a text message from an unknown number asking you to do something.
Remove Old Apps You No Longer User
Apps are often abandoned by their developer, which can leave your device vulnerable. Hackers look for these types of vulnerabilities so they can exploit them.
Be sure to go through your device regularly and remove old applications that you are no longer using. There is no reason to keep them around, potentially leaving your device at risk. And you can free up some space too!
Another good trick is to look at the time of the last update. If not been updated for more than a year, then you may want to consider replacing that app with something more current.
App updates often include security-related items. It’s not good when a year or more goes by without the developer making any type of update to the app.
Keep Your Device Updated
We often speak about the importance of updates. You also need to keep your mobile device’s operating system updated. Are you using the current version of Android or iOS? Not installing updates can mean your phone has vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities allow hackers to breach your data.
Use a VPN When on Public Wi-Fi
Be wary of public Wi-Fi. Most people understand that, but many still connect to it out of necessity. You may worry about going over your data plan allotment. Or your mobile carrier reception may be slow. Both cases are reasons people opt to connect to unsecured public hot spots.
You can connect to public Wi-fi with less risk if you use a VPN. VPNs stand between your device and the internet. They route your data through a secure server. This keeps it away from prying eyes that may be lurking on that public Wi-Fi.
Mobile Security Solutions to Prevent a Data Breach
Don’t wait until your phone is infected with malware to secure it properly. We can help you with automated solutions that protect your device, accounts, and data. Contact us to schedule a consultation.