If you are reading this it means that you have asked yourself this question on how to protect your mobile from Cyber Attacks. Given the increasing number of cyber-attacks it is perfectly normal to feel concerned about this. Not everything is lost, though. There are some things that you can do to reduce this risk.
Mobile threats can be classified as follows:
- Physical threats: The attacker gets physical access to your phone.
- Web-based threats: Suspicious websites that contain malware.
- App-based threats: Unverified apps that steal your information once installed.
- Network-based Threats: Connecting to an unsecured network.
To better understand what you can do to protect yourself, we need to define Cyber Security; A set of good practices and technology that serves the purpose of protecting data and digital information.
According to a Study Conducted by Verizon in 2019 the 52% of the breaches featured hacking, and 43% of the victims were actually small business owners. But… What does that mean for you?
It means that if you are a small business owner you are more prone to fall victim of a cyber attack. Less prone if you are a regular citizen-Either way, it is recommended that you always take the steps required to protect your mobile and sensitive information from a cyber attack.
Let’s start with the most simple steps of Cyber Security. So simple that most people seem to forget about it.
Do not use the same passwords for everything.
It might sound too simple to be effective, right? In fact, passwords are the easiest thing to get a hold of, especially if you use the same password for everything. Just imagine, once someone gets a hold of one of your password he gets access to all of your accounts.
This is the most common way of getting hacked. So, the next time you think about using “123password” as a password for all of your accounts, stop for a second a remember this. By doing this you will be drastically reducing the risk of a cyber attack.
Keep your phone locked!
True, nowadays many phones come with fingerprint detection and face detection, but there are still many mobiles that use the old pattern, password or pin screen lock. Depending on your phone it can be really uncomfortable to draw a pattern every time you pick up the phone to send a message.
But again, think about what would happen if you lose your phone while it is unlocked.
That’s right. Whoever gets that phone will have access to all of your contacts, pictures and even more sensitive information like an address or a credit card. Now, unlocking your phone every time you’re going to use it does not sound annoying.
Avoid falling for Social Engineering
A very common type of cyber attack. This one is a bit more tricky than the previous ones because in some cases it can be a bit hard to detect. This basically occurs when the attacker impersonates someone else to get your information.
It can occur in various ways. From emails to a pop-up window on a shady website explaining to you how you just earned 3 million dollars for being the 10,000th visitor – Obviously, something you should not click on.
It can come in many forms but what there is always something in common. Every time and for whatever reason you will be asked for your information, account, and password. Don’t give away your information that easily.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth!
Randomly connecting to any network available seems pretty nice when you’re on the move, but it also makes your mobile an easy target for malicious individuals. A long-time recommendation has always been not to connect to every open wi-fi available.
The same is true for Bluetooth. If you’re not using it, turn it off. At the end of the day, you’ll also save battery life.
Obviously there will be times in which avoiding this is just not possible. A free connection will save you data, you just have to be careful with it. Luckily for us, the increasing number of attacks have also pushed companies to increase the amount of effort put into creating better security systems.
Now that we have reviewed the simplest steps to reduce your risk of a cyber attack we are going to speak about the most “complex” ones.
While these steps are not actually complex for us as users, the word is used to imply that there are a lot more processes involved in this. Processes that we can’t actually see but protect us from the shadows.
Keep your mobile up to date
Keeping your operating system up-to-date is the easiest way to be protected from external attacks. Due to the amount of coding and myriad other factors mobile phones always have vulnerabilities.
Vulnerabilities are a reality for every operating system out there. Whether you’re using Android or iOs. In 2018 there were 322 vulnerabilities reported for Android and 124 for iOs. It seems like a lot of vulnerabilities for Android but consider that Android’s market share is considerably higher at 74% worldwide.
It is like a never-ending battle between light and dark. The bad guys are always looking for new vulnerabilities and ways to exploit them while the good guys are inventing new ways to fix them and prevent them.
Cyber Security Systems.
Smartphones are basically small computers. A bunch of hardware and software working in harmony to let us enjoy a good movie or be more productive using a mobile device. As such, Anti-virus software was born for mobiles.
An antivirus app will scan your phone and eliminate malware that might have been downloaded accidentally – or not. Some of them even have a VPN included to enhance network protection when navigating the internet on a public connection.
Another advantage of these beautiful systems is that you can encrypt your personal data. You will have a background running program that will take care of almost every security issue for you. However, having an antivirus will not protect you from an unlocked phone.
So, make sure that you follow these extremely simple steps and the chance of falling victim to a cyber attack will be drastically reduced.