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Mobile Security: Five ways to Protect your Phone

[ 1 ] December 10, 2013 |

Mobile Security

Today, more than four billion people have a mobile device. Mobile phones are becoming indispensable to our daily lives: from shopping online, banking, or staying in touch with friends, our phones help us with everything.

With this increase in use comes an increased risk; however, mobile security is often disregarded by today’s tech users – in fact, more than a third of people believe they don’t need security software on their mobile device. This, coupled with the increase in cybercriminal activity on mobile phones, could spell out major security issues in the future.

Keeping your phone’s information safe is crucial in today’s technological landscape, so read on to find out what threats currently exist in the mobile phone space and what you can do to protect yourself.

Security threats targeting mobile devices

Of course, the first step to anything is awareness. With that being said here are a few key security threats that cybercriminals are currently using to target mobile devices:

  • Phishing: a common computer security threat, phishing can also occur on your security device. Phishing can occur via email or social networking, and cause your passwords, account information, and personal details to be revealed.
  • Malware/spyware: this is another common security threat for computers, which has now penetrated the mobile space. Malware and spyware can compromise your personal information, cause you to have extra charges on your phone bill, and even allow others to listen in to your calls, retrieve your voicemails, and read your emails.
  • QR codes: when scanning QR codes, it is possible for these codes to authorise your phone to download a malicious application, malware, or spyware.
  • Wi-Fi networks: when connecting to Wi-Fi networks that are unsecure, it is possible that your mobile phone data is intercepted.
  • Losing your device/having your device stolen: when you lose or misplace your phone, there are more ramifications than simply a financial one. If your phone falls into the wrong hands, your personal and account information can be compromised, as well as your privacy breached.

Okay, I get it. So how can I prevent this from happening?

Here are five quick solutions you can implement to protect your phone from potential security threats:

1.    Lock your phone! It might seem like a no-brainer, but locking your phone can assist in preventing unauthorised access to your device. If you are using an Android phone, it is better to include a pin number for maximum security rather than a swipe pattern.

2.    Be careful which apps you install. When it comes to installing apps, sometimes we can all get a little carried away and download everything in the Play or iTunes store. While this is all well and good, it’s important to read and be aware of what permissions you are giving your apps. For example, if you are installing a game and it asks for permission to access your phone’s contacts, it might be worth double-checking why they need that permission.

3.    Double-check the URL. When banking or accessing personal information, ensure the URL is correct and also that it is an encrypted URL. An easy way to do this is to check the URL begins with https:// rather than http://.

4.    Install security software. Much like computers, mobile phones also have security applications that can help prevent unauthorised access to data and catch emerging or existing threats on your device. Install software such as McAfee Mobile Security so you are always protected against potential security risks.

5.    Don’t hack your device. Data protection is key, many people find out how to tamper with their own device to free it from limitations set by a provider. While this may open up your access to some applications and tasks, it can also significantly weaken the security of your device.

How do you ensure your phone’s information is kept secure?

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Your mobile device isn’t just a computer. It’s an extension of you. You use it for all of life’s details — calls, messages, contacts, photos, videos — and many of life’s pleasures — games, social networking, shopping, staying in touch with work and family. If your device gets lost, stolen, or infected with a virus, your personal data could be abused. You and your friends could be targeted for fraud and identity theft. Confidential work information might be stolen. And now that cybercriminals rely extensively on websites for their scams, antivirus isn’t enough. It’s best to know before you click where it is safe to surf. McAfee® Mobile Security brings together comprehensive protection for your mobile device and data inside a single, simple solution. With one download, one web portal, and one device interface, you get a single security system for your mobile lifestyle.

Everything You Need to Protect your Mobile Lifestyle.

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About Jakk: Jakk Ogden is a professional self-employed blogger and the founder / owner of Technology Blogged. 22, with a love for good writing, you'll find me playing 'Drag Racing' on my HTC One X and rocking a pair of Grado headphones. If you love technology, be sure to subscribe to my feed for unique editorials. Find me on . View author profile.

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  1. Tom says:

    Some great tips here! I have always been curious about mobile security and I was totally unaware that there was security apps available!

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