In addition to our previous blog Cyber-Attacks in 2017, Alexaur Technology deemed it important to dive deeper on the growing threat of malware on smartphones. Cyber criminals are expanding the scope of attacks beyond computers to target smartphones and tablets – anything connected to the internet. Like computers, smartphones have advanced capabilities and are also vulnerable to the same malware threats. However, smartphones’ popularity, the amount of sensitive information contained on them, and their relatively low security have made them attractive targets for attackers. The growing attractiveness of mobile banking and other phone-based financial services are also contributing to the attacks. According to a 2015 study done by the Federal Reserve, 39 percent of smartphone user’s routinely use mobile banking, and that number is only growing. Smartphones recent innovations in mobile commerce have enabled users to conduct many transactions from their smartphones such as purchasing goods and applications, banking, and paying at cash registers. Another attractive feature on smartphones, both for users and attackers, is the cloud. Malware attacks will target the Cloud infrastructure due to the vast array of information, both personal and business, stored in it.
How to protect yourself from a breach:
1. Download Apps with Caution.
Downloaded apps are one of the easiest way for hackers to compromise your phone’s security. Avoid downloading apps via third party app stores that could contain hidden, malicious codes inside applications that enable hackers to steal data. It is also suggested to always read the fine print in application permissions before accepting them.
2. Be Aware of Public Wi-Fi Risks.
Public Wi-Fi is not secure, especially when accessing financial, personal, or business related information, including logins and passwords. The unsecure Wi-Fi in public places, such as coffee shops or airports, could allow hackers to access and view everything you do while connected. It is best to turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when they are not being used.
3. Utilize Passwords.
Smartphones are physically easier to steal (or lose) than a computer is. Therefore, it is suggested that you utilize the security options offered, which allow passwords to be set to unlock the device and certain apps. In addition, it is a good idea to take caution concerning the amount of sensitive information being stored on the smartphone. If your smartphone is lost or stolen, it is recommended that you disable the phone immediately.
4. Stay Up-to-Date.
Be sure that the latest version of your smartphone’s operating system is running, as well as any apps on the device. Developers of both are constantly finding and removing ‘holes’ that could make smartphones more vulnerable.
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