IT SECURITY GUIDES
Easy tips to keep your mobile devices safe
Gone are the days when a cell phone was only used to make and receive calls! These days we are carrying tiny, and yet very powerful computers in our pockets, which are able to run all sorts of useful applications. Sadly, these useful mobile devices may also run all sorts of unwanted programs. Hackers target our phones and tablets in an effort to get access to credit card/online banking information, or at least to precious company data that can be sold on the black market.
Android devices are known to be more vulnerable; the operating system itself is much more flexible in comparison with iOS, but it also gives cyber criminals more options to run their evil apps. This doesn’t mean that iPhones can’t get infected, of course; nevertheless, people who use iOS-based devices should be less concerned about getting their phones infected. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that this is impossible. Here's an article that shows how you can restore your infected iPhone.
It is known that smartphones are preferred targets for data snoopers. These devices store our conversations, information about our contacts and details about our online transactions. And all this data is often protected by a very weak, four-digit PIN.
I don’t know about you, but I simply love the Android app system! You get the freedom to install all sorts of applications from all sorts of app stores in the entire world! Still, this can cause problems, because many hackers manage to circumvent even Google Play’s tight app security mechanisms, and thus get their infected applications in the world’s largest Android app store.
This is often done by creating a “clean” application which acts as a system optimizer, event planner, car racing game, etc, and then starts to download malware components (after being installed). As you can imagine, things can get much worse with random app stores, where anyone can upload his/her programs and games.
So, to keep your mobile devices safe, only install apps that come from reputable companies or developers. If an app is brand new, wait for a few months, and then read its reviews. If it’s still available in the app store and you don’t see any negative reviews, then the application is probably clean.
It goes without saying that each mobile device should utilize an antivirus. You can often get a good security suite for $10 per year or so; read the reviews to determine the app that fits your security needs.
Avoid using public hotspots; hackers spend most of their time in coffee shops, airports, libraries, and so on, looking for victims. As soon as you connect to a public hotspot, you become a part of that network, and thus you get all your phone’s shared resources exposed. So, it is wise to avoid accessing company accounts and/or online banking accounts while you are connected to public Wi-Fi.
Also, disable Bluetooth connection when you aren’t using them. Attackers that are close to your device may make use of Bluetooth to do all sorts of evil things: control your phone remotely, and then use it to access its data, browse the Internet, and more.
Don’t forget to back up the data regularly; this way, if the phone gets stolen, you should be able to limit the damage. Clean up your phone regularly using a trustworthy application; this will increase its speed and reduce the number of potentially unwanted applications and data.
Protect your sensitive data by using software-based encryption mechanisms. These days it is really easy to do that, because Android includes its own data encryption solutions.
If you don’t need advanced functionalities, consider buying “dumb” phones for your employees. This way you will significantly reduce the risk of malware infections.
As you can see, there are lots of cyber criminals who are interested in getting access to the data that is stored in your phones. Nevertheless, if you follow these tips you should be safe.
Almost 50% of cyberattacks target small businesses.
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