We know that you know not to click that email link from the Arabian prince. Or to give your personal details to the bank that you don’t actually bank with. But what about that quick text message link on your mobile phone about a missing package – just when you’re expecting a delivery? Or downloading that app that you haven’t fully read up on? With mobile malware attacks surging, we all need to be more vigilant when it comes to mobile security. But what does that mean on a day-to-day basis?
Phone security to prevent mobile malware attacks
When it comes to the security of our smartphones, avoiding complacency is key. For some reason, we assume that the tiny computer in our pocket is somehow safer from malware than the big computer on our desk. Not true!
Use a VPN when on public wi-fi
With a good data plan, using public wi-fi should not be necessary. Public wi-fi is dangerous. Public wi-fi is a swimming pool full of sharks – avoid splashing around in it! But if you do have to jump in, use a VPN application. VPNs are a barrier between your device and the internet. They route your data through a secure server, keeping your information away from public wi-fi sharks (and pirates!)
Only use trusted sources to download apps
One of the most common methods hackers use to spread malware is via apps and downloads. When it comes to application downloads, third parties or untrusted sources are to be avoided. If you’re on an iPhone, you don’t have much choice – the Apple App Store is your one-stop shop. If you’re an Android user, trusted app stores include Google Play, the Microsoft Store and Amazon Appstore.
Remember: a dangerous app downloaded to your phone can infect it with malware. And once infected, simply removing the app is unlikely to also root out the malware.
Use mobile anti-malware
Yes – antivirus and anti-malware solutions are now available for mobile devices. Install one from a trusted source (see above!) and run it regularly to ensure your device is secure. Also – seriously – look out for malware disguised as virus protection. Cybercriminals are sneaky. And hiding malware in an app that’s supposed to make you more secure is sneaky 101.
Again: ONLY download legitimate apps from trusted sources.
Keep your device updated
Keeping your device updated includes removing old apps you no longer use. When was the app last updated by the developer? Old apps can become security liabilities – if you’re not using it, get rid of it! And speaking of updates, make sure you keep your device’s operating system updated. Sometimes those update requests are easy to ignore, but doing so may leave your device vulnerable to security breaches. Keep on top of updates – and automate them if possible.
Beware of SMS phishing
We’ve written a whole article on the perils and pitfalls of smishing, but essentially this cyberattack is launched via text message. Just as you do on your computer, look at any communication from unknown sources with a very wary eye. If it seems fishy, it’s likely not legitimate. Err on the side of caution and don’t click on links in text messages. And if you think it might be valid, go directly to the source – look up the company’s official business webpage or phone number, making sure to locate the details independently of the text message.
Avoid mobile security threats: contact the Geelong cybersecurity experts
Don’t wait until your phone is infected with malware to secure it. And if you’re a business owner, ensure smartphone security is included in your information security planning.
If you need more information or help with automated solutions to protect your devices and data, give Geelong Technology Group a call. Our experienced IT professionals are here to assist you with mobile phone security. Helping individuals and businesses in Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula, the Surf Coast, and surrounding regions with their information security is our top priority, so give us a call today on 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484) or drop into our showroom at 166 Francis Street, Belmont.