The use of mobile devices worldwide is growing exponentially year on year. More consumers are using smartphones and tablet computers to browse the internet as well as shop and bank online and so more personal information is accessed and shared than ever before.
Unfortunately, this means more and more users are being exposed to malware, often without their knowledge. Mobile device malware increased by 155% in 2011 alone.
Users can be vulnerable to malware when downloading apps. At the moment, the Android platform is most at risk from malicious apps because of the openness of the platform and its leading market share. The iOS platform is also susceptible, but to a much lesser degree, mainly because of Apple’s closed app marketplace and tight regulation and distribution of apps.
Fake email attachments and phishing websites can also pass on malware to unsuspecting users.
Another issue that compromises user security is the fact that over 90% of Android users are not running up-to-date versions of their mobile operating system. Users running older versions will have missed important security patches.
Malware can collect usernames, passwords and credit card details, delete important files and even make your smartphones and tablets lock up and become unusable. Smartphone viruses can send infected files to people in your contact list as well as to your computer whenever you next connect or sync. Viruses can also send out mass SMS spam messages from your phone, or make expensive calls without your permission.
If your mobile devices are lost or stolen, intruders can gain access to your personal data. Intruders can also intercept data over wireless networks.
With that said, here are a few tips to help keep your devices secure:
- Create a passcode to use your mobile device and lock with a screen timeout when not in use.
- Keep your operating system and any installed apps up to date to protect against malware.
- Avoid malware by checking the list of permissions that an Android app requests before you install it. Watch out for requests to send premium text messages or access your contact list. Make sure you understand and approve of every permission. And be on the lookout for any strange behavior from your app.
- Never log in to your online banking or other accounts through links received by e-mail or SMS. Make sure you’re accessing the real site by manually entering the URL. Ensure you log out every time. If your smartphone is stolen or lost, inform your bank right away so they can block transactions.
- Be careful using public Wi-Fi connections. These are often unencrypted and hackers can easily access your personal data. Avoid typing in sensitive information such as credit card numbers.
- Block premium SMS messaging if you don’t plan on using this feature.
- Don’t jailbreak your mobile device. This removes its security features and makes it possible for non-approved third-party apps to be downloaded onto your device, exposing you to malware.
- Lastly, get mobile security software: it’s possible to buy a single program which protects across different platforms and multiple devices – PCs, Macs, Android-based phones and tablets. Install the program on all your mobile devices with a single key. Security software will protect your contact lists, emails and important files, and will allow you to lock, wipe and locate your mobile device remotely in case of loss or theft.
Sponsor : www.newvoucher.co.uk
About the Author: Valerie Lepine runs a software discount site, SoftwareVouchers.com, where customers can find a Norton 360 Multi-Device or Norton Internet Security 2013 coupon code as well as many other special offers on top security software.