In today’s society, we have to admit that most of our needs are handled through our mobile devices. Our smartphones and tablets are now our day-to-day partners for every spectrum of our daily lives. Aside from communication and entertainment, our mobile devices become our partners in doing financial transactions, documentation, videography and photography, business operations, security and etc. The convenience that our mobile devices give us truly eases our lives but are our mobile devices secured and safe from prying eyes?

Unfortunately, no. Mobile devices are also being targeted by cybercriminals. Today, our mobile devices hold almost every piece of information about us – contacts, personal details, usernames and passwords, and access to sensitive info. Even our online behavior, preferences, and activities are stored in our mobile devices. Our smartphones are precious treasure chests for cyberattackers.

Before you go ditching your smartphones of every piece of important info, which is greatly inconvenient, you should know that just like PCs and other computer systems, we can protect our data stored in our mobile devices. It is important that we develop proper mobile habits to protect our mobile phones.

 

  1. Be careful when installing applications. As a rule of thumb, only install apps coming from either Google Playstore for Android devices or Apple Appstore for IOS. Before an app is approved for upload on these app stores, they are scrutinized by Google and Apple to ensure malware-free applications. Google Playstore and Apple Appstore remove an average of 20 apps from their application list every month due to malware detection and suspicious app behavior. Keep in mind that cyber attackers inject their malware into some applications. Never install application packages that are lurking around the net. There’s a good reason why by default, smartphones deny installation from unknown sources.
  2. Be familiar with app permissions. Every application requires certain permissions for it to operate. For example, a photo editing app needs access to your storage to access your photos. Messaging apps need access to your contacts, microphone, and camera to enable you to do audio and video calls. Whenever you install an app, be wary of the things the app is requesting access to. If an app is requesting permission that you think is irrelevant to what the app is for, better deny such permission or not install it at all.
  3. Always update your apps. One thing that annoys the majority of smartphone users is the time-to-time notice to update your apps. However, these updates are very important. Most of these updates include security patches for your apps which will prevent malicious attempts to pry into your data.
  4. Be careful of links you click on your social media app. I think this is pretty obvious but sometimes, we get careless when clicking links in our social media app. Be wary of ‘clickbaits’. If a certain title for a link intrigues you, better search it on your browser rather than clicking such a link.
  5. Never do sensitive transactions on public wifi. Public wifi is considered to be an unsecured network. Many people are connected to it and it is possible that one of them is injecting some malicious attacks into the network. If you’re not careful, you may give them the information they want from you.
  6. Install and invest in anti-malware apps. Top anti-malware apps on PC do now have a mobile version. Having them on your device will help you secure your data.
  7. Maximize your phone’s security functions. Use passcodes. Fingerprint scanners are better than face recognition. Some manufacturers include device tracking features when a phone is declared lost or stolen. Some can even take a snapshot of whoever is holding your phone at the point it was declared lost or stolen. Some manufacturers can even deactivate or lock the phone when it’s lost. Never share your passwords with anyone.

 

As you can see, securing your mobile device is pretty much the same as securing your PC. However, since we are using our phones more than our PC, we should take extra precautions. Here at Trin Security, we offer free consultation for Data Security & Vulnerability