Mobile Security - A Dire Need or Just an Add-On!

Mobile Security - A Dire Need or Just an Add-On!

Mobile device security commonly known as mobile security is a term which we hear often now a-days. We can see new and advanced versions of mobile devices being launched every day aiming at catering the daily needs of the users/businesses at a larger extent. Mobiles not only fulfill the communication needs but are also used to plan, organize and execute day to day tasks. The extent to which mobile phones have become a part of private life is not a secret either.

With mobiles being the hub of our daily life and carrying an increasing amount of sensitive information, they have also become the nucleus of new risks.

How Mobile Phones Are Targeted:

Mobile phones just like computer, tablets etc are the prime targets of the attacks. These attacks mostly exploit any inherent weaknesses in smartphones and can come from different communication modes such as Short messaging service (SMS, aka text messaging), Multimedia messaging service (MMS), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, installation of apps etc.

There are also exploits which have the capability to target software vulnerabilities in the browser or operating system of the mobile. An exploit is a piece of software, a chunk of data, or a sequence of commands that has the potential to take advantage of any bug or vulnerability of the device to cause unintended behavior to occur on computer/mobile software, hardware etc. It usually includes things like gaining control of a computer system denying access to the owner etc.


Prime Targets for Hackers:

  • Data: smartphones are excessively being used for data management and may contain authentication information, private information, personal pictures, documents, sensitive data like credit card numbers, activity logs (call logs) etc.
  • Identity: Mobile phone devices are highly customizable. If the same is linked with your identity the hackers may want to steal the identity of the owner of a smartphone to commit some offences.
  • Availability: Hackers can limit access to a mobile device and can then deprive the owner of its use.

 

Types of Threats:

A smartphone user is unwillingly exposed to a number of threats. In, the number of mobile threats grew by 260%. These threats can interrupt the operation of the smartphone and can transmit or modify user data.

There threats to mobile devices also include annoyance, stealing money, invading privacy etc. some ways the hackers attack devices are:

  • Botnets Attacks: In such attacks, hackers usually infect multiple machines with malware. Victims are generally by these attacks via e-mail attachments or upon accessing the compromised websites. Resultantly, the malware gives hackers the remote control of effected devices, which can then be used to perform harmful actions.
  • Malicious Mobile Applications: It is a common practice that hackers upload malicious programs/games to smartphone application marketplaces. The programs are intended to steal personal information.
  • Posting Malicious links on Social Networks: It is another effective way to spread malware where hackers can place Trojans, spyware etc. on social networks.
  • Spyware: Hackers use spyware to hijack phones. This allows them to hear calls, view text messages and e-mails. They can even track someone's location through GPS updates.

When you go through all this information, it becomes evident that the mobile security is not just an add-on and it should not be treated like one. It is a dire necessity and we must do all that is needed to protect our personal data and private space. So here is what we can do.

How to Ensure Mobile Security:

So Here is What You Can Do to Save Your Mobile Device.

  1. Install Anti-Virus Software: You must use reliable mobile security/antivirus software on your phone.

 

  1. Ensure to set up a secure password.

 

  1. Be Careful About what you’re Downloading on your phone. Unknown files specially from unverified sources should be avoided.

 

  1. Keep Your Device's Operating System Up-to-Date by allowing timely automatic updates.

 

  1. Always connect to a secure

 

  1. Don't Jailbreak or root your phone.


Be Vigilant About Applications:
It is important to understand that some apps could themselves be malware. Hence, we must limit their functionality and activities (for example, restricting the apps from accessing our location information via GPS, blocking it’s access to the our address book etc). You should only access/download application which guarantees privacy and integrity of the information they handle.