These days, we don’t go anywhere without being on our phone. And why would we? It lets us connect with our friends, shop online, and watch TV and movies. Unfortunately, your device also stores valuable data that is mouth-watering for hackers.
Mobile phones are becoming a more popular target for cyber thieves because they are everywhere, and many people do not take the proper precautions to stay protected. By following basic security tricks, you can protect your phone, and more importantly, your data from prying eyes.
The Threat of Cyber Crime
As the world continues to evolve, so does the importance of our data and how it is used by others. Logging on to Facebook provides its engineers with tons of data from our shopping preferences to our political party, and that information is used by marketers to advertise their products. Even when we find out that our data is being shared, we often don’t mind because it helps us buy things that we like. However, our data can also be used for sinister intentions.
Likes and dislikes are one thing, but when a hacker gets ahold of your personal online data, it can be used to commit fraud. Your social security number could allow them to take out fraudulent loans that can put you into bankruptcy. A leaked password can allow hackers into your banking and productivity apps. That is why you need to protect your mobile data at all costs. Begin by installing antivirus software on your phone and run scans on a weekly basis. This software is available on all platforms.
Even your email address can be used to send phishing emails, which are one of the most popular forms of cybercrime because they aim to get an emotional response from the recipient. Typically, they include a link or attachment that, when clicked, unleashes malware onto the system, causing harm to both computers and mobile phones. Users should be aware of suspicious emails filled with misspelt words and unexpected emails of urgency that appear to be from a bank or your job.
If you do fall for these scams, good antivirus software can catch it on the spot.
Dangers of Working Remotely
When you are working out of town or remotely from a public place, you need to be extra careful because you are at the whim of strange networks that you may not be familiar with. Another one of the more popular scams is the Man-in-the-Middle attack, where a hacker will set up their own Wi-Fi network in a public place, which appears to be authentic, but when you connect your phone, you are really connecting directly to the hacker’s computer. Once they have that connection, your data can be easily stolen.
The best way to avoid falling for this attack is to ask an employee at the establishment for the correct Wi-Fi network so you can be absolutely sure. Another way to thwart such an attack is to use a Virtual Private Network. A VPN provides a secure connection by masking your true location, so hackers have a harder time trying to connect and steal your data. You should have your VPN active whenever you work out of the office.
If you are working from a new place, it can be easy to get mixed up and lose your phone, and if it is picked up by the wrong person, your data could quickly become their data. To ensure that cyber thieves cannot steal your information even if they obtain your phone, add a passcode or complex password. Even better, enable multi-factor authentication, which requires you to apply a fingerprint or code before your password.
Don’t Forget the Wearables
These days, a big trend is pairing your phone with a smartwatch that allows you to read texts, share pictures, and call your contacts. However, as a computerized device with inputs and outputs, you must apply the same cybersecurity mind frame to prevent hackers from stealing your data. Just like with your phone, if you leave the watch unattended, it can be easily hacked if you don’t use strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and encryption.
On top of basic security measures, you also want to avoid giving your apps too many permissions. These days, just about every website and application requests your geographic location, but if a hacker is able to attack your phone with spyware, then it could go through those permissions and access your other devices. The point is that even if your smartwatch isn’t literally connected to your phone, the apps that your devices share create a bridge.
That also goes for the wireless devices that you have around your house like your smart doorbells and speakers. If you are controlling your speaker with your phone, then you are creating another bridge that can be exploited. To avoid this scenario, make sure that your smart devices are always updated with the latest software version because the new version will also have the most updated security patches.
In the end, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the data security of your mobile devices. Take the extra effort now, and you won’t be sorry later.