The Three Biggest Threats to Your Smartphone
It may not seem like it yet, but smartphone security will soon become a buzzword. Everyday we move more and more of our digital lives onto our smartphone. It already contains valuable information such as phone numbers and username/password combinations. There is also a push to have the smartphone replace the traditional wallet, entrusting it with very sensitive banking and financial information.That should be enough to convince you to put some sort of security on your device, but if not, read on.
Why should I secure my device?
"Specifically, Trend Micro said that malware targeting Android increased nearly sixfold in Q3 2012 to approximately 175,000 malicious and "potentially dangerous" high-risk Android apps between July and September." http://goo.gl/PmesY
Don't have an Android device? Don't let the numbers lull you into a false sense of security. All smartphones are targets. Android devices are the biggest targets simply because they are the most popular right now. Mobile Malware has quickly moved past the "simply annoying" stage and have become truly "Malicious" and "potentially dangerous" as they take aim at your wallet and sensitive personal information.
What are the dangers?
Mobile malware (http://goo.gl/Ryw60) is any app that carries out malicious actions on your phone or tablet and it currently comes in two versions:
Spyware - your personal data is gathered without your knowledge and consent, your phone conversations are recorded, and your passwords are stolen
Tollware - the app texts or dials into a for-pay number (for which you get billed)
Good ol' Fashioned Snatch and Grab
"This is your modern-day purse snatching," said longtime San Francisco Police Capt. Joe Garrity (http://goo.gl/m0Wo8). Currently there are no precise numbers on the amount of smartphones stolen each year, however some believe that the losses are in the billions. Whatever the amount, it is enough to prompt U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York to introduce a bill called the Mobile Device Theft Deterrence Act, which proposes a five-year prison sentence for tampering with the ID numbers of a stolen cell phone.
How should I protect my device?
*Only download apps from trusted sources, such as Google Play and the Apple iTunes store.
*Check your phone bill for any unusual or unauthorized charges
*Businesses should consider Mobile Device Management (MDM) applications.
*Install and use mobile security software for mobile devices.
As we entrust our smartphones with our valuable information, it becomes very important that we keep smartphone security uppermost in our minds.