Three Tips To Protect Against Mobile Malware Attacks

By Jen Cohen Crompton | Small Business

Three Tips To Protect Against Mobile Malware Attacks image 272713 h srgb s glThree Tips To Prevent Mobile Malware AttacksMost of us think of malware as that annoying software that hackers conspicuously send to us via email and it infects our PCs, seemingly “out of nowhere.” The infection results in a slower computer, wasted time with an IT professional removing it from our computer, and that pesky box with the animated squeezing bug that doesn’t stop.

Malware can be a lot more serious than what we see on the surface, in terms of bugs in our software, but it also has a newer, personal target, that if affected, can result in a much more invasive and threatening situation.

Malware’s most recent and disconcerting target is your personal mobile device. Hackers are becoming smarter and creating software, that when installed on your mobile phone, can perform tasks such as monitoring your phone calls, using your camera to record your actions, and accessing all of your contacts, emails, and photos.

Because of these capabilities, those known to have sensitive or proprietary information potentially stored on their devices, are carrying targets on their backs and can fall victim to these tricks. This is also a big concern for companies with BYOD (bring your own device) policies who aren’t using enterprise applications to keep information constrained and secure (although this may not prevent all of the security issues presented by malware invasions).

Even if you don’t have sensitive material, you still have personal material and you are still at risk. You should be aware of this potential issue and protect yourself by following these three simple rules.

1. Lock your phone. Create a code and lock your phone so you don’t become prey to those who try to scan your phone by simply standing next to you or rubbing your phone with theirs. There are even hackers who try to access your device and information when you’re connected to an unsecured wifi connection. So add a lock (and don’t make the code obvious) and be sure to keep it locked when not in use.

2. Do not click. Most of the mobile malware that is infecting devices right now is being transmitted through text messages that appear to be from a trusted source and prompt you to click with a call to action such as, “click this link to update to the latest software,” or “click to confirm your account.” If you receive this type of message, be skeptical of the number that sent you the text and the action associated with the message. When in doubt, don’t click.

3. Install updates. Operating systems issue software updates, which often contain patches that change the necessary code hackers use to penetrate the systems and install the malware. Keeping your software updated is a necessary step in preventing the success of some of these attacks and will keep you better protected. It’s usually easy to do, but be sure you backup your data before you update!

These three tips may not keep you immune from mobile malware, but they will definitely keep you less susceptible to contracting the infections.

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