Most of us spend all day connected to one device or another, sharing personal information via online shopping, mobile payments, social media, and even our search history. In this era, mobile security is a critical safeguard that everyone needs. First, you need to know what the greatest threats are to your privacy. Then, you need to know how to protect yourself from them.
What are the greatest threats to your mobile security?
By now, you’ve undoubtedly come across one of those ever-promising surveys that guarantees a free iPad or a trip to Cancun, only to flood your browsing device with Malware or intrusive advertising. Even if you’ve learned this lesson, you’re still at risk for other common security mishaps.
These are currently the top threats to a safe mobile browsing experience:
- An untrustworthy device
- A malicious application
- A useful app with an information leak
- Banking malware
So, while you may think you’re an informed mobile user, you can see that these dangers are real; here’s how you can increase your odds of avoiding them.
1. Purchase your device from a trusted retailer
You can often get better prices by shopping for a phone or tablet on eBay or a discount electronics store. Unfortunately, saving money may not be a good idea because people are starting to find pre-installed malware on even new gadgets (predominantly on various Galaxy devices). So, never purchase a phone from a risky website. Instead, try to shop with your phone service provider or order directly from the manufacturer.
2. Avoid third party app stores and only install what’s necessary
One of the best ways to avoid malicious mobile apps is to stay away from third party app stores. Even when inside the Android or iOS marketplaces, it’s still important to check out reviews, research the developer, and avoid new apps. Also, by only installing what’s necessary and uninstalling all of the apps you don’t use, you reap the benefit of speeding up your device.
3. Stay away from app developers with ulterior motives
4. Do not use mobile banking apps
Mobile banking trojans are designed specifically to steal money from you using the information you enter on your device at login. The only way to make sure you’re completely protected from this type of Malware is to avoid the use of mobile banking apps. Sadly, banking from your device is super convenient. So, if you insist on using an app to do so, at least make sure that your bank is willing to reimburse you for any fraudulent activity that may occur.
5. Stay away from suspicious websites
One of the greatest threats to mobile security (in the alarming sum of $33,600 per day) is Ransomware. This type of virus locks you out of your device and charges you a sum of anywhere between $60 and $200 to get back into your operating system. Even after you pay to have your system restored, you often will not be let back in. Of course, you should have security software installed on your smartphone or tablet, but you also need to avoid suspicious websites all together. And definitely never click click ads on sites that you don’t trust.
Mitch Pazanski is head of the art department at MightySkins, a vinyl skin company located in Florida. He helps design Google Home skins, Amazon Echo skins, tablet, gaming, and phone skins that are offered at MightySkins