Smartphone security is of the utmost importance since smartphones have turned out to be consistent companions. However the vast majority still don’t consider cell phone security in a similar way they consider security on PCs or laptops. Most people expect that their iPhone or Android device is secure as a default, when as a general rule it is up to the client to make security protocols change. The Today Show recently included a story that features exactly how genuine and disturbing the outcomes can be when hackers access cell phones.
The rich combination of personal and corporate information that resides on many mobile devices is a major draw for hackers, and they’re using every avenue available to break into them. With the right (inexpensive) equipment, they can gain access to a nearby mobile device in less than 30 seconds and either mirror the device and see everything on it, or install malware that will enable them to siphon data from it at their leisure. They can also use social engineering to entice users into clicking on a weaponized link or attachment, or installing a malicious application.
Increasingly popular tactics include offering an inviting (phony) website, injecting malware into a legitimate website—what’s known as a watering hole attack—and posting a malicious app with an appealing name (such as a fun-sounding game or free software upgrade). Once people click on it they’re compromised, and the attackers can then use their device to do anything it is capable of—without permission.
Attackers can hijack your phone’s microphone and listen to your conversations, see your photos and emails, watch in real-time as you surf the Web, look out of your camera lens, see all of your contacts, and a record of all of the calls you’ve made. This puts your personal information, your email, your financial information and quite possibly corporate information at risk.
What can you do to protect yourself and your organization?
- Know you’re at risk
- Make sure your operating system and software are up-to-date
- Only download apps you know you can trust
- Select the right settings on your device
- Use a secure password
- Don’t do anything sensitive over open Wi-Fi
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