Secure Your Mobile World

Whereas in the past a person was limited to accessing data and the Internet when they were in a home or office, today, it’s possible to remain connected even when you’re on the go

Tags: Cyber crimeSymantec Corporation
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Secure Your Mobile World
By  Jason Saundalkar , Clayton Vallabhan Published  April 12, 2011

Whereas in the past a person was limited to accessing data and the Internet when they were in a home or office, today, it’s possible to remain connected even when you’re on the go. As a result you’ve got to ensure you’re protected. We show you how to do that here...

In today’s world it’s possible to be connected to the Internet even when you’re away from your home or office. This is thanks to the widespread availability of WiFi networks and high-speed mobile wireless data services such as 3G.

Most mobile devices such as smartphones, tablet PCs and laptops can use the aforementioned communication protocols to connect to the Internet. This not only brings the content you want to your fingertips but it also means that you can fall prey to a number of new and existing digital threats.

Amp up your smartphone security

Smartphones are a growing part of almost everyone’s basic necessities. Whether it is the popular iPhone, latest Anrdoid device or Blackberry, everyone is looking to take their online lives with them even when they’re away from the confines of the home
or office.

In the past smartphones were generally ignored by cybercriminals but because of how many people now use these devices to connect to the Internet to either stay in touch, or access their online banking accounts, there are now threats that target these devices specifically.

Some of the ways a smartphone can be maliciously attacked are with:

• Snoopware. Originally marketed as a way for parents to monitor their kids’ mobile phone usage, snoopware can be used to eavesdrop on your conversations, e-mails, text messages, contact lists, and even passwords. If you use a smartphone to make financial transactions, snoopware can be programmed to eavesdrop on those too

• Smiphishing. This is like e-mail phishing on a PC, except that it sends phishing messages via your Short Message Service (SMS) text service. Typically, you’ll receive a text message from a hacker posing as a business with whom you do business. The message may ask you to update a password, re-enter your credit card details or provide sensitive information which can be used to defraud you. The message may also be able to commandeer your phone to launch bot attacks or damage your files

• Spam. Plain old spam, just like the kind that attacks your PC e-mail, will also turn up in your smartphone e-mail or even in text messages. A lot of it is just annoying, but some of it will be unsolicited offers or smiphishing, both designed to get your personal information for financial gain or to destroy your files

• Bluetooth – Your Bluetooth connection can be hacked to provide access to your phone any time it’s turned on, even when it’s turned on but not in use

What you can do to safeguard your mobile device

In a word, beware. Be as careful as possible in terms of how you use your smartphone; use your smartphone as cautiously as you would your PC in short:

• Don’t open e-mail if you don’t know the sender. If any sender asks you to provide sensitive information, don’t. If such a request seems to be from a vendor or provider you know, use your browser to go to their website, or a phone to call the business

• Don’t answer text messages that ask for personal information. Again, if you think it might be legitimate, contact the purported sender by other means

• Delete spam, don’t answer it

• Turn off Bluetooth when you’re not using it, or when you are speaking or entering sensitive information into your smartphone

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