This post was last updated on April 14th, 2020 at 07:37 am
You probably know that cybersecurity is important when creating your own website, or when browsing the web on your computer, but what about on your mobile device? Security is equally important when going online on your smartphone or tablet. Our mobile devices are vulnerable to cyber-attacks and viruses, just like our computers.
Why is mobile security important?
People these days are inseparable from their mobile devices. We carry our smartphones and tablets with us wherever we go. They also contain some very important, personal information. Attackers could potentially access our banking information, credit card numbers, emails, text messages, and social media accounts.
All of this makes our smartphones the perfect target for cybercriminals. Because we connect these mobile devices to WiFi and networks at cafes, airports and pretty much everywhere you can think of, this gives cybercriminals the opportunity to attack our devices. Criminals can not only break into our smartphones and tablets remotely but also the old fashioned way by stealing the device itself and then retrieving data from it.
Tips for Improving Mobile Device Security
You have anti-virus and other security software on your computer, so why not on your mobile phone too? It is important to install malware and risk-ware on your mobile device, as well as to stay updated with security patches. There is also security software that will keep your passwords safe through a password manager. This is critical in protecting your information from both cyber and physical attacks.
As a last-ditch effort, most mobile devices also have a built-in function that allows you to remotely erase all your data. This could save thieves from being able to access your information if your device is stolen.
Use Strong Passwords
This security tip is a simple one, but it is very effective. Strong passwords are more difficult to break into and therefore can protect your private information in the event of attack or theft. This means stopping using birthdays, addresses or pets names for your passwords.
Instead, make sure your passwords are at least eight characters long and include not just letters but numbers and symbols too. Avoid any information that could be guessed. In fact, random characters are best. These, of course, can be difficult to remember, but that’s where a password manager comes in handy.
Watch Where you Plug your Phone
Thanks to versatile USB cables, you no longer need a proper charger to top up your phone’s flagging battery. If you’re out and about, it can seem very handy to be able to plug your phone into any computer or device in order to charge it.
However, that cable could be doing more than just charging your device. USB cables can also act as a highspeed data link, which can transmit anything from your phone to someone else’s computer, for example, and vice versa. This could allow someone to take data from your phone, or transfer malware to your phone. The moral of the story: don’t charge your phone on any strange devices.
Check Your Charges
One of the best ways to detect cybercriminals or the compromise of your data is by users picking up on unusual transactions. Be sure to check through your mobile charges, bank statements and any other financial accounts to detect suspicious transactions.
If you notice any transactions that shouldn’t be there or that seem suspicious, make sure to inform your bank immediately. Your financial institution will then immediately stop your card to avoid any other misuse of your account, and you may even be able to recoup the money misspent on your account.
Avoid Public WiFi
Public WiFi networks are notoriously insecure. When you connect to a public network, you are immediately vulnerable to anyone else who may also be connected to that network. If possible, avoid using public WiFi networks completely, or at the very least, never send sensitive information over these networks. This means absolutely not using internet banking on a public network!
Don’t Download Unfamiliar Apps
Downloading certain apps can also leave you vulnerable to spyware, ransomware, or make your data vulnerable to being exposed to third parties. Rather than downloading any available app to your device, do some research first into the app and its developer. A simple Google search is usually enough to identify suspicious apps.