Mobile devices, particularly smartphones that have features similar to computers are carried everywhere in purses, pockets, or cars. Besides their popularity, these devices are characterized by security laxity making them soft sports for cyber-attackers.
Today, criminals are targeting the smartphone industry to commit credential theft, malicious advertisement, and surveillance purposes. Over a very short time, the number of cyber-attacks targeting mobile devices has escalated, perhaps due to the increased use of mobile banking technology.
Cybercriminals are busy tracking your money and spreading malicious content meant to steal your financial information, the login details, and even money from your bank account.
Mobile devices have digital capabilities such as accessing the web, GPS, email, online banking, et al. Nevertheless, these devices are lagging behind the conventional security systems. They lack technical security features like firewalls, antimalware and encryption capabilities.
Moreover, the majority of these devices do not have updatable operating systems (OS) as in PCs. Often, applications for social networking on mobile devices have insufficient privacy control compared to when accessing them from a computer.
The majority of people using smartphones are either unaware or reluctant about security faults. Some users even think accessing their social networking accounts on their smartphones is much safer than when accessing them with computers.
Criminals have developed new forms of android malware with advanced evasion tactics that reduce their chances of being detected.
For instance, Anubis Banking Trojan is a type of malware that only starts functioning when motion sensors diagnose that the mobile device has changed its position, which is the strategy used by cyber-attackers to avoid detection.
Meanwhile, different malware types are popular for their ability to switch off Google Protect security features of android devices in order to steal financial details from users.
Triada is one form of such malware which is regarded as one among the naughtiest types of malware. It can allow criminals access to your smartphone and take control of it.
Most interestingly, Triada has been found already integrated into some low-end mobile devices as pre-installed software.
Lotoor and Hiddad are the two other forms of android malware. Lotoor operates like a hacking tool by exploiting the vulnerabilities in smartphones to infiltrate into their operating systems. Hiddad is a form of malware that repackages licit android software to distribute them to third parties and in return bombard the user with irrelevant and malicious adverts.
Research shows that as people are increasingly shifting from using conventional devices (laptops, PC) to mobile devices for accessing the internet, attackers are increasing their efforts to target more users.
These devices have vast amounts of personal information and due to their security weakness, information can easily be stolen and used to commit fraudulent acts.
Today, mobile devices, smartphones, in particular, are goldmines for cyber-attackers.
Across the globe, people are always busy on their smartphone watching the latest movie episodes, take photos and uploading them on the Instagram, following world news about the escalating tensions between the united states and Iran on Twitter, communicating with friends and families overseas, conducting point-of-sale transactions, redeeming coupons, or to purchase their favorable smart TV through their mobile devices.
Smartphones are custodians of valuable and sensitive information like email addresses, contact lists, passwords, curriculum vitae, banking information, copies of driver’s licenses, identity cards, et al. which turns to be a big harvest when attackers infiltrate into these devices.
These devices possess the same vulnerabilities that computers have, but due to the fact they are easily portable, usable, and modifiable opens them to uncountable opportunities of attacks:
The smartphone industry is talking over the formerly PC-commanded internet industry.
Today, Apple Inc. is the largest and most profitable technology company in the world, the only reason being that it produces smartphones.
Samsung Corporation is Korea’s source of pride as its smartphones are competing with iPhones for market share in the international digital industry.
Also, look at the way China is almost commanding the smartphone industry with a handful of smartphone production companies such as Huawei, Oppo, Lenovo, Xiaomi, Vivo, et al.
Despite the massive growth in the global smartphone industry, security measures for these devices are not in phase with their capabilities. It implies that the security of the majority of these devices relies on users to make cautious and clever choices.
Chances are even users who are most mindful of their interactions with these devices fall victim to cyber-attacks.
Nevertheless, users can follow some best practices regarding the security of their gadgets to minimize their chances of being duped.
Consider security features when purchasing a mobile device: always enquire whether the device supports file encryption, whether the device can be tracked and wiped remotely by a service provider, or whether the device has authentication capabilities like access passwords.
The device should support backing up of its content to a PC and give an option for encryption of the backed up data.
Several tips can help safeguard the information on mobile devices.
First, if the device gets lost or stolen, the loss should be reported to the relevant authorities.
Second, after finding that some information was lost in the device without your knowledge, notify the service provider.
Third, if you use home Wi-Fi, often change the password, and lastly, remember to wipe the information on your mobile device before discarding it.
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