Cybercrime is increasing by the day, and hackers are actively seeking out new strategies to fill their pockets. This malicious group of people is skilled in information technology, coding, and related skills;thus, the overall crime rate has increased drastically. If we look at the past figures, we can see that cybercrimes have nearly doubled in the last few years, and even smartphones are not exempt from it.
Every internet-based device, be it a desktop or a mobile phone, is likely to experience these threats. Most of us overlook the protective measures of a smartphone and are just concerned about our desktop security. It should be noted that the basic threat is the same for every device.
Hackers just use the mobile version for mobile attacks. Let us review some of the common smartphone hacking attempts:
This attack is similar to a person being kidnapped. In this case, it is your mobile. Here the hacker locks up the phone, and the user loses all of the data. From pictures and messages to important contacts and call history, nothing is accessible.
In such cases, we often get a pop-up notification that demands a certain amount. After the victim wires the ransom, the issue is resolved remotely. However, there is no guarantee that the hacker will give you complete access even after taking the ransom.
As the name suggests, this threat is just to scare you. Do not fall for the trap. It will give you pop-ups for getting some ransom by making you realize that your smartphone has been hacked. However, this is just a scam. At times, it may advise you to download some security software, but the software is itself a virus. So, don’t believe in these false pop-ups.
Do not download anything when you get pushy notifications. For your smartphone’s security, download only approved apps.
Another serious threat that mobile users commonly face is spyware. If you become the victim, you will not even get to know that the spyware is installed on your smartphone. Spyware can be installed at any time. Like you visited a web page, and the spyware got installed. This spyware tracks all your essential information and gives it back to the cybercriminal. He then uses it for further exploitation.
Now that you have got an idea about the threats you can face, let us read some protection tips for safeguarding the smartphone against these cyber threats:
1. Security Software is Mandatory
It’s not just your desktop that needs security software; the smartphone in your hand needs the same security protocol. Your mobile needs software that provides ultimate security against malware and riskware. Look for a software that is equipped with some additional features like a password manager. This feature helps in saving your login information safely. Bitdefender, Avast, Norton, and AVS are some good options on the list.
2. Do Not Get Trapped by Unfamiliar Apps
Downloading new games and activity apps are great for killing boredom. However, these unfamiliar apps can cost you big time. They can bring along ransomware, spyware, and even data leakage. Be vigilant before you download anything new on your smartphone. A little internet research can save you from the long-term risk.
Type a developer name, and Google will automatically raise a red alert if the software is suspicious.
3. Keep an Eye on Unnecessary Features
When you are not using Bluetooth or GPS, why is it on? You need to be careful in switching off the extra features on your mobile phone. It becomes even more important when you are using public Wi-Fi. Everyone is tempted to use free Wi-Fi; however, it is highly risky. Even if you are using one, be sure not to do any sensitive activity like any financial transaction via a public Wi-Fi.
4. Use Smart Passwords
If you are still using your pet’s name for the password, you are making the biggest mistake. Cybercriminals are smarter than you can ever think. Do not overlook the tips given for creating a strong password like using multiple characters, a combination of letters, numbers and symbols, atleast eight characters or more, and so on.
If you find it difficult to remember multiple passwords, use a password manager.
5. Always Update the Software
No matter how important your WhatsApp chat is, the notifications that you get for the software update is not be ignored. These are often given to fix the suspicious threats and vulnerabilities. If these quick updates are not addressed on time, you will open new doors for the hackers to get inside.
6. Notice Unusual Changes
Take prompt action whenever you notice any unusual behavior on your phone. It can be an extra phone bill, some unusual messages, or a sudden decrease in battery life. All of these indicate that the phone is under attack.
7. Give Time to Read App Permissions
App permissions are not just a formality; they are meant to be read vigilantly. Most of the apps take permission before accessing your personal information; therefore, it is imperative to read everything in detail before giving permission.
Cybercriminals are growing at a rapid rate. There is a dire need to protect our devices from these malicious cyber threats. Since many smartphones have taken the place of desktops, they have become the ultimate target for every hacker.
Besides ensuring the use of best coaxial cable for your private Wi-Fi and keeping a password manager installed, it is vital to follow all security practices for further protection. Public Wi-Fi should be used with care; security software is a must, and updating the security apps is another essential step in the protection against cyber-attacks.
Have you ever experienced a cyber-attack in your smartphone application? How did you combat it? Give your suggestions and share your experiences.
Arslan Hassan is an electrical engineer with a passion for writing, designing, and anything tech-related. His educational background in the technical field has given him the edge to write on many topics. He occasionally writes blog articles for Shireen Inc.