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Mobile phones have become a necessity rather than a luxury item over the past years. They exist for our convenience, which pushes us to store personal information on them so we can contact friends, buy online and manage our finances. However, convenience itself is a weakness ready for exploitation. The more information we put on our phones, the more vulnerable we are to security threats.
In some ways, our mobile phones are our most personal device. They are not just used for text messaging and calls anymore. They have become an essential part of our lives. A typical phone would store all our social networking contacts, photos and other personally identifiable information on them. That’s more than enough to orchestrate a successful identity theft. We have been trained and informed about computer and laptop security, most of them having firewalls and anti-virus software preinstalled before purchase but, when it comes to mobile phones, we are generally more careless.
When you get a new phone, the first thing you do is download apps. Boring things like maintenance, security and installing up-to-date operating systems don’t cross your mind until later on. This is unwise as the time taken for manufacturing and distribution could be between three weeks or three months, so the software would be outdated by the time it reaches the consumer. This makes it more vulnerable to malware and exploits. The solution is simple, you will get rid of seventy-five percent of the risks by updating your operating system.
Android is the leading smartphone and occupies eighty per cent of the total market share owing to the price and range of the devices that are using it as an operating system. Its popularity and the open source nature of the platform makes it a target for hackers.
One way of compromising a phone would be to have malicious software stored on an app, which enters the phone when the user downloads it from the app store. Some apps take private information without the users knowledge and many of these apps are free and are distributed to the consumers as games.
Google does have control over which apps goes on sale on its official Google Play store but there are many unofficial Google Play sites that host a collection of free apps that will compromise your phone as well as personal details.
Cyber criminals mine data. They collect information about people and use it for impersonation. This includes passwords, banking details, emails and photos.
Never be complacent with your security because there are always new attacks and constant threat. Make sure you’ve installed an anti-malware application on your phone and remember to update it regularly. Read the permission requests from apps and change your passwords regularly. Phone security is important, so take the necessary precautions.