Why is mobile security so important and what can we do to protect our devices?

We have officially reached the point where there are more mobile devices on the planet than people. With this statistic in mind it makes sense to think about mobile security. Cell phones have become a crucial part of our everyday lives, we have our contacts in there, our e-mails, tickets, bank account information, personal information, etc. Therefore, someone hacking into your cell phone is like hacking into every single sector of your life. Criminals know this and come up with more and more schemes and scams to hack your phones.

Why are mobile devices especially vulnerable

Of course, cybercrime has existed for a very long time now, so you might be wondering why it is even more dangerous for mobile phones in comparison to, for example, a server.

The phone’s size
If someone steals your computer right in front of you, you might be very likely to notice, on the other hand it is very likely that you forget your entire PC at a café or that it falls out of your pocket. Given that cell phones are very small devices, though, all of the examples given above do seem quite likely to happen. Once your device is gone, all the information on it is at risk. Anyone who finds it or stole it and hacks into it can find his way to all the data stored on it.

The way it connects
In order to access, receive, and transmit data (no matter if sensitive or not), mobile devices use a variety of networks to connect, like 3G, 4G, Bluetooth, GSM, etc. Each of these networks has its strengths and limitations when it comes to security. It is therefore advisable to be aware of the networks weaknesses and how they could be exploited. When using unknown Wi-Fi networks, always keep in mind, that anyone with some cyber knowledge can hack into your phone while surfing in the same network. Therefore never share sensitive information while being connected to an unsecured Wi-Fi network.

Security threats through mobile apps
Certain mobile applications can present a concern with regards to data privacy given that they can be used in order to gather specific information about the user, like a precise and ongoing locating of the user, the physical sensor data (Touch ID) or also information on the user’s physical health (fitness apps), as well as photos and audio files of the user’s device. Those apps collect, store and often transmit this data, which raises and increasing number of security concerns.

What to do to protect yourself

As in every sector of life, the most important thing to protect yourself, your data and your money is common sense. Don’t call back numbers you don’t know, don’t click on links that have randomly been sent to you and don’t download anything from a non-trustworthy source. Apart from that there are a couple of other things to keep in mind:

Keep your operating system up-to-date:
download and install updates for your operating system as well as for your apps many hackers take advantage of vulnerabilities and out-of-date operating systems.

Install security software if you have an Android phone:
If you have an Andoird phone you can choose between free apps like Avast and also apps you have to pay for from well-known brands like McAfee or Norton that are also known for their computer protection.
iOS software is a lot harder to hack, nonetheless, it is crucial to keep your operatins system up-to-date in order to keep it hard to hack.

Disable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS when not in use:
your phone is easy locate by conducting a simple scan, therefore keep them turned off, if you’re not using them.

Don’t store too much personal data on your phone:as a rule of thumb, try to store as little personal information on your phone as possible. So in case someone manages to hack your phone or to steal it, they cannot harm you too much.

Phones come with risks and threats but they aso become more and more important and prominent in our lives. Therefore, by keeping these few points in mind, you make it a lot harder for hackers to actually harm you and you can use your device a lot securer.