Whilst our phones develop and get smarter, so too do the malicious hackers and software which attempt to compromise them. Despite being inside our pockets, there are many security threats that our phones face every day. In a way, none of our phones is truly safe. But there are ways in which these threats can be counteracted. Below are a few of the risks that your phone is currently facing and how you can ensure to keep it safe.
Traditional Phone Theft
Of course, while software-related threats are the most prevalent, it is important to mention individual thieves. Phone theft is still a prevalent issue in the United States and across the world, with criminals devising more and more ways to steal our phones before selling them off to buyers. Whilst there is not a lot you can do to prevent a thief from targeting you, there are certain things you can put into place to help you if your phone is stolen.
Firstly, if you install a lock-cam into your phone, then it can automatically take a picture of anyone who has attempted to type in the passcode. This can be especially handy with number tracking tools which can help you locate the phone after it has been lost. With a picture of the thief, as well as a location, you can not only track it down but send information about the thief’s appearance to the local authorities. Apart from this, you can also be prepared in the event that your phone is stolen. In several cases, to protect you if you have a stolen phone, renters and homeowners insurance can provide cover, meaning you will not lose out financially if an event like this was to happen.
The Manipulation Of Contacts Through Social Engineering
One of the most prevalent threats which we have all encountered is social engineering. In short, social engineering is a scheme used by hackers in which fraudulent emails and messages are sent to your contacts in an effort to give over private information or download malicious software. This is a worldwide issue which every phone will become directly involved with. In fact, just last year, phishing attacks were responsible for more than 80% of reported security incidents.
In terms of fighting against social engineering, the only thing you can do is educate yourself and others on how to spot scam emails. Ensure that whoever is messaging you give proof of their identity before agreeing to give out any information or download any kind of software. If your gut is telling you that something is wrong, then something is probably wrong. Listen to your gut and make yourself aware of the signs.
Unsecured WiFi Networks
Another threat to our security comes through the act of connecting to fake WiFi networks. Specifically, unsecured public WiFi networks can be utilised by criminals in order to gather your data and personal information. Hackers will set up public WiFi spots with network names that sound and read like ordinary, safe networks. Some will even create twin hotspots, which are the same name as a usual, safe WiFi network that you have visited before. Simply by clicking on that name, however, you will be exposing your phone to malicious software and entirely compromising your data.
Using a VPN when logging onto public networks can be a good way of counteracting this, as it will ensure that your connection stays safe and secure despite the fact you are not on a fully secured WiFi network. As well as this, there are ways you can prevent being tricked by a twin hotspot. If you are concerned about a duplicate network and are confused as to which one might be real, then it can be a good idea to type in an alternate password that you know is wrong. If you are let into the network, then it is likely that it is fake, as only scam networks will allow anyone to enter. As well as this, you should pay attention to address bars when on the browser on your phone. Ordinarily, a banking website address should have an encrypted HTTPS. If, however, your banking website shows an HTTP version, then it means that your connection is unencrypted and therefore unsafe.
Of course, there are many other security risks, but there are also many ways in which you can avert them. Take the time to look into the threats facing your phone. That way, you can make sure your phone and all of its data remain safe and secure inside your pocket.