Special security risk mobile devices

Special security risk: mobile devices are rarely protected

Devices without mobile security precautions are easy and attractive prey for professional hackers. Sometimes the goal is to track the movement of  manager as part of corporate espionage and sometimes the aim is to shut down an online shop. The consequences of such scenarios are often underestimated. As Kaspersky reports in its global IT security risk survey for 2013, the damage of serious attacks amounts to half a million euro on average.

The risks associated with dangerous apps are also on the rise. Many users do not know that mobile phones, smartphones and tablets have to be protected as just like PCs to ensure mobile security. For example, so-called drive-by downloads can download more apps to a smartphone in the background without the owner knowing. After opening the app, hackers have full access to the device. The risk of downloading such an app while surfing the internet on a mobile device is 1:6 according to McAfee.

NFC (Near Field Communication), which is used for non-contact mobile payment with a smartphone, can be used by frauds in heavily frequented areas to distribute malware.
Security rules:

  • Always protect your smartphone with a PIN or password
  • Avoid downloading risky or questionable apps. In case of doubt, check the source and references carefully. Also check the required permissions. If an alarm clock app requires access to your Google account, you should be very suspicious.
  • Promptly install all (security) updates for the operating system and apps.
  • Regularly create backups of all data stored on the smartphone.
  • Install antivirus apps if available. Android users should not rely on the bouncer integrated in the market by Google, because this virus scanner can not prevent apps from downloading other malicious code on your mobile phone.
  • Enable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and mobile data usage only if you need them.
  • Use public Wi-Fi hotspots with extreme caution.

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