With most cyber security media coverage focused on computers, we tend to forget about our mobile devices. Mobile security is equally important since we use our mobile devices most often. We use mobile devices as our banks, as our primary way to connect with friends and family, as our diary, and as our primary source of information. So why aren’t we taking mobile security as seriously? The truth is, mobile devices also need to be protected. Anyone who wants to get proactive about cyber safety needs to consider the multiple mobile security threats users face every day, most of the time without even knowing.
1 Types of Mobile Security Threats
There are four main types of mobile security threats that everyone needs to watch out for.
- Web-Based Mobile Security Threats infect the device when users visit an affected site. Once you’ve landed on the corrupted page, it’s common for the malware to start downloading into one’s phone without the user even noticing.
- Mobile Application Security Threats – infect the device through illegitimate apps that can potentially steal sensitive data from the device. The worst part is that these apps usually look spotless and leave the impression of a legitimate application.
- Mobile Device Security Threats are probably the ones that everyone is familiar with. These kinds of threats refer to theft or loss of the physical device. If someone with bad intentions and the right skills comes across your phone or a tablet, they can easily extract the information and use it against you.
- Mobile Network Security Threats occur when you are connected to an unencrypted network through your phone. Unencrypted networks create a window for cybercriminals to steal data from your phone.
2 What are The Most Common Mobile Security Threats and How to Avoid Them?
- Public Wi-Fi
The most common yet straightforward kind of mobile security threat is using public Wi-Fi when browsing your phone. Using public Wi-Fi is a cybersecurity minefield. Since the public Wi-Fi connection is not encrypted, hackers can get into the network and access your data. At the same time, we all know that we can’t avoid using public Wi-Fi altogether. So whether you unexpectedly run out of mobile data or look up a location on the map, at some point, we all have to use Public Wi-Fi. The best way to stay while using public Wi-Fi is to install a VPN.
Some people think VPNs are exclusively for computers, but they can also be used to protect your mobile devices, including your phone. You can quickly look up the Fastest VPN options for your phone, and then all you have to do is download the app that is suitable for your device. Use the VPN when you are connected to the public Wi-Fi. The VPN will redirect your connection, concealing your identity and details to anyone who might be spying on the connection, keeping you and your data safe from snoopers.
- App and Operating System Updates
Updates can seem useless and annoying for those who aren’t too familiar with the tech world, mainly because the companies will keep sending you notifications to update the app or the system if you don’t do it. But the reason companies do this is because the updates for your apps and your operating system include “patches” for the vulnerabilities that existed in their previous version. With each update, these apps or systems become more protected against all sorts of emerging cyber threats. So what you can do is either get into the habit of updating all your systems and apps manually or, when possible, opt for an automatic update feature. This will save you a lot of time and potential risks from having outdated versions of the app on your devices.
- Weak Passwords
Weak Passwords are one of the most common and most preventable causes of cyber attacks across all devices. But what makes weak passwords particularly relevant in the case of mobile threats is that most of us have countless apps on our phones, and frankly, we don’t take the time to come up with unique passwords for every one of them. So we are walking around with multiple apps on our phones that the hackers can quickly get into and from there move on to do some more damage.
Make sure to keep your passwords strong and use different ones for different accounts. Also, when you can, try to avoid creating an account altogether, especially if the app you are using is not well known and does not have many authentic reviews. For example, it’s not necessary to be a registered user at every hot new app that comes to the App Store or Google Play. Instead, try to create accounts and never underestimate the importance of a strong password.
It would help if you never downplayed the importance of mobile security. With so many real threats coming from all kinds of sources, staying protected and keeping your mobile devices safe should be everyone’s priority. This is made especially easy with apps designed specifically for mobile use and the automated updates that keep your devices safe. Don’t neglect mobile safety, and ensure you are protected before it’s too late.