Smartphones have become ever more popular over the years. These pocket sized devices are able to store some of our most valuable information such as bank accounts, personal details and login credentials.
More and more people around the world are starting to use a mobile device, and thanks to its convenience and ease of access it has become one of the most owned devices in the world. In fact, it’s almost impossible to go without a smartphone in this day and age as everything in our society thrives on connectivity and instant results. Having a device in your pocket fits that description perfectly.
However, it’s not all great news when it comes to smartphones. They are often targeted by cybercriminals in several different ways. If you don’t want to become the victim or a cybercrime, you must keep your devices secure. Read on to find out what risks your devices might be facing and how you can protect them.
Cybercrime is Not Limited to Desktop Devices
When people think of cybercrime their minds often go straight to a computer. However, with modern cybercrime no device is safe, and your smartphone is arguably even more at risk than your computer might be.
When it comes to smartphones, they are more frequently used than laptops in the current day and age. Smartphones provide everything you could possibly need and they fit right into your pocket.
Since they are used more frequently, smartphones have become an easier target for cybercriminals as they are more likely to successfully breach your phone’s security and get the information that they need to commit their crimes.
Many people store everything about themselves on their phones these days, making these little devices prime targets for any hacker looking for a gold mine. You don’t even need to have easy to find login credentials or banking details stored on your device in order for your information to be valuable to a hacker either. As you’ll see in the next section, there are plenty of options as to what a cybercriminal can do with even the most basic information.
What Information Can Cybercriminals Get From Your Smartphone?
These days a cybercriminal would be able to get their hands on just about any information if they were to breach your smartphone. Most people store their personal information, account passwords and even their banking information on their smartphones.
However, even the simpler bits of information that’s related to you can provide some great value to cybercriminals.
For example, your name, date of birth and physical address is all information that could be sold on the dark web to other cybercriminals for a decent amount of money. They can also pick up random bits of information to complete a puzzle piece about you at a later time
Even something as obvious and simple as an email address or a phone number would be useful to a skilled cybercriminal. Once they get hold of this information they’ll be able to send you phishing scams that either install malicious software on your device or steal your login credentials.
Smartphones are incredibly easy to carry around, which makes them convenient to use when traveling. However, oftentimes when we need to get connected to the internet we have to make use of public WiFi hotspots, especially while we’re abroad. In the majority of cases, these public WiFi hotspots are unsecured networks, and cybercriminals will use man in the middle attacks on your device in order to get hold of your information, and in some cases even your login credentials.
What Mobile Cybersecurity Tools do You Need?
When it comes to the security of your smartphone, many people often overlook the tools needed to keep them secure and prevent becoming the victim of a cyber attack. However, it’s not that different compared to your laptop, and oftentimes you can use the same cybersecurity tools on your laptop and your smartphone. Many providers will offer their tools as a package nowadays and you’ll be able to use the software on both your smartphone and your laptop.
One of the most important cybersecurity tools that you must have on your smartphone is premium antivirus software. An antivirus software will constantly scan your device for any viruses. If a virus has been found on your device, then the antivirus software can take the required steps to safely remove it and keep your device secure.
You must also ensure that your antivirus software is always kept up to date. In fact, it is always best to turn automatic updates on for both your smartphone’s software and your antivirus software. Software updates are often used to fix any flaws or bugs that have been discovered through user testing. Oftentimes these issues don’t show up until millions of people have started using the software, and sometimes it can be a huge security flaw that could be explored by cybercriminals in order to breach your device.
The Importance of a VPN
Another cybersecurity tool that you need on your smartphone is a premium VPN. A VPN or virtual private network will encrypt your internet connection which will hide your physical location and mask what you do while you’re online by connecting you to a global server in a different country or city around the world. Not even your internet service provider will be able to keep track of your internet traffic and data if your connection is encrypted by a VPN.
A VPN is especially important to use while you’re traveling abroad and having to use public WiFi hotspots. A premium VPN is the most effective tool to protect your device against cyberattacks that take place on unsecured networks.
Experts always always recommend using a premium VPN as opposed to a free one. This is because free VPNs usually come with a wide array of drawbacks that may affect your device’s security when you need it the most.
For example, free VPNs usually come with slower connection speeds which can lead to a frustrating browsing experience, and oftentimes people prefer to turn their VPN off rather than suffering through a slow connection.
Free VPNs also come with daily bandwidth limits. These data limits are usually not enough to keep you connected throughout the entire day, so you would end up browsing the internet without a VPN after exceeding your bandwidth limits.
Finally, free VPNs also offer a limited selection of global servers to choose from, and oftentimes these servers are also heavily populated with other users which makes them even slower.
Free VPNs are also often operated by fraudulent vendors. This is known as rogue software. Rogue software is designed by cybercriminals in order to trick victims into installing malware on their devices.