CRIMEWARE:  Is Your Smartphone Secure?

There is no question that in our increasingly tech-driven world, concerns over dangers to our security have never been greater—or more appropriate. The good news is that with increased awareness and common-sense steps, consumers can protect themselves as well as their data. This article will address the dangers of the most pernicious smartphone malware to help users to monitor their devices.

Here are the top five ways that your device could be at risk:

1. Vulnerabilities in your operating system

Depending on whether or not your OS is up to date, your device could be more at risk for different strains of malware even when your phone is off. No matter how fast cellular companies are able to discover potential data breaches, users need to do their due diligence to ensure that their phones are as protected as possible. Just like you would your laptop or desktop computer, it is critical to maintain the most up-to-date OS to give your defenses a fighting chance.

2. Downloading malicious apps

One of the most common methods used by hackers to spread malware is via apps and downloads. Whereas apps that you discover in official app stores are rarely at risk, any pirated apps you download can easily contain malware. These apps will appear legitimate while hiding spyware or other types of malware behind their interface. It’s important to choose wisely when downloading an app and to think twice before looking for apps in unofficial sources: What might seem like a handy piece of tech could easily become a devastating headache.

3. Using unsecure WiFi and URLs

Another way your smartphone can be compromised is through unsecure websites and WiFi networks. To protect yourself from bad faith actors who could be waiting for you on an unsecure network, make sure to install antivirus protection and a VPN. And if at all possible, use secure networks!

4. Opening suspicious emails

Let’s face it: If it wasn’t for our spam folder, we would be drowning in a sea of emails from displaced kings and long-lost relatives. Because of the high-filter ability of our spam folders, we rarely consider what happens when one slips through. And while you ought to avoid opening suspicious emails as much as possible, the good news is that so long as you don’t download any attachments, respond to unknown parties with personal data, or click on suspicious links, you’re in the clear!