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Protecting your smartphone from malware

Every day, millions of people all over the world flip open their smartphones and connect to the same Internet that they have used for over almost two decades. They are mesmerized by the way technology has evolved, but never stop and think about how little the Internet itself has changed. Is 2011 Going to be a Treat for Mobile Malware discusses how easily mobile phones may be infected and used to spread malware.

Owners of mobile phones need to be prepared for a potential attack on their new devices. Fortunately, there are a few guidelines they can use preceding the next stage of evolution in cyber terrorism.

Be careful about the apps you download

When the Internet became mainstream, one of the most cliche phrases was “be careful what you download, you could get a virus.” Somehow, mobile phone owners have become incredibly trusting of the apps that proliferate their new world. One Vietnamese hacker was able to exploit this trust and use a trojan in one of his bogus applications which was used to steal people’s credit card information.

Apple products are probably least vulnerable to these assaults, because of the tight control Apple has over its store. However, any rogue application can make its way into someone’s tablet or smartphone. One of the best precautions is still to be careful about downloading any application until you have learned that you can trust it.

Be careful of phishing attacks

Cyber-criminals can exploit users in two ways. They can either brute force their way through the system’s security or they can simply trick the user into handing over sensitive information. Hackers often assume (correctly) that users are going to be more foolish than their technology, so this is often how they choose to exploit them.

When you use your mobile phone, you are probably more vulnerable to phishing sites because you are not passing through a gateway that can filter them out. Once again, you need to be careful which sites you trust.

Always be careful online

The evolution of mobile technology didn’t make the bad guys turn nice. If you want to be safe, you need to accept that rogue users are still out on the Internet and you need to protect yourself from vulnerability. Always be careful what you share and what you do. You won’t be able to destroy the risk of catching malware, but you can drastically reduce it.

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