How to Protect Your Mobile Online
We’ve had concerns about our PCs being targeted by online scams and malicious content, ever since the internet was first launched. But now mobiles are taking over as our favoured form of internet access, there hasn’t really been a massive push towards protecting them. But here at Redsquid, we believe your mobile security. So that’s why we’re presenting several precautions you can put in place, in order to protect your mobile online.
Update Your Mobile
This advice goes for your PC as well as your mobile. Updating your devices is essential to your online security; as many patches, including the latest patch for iPhones, are designed to help reinforce your mobile against potential hackers and malware.
These patches could put fresh barriers in place, keeping other harmful users away from you. Also, cyber criminals have been known to exploit certain weaknesses found in older mobile software, so updating helps prevent this.
Usually, you should receive your updates automatically, whether you are on Android, iOS or Windows. But regularly searching for software updates is a good idea, to search for software updates:
Select Settings > Select About Phone> Select System Updates
Select Settings > Select General > Select Software Update
Select Settings > Select Check For Updates
Check for Potential Security Flaws
A recent security flaw discovered by Android users, supposedly put around 900 million mobiles at risk online. The bug apparently affected devices fitted with Qualcomm processor chips; allowing for illegal access to part of the mobile’s data.
This was eventually fixed when a patch was released by another company; called Checkpoint. Prior to the patch’s release, Checkpoint had also released an app capable of scanning mobiles to check for existence of the bug.
These kind of scanning apps are a really good idea in general, as checking for potential security flaws in both your phone’s software and hardware, can help you identify weaknesses and subsequently protect them. Try searching for them in your app store.
Use HTTPS Websites
Whenever connecting to a website, do you ever notice the address pop-up in the search bar of your browser? This may seem fairly unimportant, but it’s actually a significant indicator of whether the website you’re connecting to is secure.
You’ll want to look for whether there is a HTTPS before the website’s address. This indicates that your connection to the site is private and encrypted, and thus cannot be viewed by anyone else but you. Another thing to look out for is a little green padlock symbol; this further indicates that your connection is private.
If your connection to a website isn’t private, others may be able to spy on your activity there. If you’re viewing a site that isn’t private, be sure to avoid entering in any personal details or making any transactions.
Store Sensitive Information in The Cloud
Using your mobile storage space to hold potentially sensitive information, is a risky and inadvisable move. Mobiles can be easily lost, stolen, or mislaid, which is bad enough, but potentially allowing outside parties access to important data could threaten the security of your business.
Instead of storing such data on your mobile or on an SD card, try storing it within the cloud. There are plenty of free and premium cloud storing services available; including Dropbox and Microsoft Azure. Redsquid also provides its own cloud storage solution, so you can keep your sensitive data safe.
Use Better Passwords
Another precaution to take is to start using more complex password systems. Too many people are guilty of using the same simple passwords for all their accounts; which puts their online security at risk.
To help you create and manage complex passwords, consider downloading a password manager app. There are dozens of free and premium password managers available to download, that are designed to work across both your mobile and your other devices. Such popular examples are Last Pass, DashLane and 1Password, amongst many, many others
Be Careful of Public Wi-Fi
Connecting to Wi-Fi whenever you can is mostly a great idea. I say mostly, because connecting to public Wi-Fi comes with its own risks. Unlike your own private network, public Wi-Fi spaces are open to all kinds of threats, simply for hosting so many different device connections. Anyone could potentially use a public Wi-Fi space to spy on other users, or even implant malicious content.
To protect yourself, be careful whenever you consider connecting to public Wi-Fi spaces. If it’s a café, restaurant or venue, try asking the staff about what security measures they have in place. You can even download certain app to scan networks for any suspicious elements.
Beware of Malicious Android Apps
The Google Play store is popular amongst its users for the freedoms it offers; the variety of third-party apps and the ability to upload them yourself. But these freedoms also come with a price. Unlike the Apple store, which is heavily regulated, the Google Play store is comparatively more open.
The fact that Google allow far more apps on their store, means that there will inevitably be some holding spyware, spam or some other malicious material. To combat this, be more sceptical of third party apps, especially if you’ve never heard of them before. Research your apps before downloading them; are there reliable user reviews and plenty of coverage?
Also, installing any kind of anti-virus app or software is a good move; as these can scan and identify any potentially malicious apps.
Don’t neglect your online mobile security. Put these precautions in place to protect your business and your mobile against malicious threats online. For more cyber security advice, have a look at some of our other blogs.