January 17, 2021

5 mobile security leaks you should know and be able to prevent

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By Emma Coffinet

The risks to mobile security and the number of security threats that mobile phones have continued to increase year after year. As if that isn’t enough bad news, once a phone gets hacked, it may become a pathway to hacking other devices that are connected to it. This is because, within a chain of connected devices, the overall online security of the devices depends on the strength of the weakest link within that chain. If there’s malware on the phone, it can spread to another mobile phone, tablet, or device within the network.

This article looks at five mobile security leaks and threats that you should know of and how you can protect yourself and ensure that you don’t compromise your online security. The following are some security threats you should watch:

  1. Malware and spyware

Malware is the short form for mobile adware. This is a program or script that gets installed on your phone without your consent most of the time. The job of this adware is to retrieve your data to be targeted better with ads. In addition to this, it also comes attached with spyware most of the time. The spyware’s work is to collect your data based on how you use the internet and then send it to other parties. This stolen data is sold to companies who then use the information to send targeted advertisements to you. However, once there’s spyware on your phone, then you will have a lot more to worry about than just targeted ads. It retrieves all information about your internet usage, contact, location, etc. So, it isn’t only a big problem for you alone; it could affect those people that you know as well.

  1. Viruses and Trojans

Another major security threat that can attack your phone, and you have to be wary of are Trojans and viruses. According to a report, these two types come as attachments to other programs that you might need or download on your legitimate device. They can hijack your mobile phone and mine the information within your phone or information that your phone can access, like your banking details. Viruses and Trojans are also able to send premium texts, which can cost a lot.

  1. Drive-by downloads

Drive-by downloads are the name for malware that is installed on the mobile device without your consent. You can get this malware by opening the wrong kind of email or visiting the wrong website. You are exposed to this malware automatically, and you get malicious files to your phone in this way. You can get any kind of file in this way. It could be spyware, malware, adware, or even something more serious than any of these, like a bot that hijacks your phone and performs malicious tasks with it.

  1. Browser exploits

This type of mobile security threat takes advantage of well-known flaws in the browser of your mobile phone. Browser exploits can also work against some of the other applications functioning with your browser, like PDF readers. How you know this is that you notice suddenly that the homepage of your mobile browser changes suddenly, and you might see unexpected changes in the search page as well. Once you start noticing these signs, then it is highly likely that you’ve been compromised with a browser exploit.

  1. Grayware and phishing apps

Phishing apps are very much like having an old theme and putting new takes on it. It was a common practice at some point in the past for cybercriminals to send emails to unsuspecting victims and make it appear like it’s from a source that they can trust. They then ask for the recipient’s personal information, like their password, hoping that they would trust them enough to send it. This is the same way that phishing apps are designed. They appear like real apps but aren’t. It can even be harder to differentiate these apps from a real app if the mobile device has a small screen size. These phishing apps then retrieve personal information that you input, such as account numbers, passwords, etc.

Grayware apps, on the other hand, are not malicious like phishing apps. However, according to the authors, they are also troublesome apps that you should avoid because they tend to expose you to security and privacy risks.

Protecting Yourself from Threats and Leaks to Mobile Security

These threats to mobile security may be scary. However, there are ways that you can protect yourself from these threats. Here are six tips to protect yourself.

  1. Update your software: most android users tend not to use the newest versions or latest releases of an app or software. The fact is, your mobile device can be compromised easily, and almost everything (including mobile apps and operating systems) can serve as potential gateways for hackers. The best way to ensure your protection against these threats to your mobile security is to keep your software updated.
  2. Choose mobile security: your mobile phone, like computers, also requires internet security. When you’re selecting the software for your mobile security, make sure that you choose a reliable provider and make sure you’re updated regularly.
  3. Install a firewall: mobile devices don’t often come with firewall protection of any kind. By installing a firewall, you get stronger protection against different forms of digital threats, and you are sure that your online privacy is secure.
  4. Use a password on your phone at all times: physical theft or loss of your mobile device can mean that your information is compromised. Using a password offers you some protection on this front.
  5. Download applications from only the official app stores: apple app store and Google play store are the official app stores for iOS and Android devices automatically, and they vet the apps. This is something that other third-party app stores don’t do. Downloading from official app stores doesn’t guarantee that you won’t be getting a bad app.
  6. Read user agreement always: before you install an app, you should read through the fine print. Not reading the terms of service is a pathway for getting malicious software to your device.

Conclusion

With the cybersecurity threat rising every year, people must be alert so that they don’t fall victim to cyber threats. Mobile security threat is a common one, and you might not know what to do to protect yourself from mobile security leaks if you don’t know those things that are threats to you. This article not only points out five of the common mobile security threats, but it also includes things to do to ensure your protection.

About the Author

Emma Coffinet is a content creator for websites, blogs, articles, white papers, and social media platforms, such as my-assignment.help. She is keen on capturing the attention of a target audience. She keeps herself well-read with the changing trends of the web world. Emma loves to pen down her knowledge in an engaging and simplified way. She also enjoys leading, motivating and being part of a productive team; equally comfortable working on her own initiative.

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