Over the past few years,
as more and more people have become victims to mobile data security threats,
the general populations' awareness of the risks have increased. However, most
people are still not diligent enough when it comes to their mobile security,
which is becoming a more serious problem
as the hackers’ knowledge and skills increase.
Whether it is the insecure nature of public Wi-Fi hotspots, the brilliance of hackers who create rogue networks, downloading unsecured apps, or losing your phone and having no password, there are plenty of ways that you are putting yourself and your information at risk.
If you are looking to protect your mobile and your data, read on to learn about four mobile data security threats that you need to watch out for in the next few months.
1. Public Wi-Fi Hotspots
As more and more people work remotely or spend time on their phones, out of their homes and offices, the frequency of utilizing public Wi-Fi hotspots has become a more common occurrence. However, just because everyone is continually connecting their mobiles to public Wi-Fi networks doesn't mean that these are secure networks where information is anywhere near safe.
While it can be useful to be able to get online all over the world, it is also incredibly risky as almost all information that is sent over a public Wi-Fi network is ready to be easily seen by other individuals with access.
The best way to deal with this is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) so that you can securely utilize a public network to use your phone. Even so, you still should not enter important passwords or complete sensitive tasks when on a public Wi-Fi network.
2. Rogue Wi-Fi Networks
Different from those who
hack public Wi-Fi hotspots, rogue Wi-Fi hotspots are purposefully set up by
hackers to look like a legitimate hotspot. They may look genuine to users, but
the hackers who set them up will then
gain access to account names and passwords and are able to direct you straight
to malware sites, download the contents of your personal files, and steal your
private information — without you even knowing.
Make sure you are always logging out of online shopping services and your bank accounts and uncheck any boxes that request to retain your password, username or login information.
As Wi-Fi becomes more prevalent across the planet, there is no doubt that more rogue Wi-Fi hotspots are going to pop up with more advanced hacking strategies behind them. For this reason, it is essential that you consider putting a plan into place to protect yourself from this scary mobile security threat.
3. Unsecured Apps
One of the most common ways that users of smartphones become comprised is through downloading unsecured apps. Unfortunately, there are plenty of apps on the market that do not have high-security features and are unable to ensure that your data is secured suitably. Hackers are able to exploit weak server-side controls as well as reverse engineer the coding due to a lack of binary protections.
Additionally, some apps are created to specifically manipulate your phone security by gathering information from your location services, your camera, and other features of your smartphone. Spying apps are more common on Android phones, but they are also present on iPhones.
Whether your personal information is stolen or manipulated, or an app you download becomes infected with a virus, these apps can be a massive mobile data security threat.
Therefore, before you agree to install any new apps, take the time to verify the legitimacy of it.
4. Physical Mobile Breaches
As everyone is so concerned with remote hacking and online breaches, many people are forgetting about one of the most realistic data security threats: losing or leaving a mobile device somewhere. If your cell phone is not equipped with a strong password and full data encryption, then it is always at serious risk of being attacked.
Too many people don't have any form of a password, PIN, or biometric security safeguarding their devices, which is not ideal and certainly unsafe. No matter what you do on your mobile device, you need to be taking full responsibility for the protection of its contents.
More and more firms are realizing that their employees are not being responsible enough when it comes to mobile security, and are therefore enacting policies that force them to take steps to change the way they look at the privacy of their device and the data which lives on it.
What are the primary mobile data security threats that you are concerned about for the coming months? What are you doing to protect your smartphone and your data from these threats? What challenges are you facing in putting that protection plan into place? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!
Al-moottil P Antony is a C-Suite Executive Support Professional for Zain Iraq, a leading mobile and data services operator with a commercial footprint in 8 Middle Eastern and African countries.