Mobile devices are the most popular form of communication used in our times. It provides convenience in our daily lives. Most of our activities can now be handled by mobile devices. You can search the web, use it to control an appliance, watch a movie, scroll through social media, and so on.
Currently, there are up to 3.8 billion smartphone users in the world. As more people juggle everything they need on their smartphones, cybercriminals have more opportunities to steal what they need. If smartphones and mobile devices are even used in businesses, which is prevalent, the more chances of data breaches.
Unlike computers, smartphones lack the mobile security and protection needed. We know most about how to protect our desktop with antivirus, firewall, and so on. But what about our smartphones? Do you know any mobile security measures? Are you aware of what activities in your device may harm your data?
Learning what mobile security mistakes you commit helps you to avoid them as early as you can. Here we have created a list of mobile security mistakes often committed when using smartphones and other mobile devices. Also, we included a simple way for you to protect them.
Using Free Wi-Fi
The main reason we use mobile devices nowadays is to connect online. In fact, most of our apps and mobile activities need an internet connection. With that being said, most restaurants, airports, and coffee shops offer free Wi-Fi to entice more customers.
You sit down in a coffee shop, turn on your phone’s Wi-Fi connection, and saw, “Free Wi-Fi” on the selection. You connect to it, and everything is exposed.
Public internet connection is commonplace for hackers to snoop on activities. They wait around to see who’ll connect to them and read the data going through it. Even worse, some hackers create a fake “Free Wi-Fi” connection.
This “Free Wi-Fi” is a trap. Whoever is connected will give the cybercriminal permission to look at all your login credentials and other details.
Not Updating Your Phone
Whenever we see pop-ups requesting updates, we often click “Later.” Updates seem to be annoying, but it is a critical mobile security measure.
Updates on the system or apps are a way for developers to patch vulnerabilities on the code of the app. It gets rid of bugs and holes that hackers can use to exploit. Furthermore, updates come with new features.
Updates give your device the protection it needs. Most old devices are prone to hacking as they leave a door for cybercriminals to access and explore once discovered.
Downloading Apps Without Checking on Them
On average, there are more than 80 apps installed on a person’s phone, but not all of them are used. Apps are software used on mobile devices having a specific function.
Downloading apps without taking your time to check on them can have a huge implication. Not every app you see at the beginning of your app store search is legitimate. You’ll need to know if an app is safe to install or not.
If accidentally you have installed a fake app, you can compromise your device. Everything you input into the app, like login credentials and so on, can be seen. Also, allowing apps to access some parts of your device can be harmful.
Clicking on Email and Text Links
85% of all emails we receive are spam, making most of us vulnerable to phishing attacks when not aware of it.
A phishing email is a usual online threat that can affect anyone. Most of this threat happens via email and text. The cybercriminal sends an email that appears urgent and legitimate. It often uses a person’s financial or insurance institution, saying they need to log in. Attached to the phishing email is a link. This link will direct the victim to a website that looks legitimate but, in reality, it’s not.
The same goes for text messages. The link attached to any message is unsafe.
Using Weak Passwords
Passwords are the first line of defense to any account and device. It’s the first thing that hackers need to penetrate to gain access to your account. Therefore, using a strong password can help in many ways.
However, most of us don’t practice the use of strong passwords. We often like to rely on our memory. Hence, we use simple passwords we can remember.
The problem with such is that it will only take hours for hackers to decipher it, exposing your data to them.
Even on your device, using a weak password or passcodes like “0000” or “1234” is something that will put your mobile device data in harm.
Jailbreaking or Rooting Your Phone
If you want to add unauthorized apps or content on your phone, jailbreaking or rooting is the only option. Some of us are not content with what our smartphone has, so we want more.
Jailbreaking your phone brings plenty of options to add to your device, but it leaves it susceptible to threats.
There’s a reason why manufacturers included a restriction on a device. Getting rid of it exposes your device to harmful and malicious content.
Unprotected Online Activities
We often use our mobile devices for banking or accessing any critical data. It’s a convenient technology that we have wherever we go. However, our freedom to access any content we want also keeps us at risk.
Every time you access your bank online, you put your financial data at risk. Anyone, including your internet provider, can see it.
Using Single-factor Authentication
Strong passwords are great for keeping your accounts and devices safe, but it is not the only option.
We often rely on single-factor authentication when securing accounts. But this will put your data at risk. When someone cracks your code, they can immediately access your data without you knowing about it.
No Phone Screen and App Lock
It’s not just about not having a lock on your screen that’s a mobile security mistake, but even using a weak passcode
No Antivirus Available
There is plenty of free antivirus software you can use on our devices, but most of the time, we don’t. Some think that antivirus apps are best for desktops and laptops. Meanwhile, smartphones don’t need them that much. But, this is a wrong concept.
Leaving your device without an antivirus app to scan and protect your device from malware is a common mobile security mistake.
Not Activating Tracking of Device
Guilty as it is, we all don’t activate the tracking when lost option on our smartphone. We disregard the notion that our mobile devices are likely to get lost. But it happens, either way.
Activating your tracking device option helps you access your mobile device and see where it is at the moment. Furthermore, it will give you a choice to erase its content to keep sensitive information safe.
Using a phone screen and app lock can protect your smartphone and mobile devices from anyone. When you lose your phone, it would be difficult for someone to access the content of it. You can also add a passcode lock to your apps that contain sensitive information like a banking app, email, and so on.
Moreover, using simple passcodes like “1234” is not advisable.
Posting Personal Information Online
Your mobile device can be at risk when you post valuable content online.
If you often use passwords such as your birthday, pet name, favorite food, and so on, hackers online can find out soon whenever you post on social media. To avoid account hacking, use strong passwords and avoid posting personal details you use for your accounts.
Now that you have seen these mobile security mistakes, are you guilty of it? Do you practice most or some of them? Whether you have committed all of these mistakes or just a few, it’s not the end. You can still implement mobile security practices to prevent hackers from stealing your data.
Tips to Protect Your Mobile Devices
Use Strong Passwords
Keep in mind that strong passwords should be complicated. It means using words not found in the dictionary. An example of a strong password, Hagy^sg$gdkaFAkAt*bsk
Install a Password Manager
Since using complicated passwords are vital, a password manager can store them for you. There is no need to remember all your accounts’ passwords.
Password manager keeps every detail safe, and it automatically fills out forms when needed. You only need to remember a master password.
Use a VPN
Virtual Private Network or VPN creates a tunnel that secures the users from spies. It keeps your online activities anonymous and changes your IP address. It’s best to use a VPN whenever connecting to public Wi-Fi.
Use an Antivirus Software
There is plenty of free and paid mobile security software you can have for your device. Some names to try are Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Malwarebytes, and Avast products. They have been around for years, which means they have better knowledge of cybersecurity protection.
Learn how to point out the difference between a legitimate and fake email. Or what apps are safe to keep on your device.
Educating yourself about some cybersecurity measures can help you maintain the best protection for your device. Also, stay updated with the latest news and trends on smartphone security.
Adding passcode to your smartphone and apps can keep your device safe from anyone holding your phone.
Activate Multi-factor or Two-factor Authentication
You can activate two-factor authentication on individual accounts to keep them safe. You will receive the code via text or email.
Also, you can be informed that someone is trying to access your account when you have received a code.
Only Download Authorized Apps
Make sure to use safe apps for your phone. You may want to have access to other apps, but it’s best to stick to the ones that are safe for your device.
Keep Phone Updated
Don’t hit the Ignore button. Immediately click on the update now and wait for a few minutes. Or, you can schedule updates on your phone so that you won’t forget. You can automatically accept updates on your mobile apps whenever you’re connected online.
Mobile security is a crucial part of our daily life. Since most of us are glued to our smartphones, it is best to keep them protected from threats. Reading about the prevalent mobile security practices can help you change them and implement only the best security measures for your mobile device.