What to Do About the 500% Increase in Mobile Malware

Cybersecurity researchers have discovered an alarming trend in mobile malware attacks, with a 500% surge during the first few months of 2022. This increase is cause for concern because of its scale and because many individuals have yet to take adequate measures to protect their smartphones.

Smartphones have become more powerful and can perform many functions like a computer, but people often prioritise securing their computers over their phones. This behaviour must change, as over 60% of digital fraud originates from mobile devices, making them highly vulnerable without proper safeguards.

The same protection used on computers must be applied to smartphones. It is crucial to start considering smartphones as mini-computers and prioritising their security just as you would with a laptop.

Tips to Improve the Security of Your Smartphone

Use Mobile Anti-malware

It’s also essential to have antivirus and anti-malware protection for your mobile phone. Malware is a threat that can infect smartphones and tablets, and it’s vital to install a reliable mobile anti-malware app to ensure your device is secure.

However, be cautious of free antivirus and anti-malware apps. Although freebies are great for certain things, they’re not always the best choice for security apps. Malware is often hidden inside free apps that are ironically designed to enhance your security. Therefore, it’s essential to research and chooses a reputable security app rather than solely relying on the cost factor.

Don’t Download Apps from Unknown Sources

To reduce the chances of downloading a potentially harmful application, it is crucial to exclusively download mobile apps from reputable and reliable sources, such as the following app stores:

  • Apple App Store
  • Google Play
  • Microsoft Store
  • Amazon Appstore

Furthermore, it’s wise to research the app developer online and verify their good reputation. If you download a dangerous app, it can infect your phone with malware that may persist even after you delete it.

Therefore, always exercise caution and practice due diligence when downloading apps on your mobile device to avoid falling victim to malware attacks.

Don’t Assume Email is Safe

Checking email on a mobile device is a convenient option many prefer over using a computer. However, individuals often have a false sense of security about the safety of emails on mobile devices.

Recognising that an email isn’t necessarily safe simply because it’s viewed on a mobile device is essential. Scammers may still send unexpected or phishing emails that appear legitimate.

Hovering over a link without accidentally clicking on it on a smartphone can be challenging. If you encounter a suspicious email and want to verify the link’s legitimacy, it’s best to open the email on a computer where you can examine the link more closely.

Therefore, exercising caution and being as wary about unexpected or suspicious emails when checking email on a mobile device as you would on a computer is essential.

Beware of SMS Phishing (aka “Smishing”)

According to a March 2022 report, text spam has surpassed robocalls, with unwanted text messages increasing by 30%, 10% higher than the increase in robocalls. Smishing, the text message version of phishing, accounts for many of these spam messages.

Smishing texts typically include malicious links that can compromise your device if clicked or request personal information in a reply text. It’s essential to be cautious of suspicious text messages, such as those that don’t make sense or come from unknown sources.

For example, receiving a shipping notification when you haven’t ordered anything should raise suspicion. As phishing via text message is a growing concern, it’s crucial to be vigilant and aware of this threat. Many individuals are unaware of this tactic, which increases their susceptibility to falling victim to it.

Therefore, it’s essential to exercise caution and be alert to the potential danger posed by smishing attacks to protect your device and personal information.

Remove Old Apps You No Longer User

It’s concerning that approximately 2.6 million apps have not been updated in a year or more, indicating that the developer may have abandoned the app. This can lead to security vulnerabilities on your device, making it a prime target for hackers who search for such weaknesses to exploit.

If these vulnerabilities are not addressed, they can continue to threaten your device’s security. It’s crucial to go through your device and remove any old applications that you no longer use. Keeping old applications around only increases the risk of leaving your device vulnerable to attacks.

Moreover, it’s essential to review the time of the last update of your apps. If it has been more than a year, you may want to consider replacing the app with a more current and regularly updated version. App updates often include security-related improvements, and it’s concerning when a year or more passes without any updates from the developer.

Therefore, it’s essential to regularly check and update your apps to ensure they are secure and any potential vulnerabilities are addressed, protecting your device from possible attacks.

Keep Your Device Updated

Keeping your device’s operating system up to date is essential for maintaining its security. If you’re not using the current Android or iOS, your phone may have vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to access your data.

Enable automatic updates whenever possible to ensure your device’s operating system is always up to date. If you have a company with multiple devices, consider including your phones on a managed IT services plan to ensure they are regularly updated and protected from potential threats.

Keeping your device’s operating system updated can help prevent security breaches and ensure your data remains safe.

Use a VPN When on Public Wi-Fi

Connecting to public Wi-Fi can be dangerous, but many people do so out of necessity to avoid exceeding their data plan or due to slow mobile carrier reception.

However, using a VPN application can reduce the risks associated with public Wi-Fi. A VPN stands between your device and the internet, routing your data through a secure server and keeping it away from potential eavesdroppers on public Wi-Fi.

A VPN can help safeguard your data and privacy when using public Wi-Fi networks.

Mobile Security Solutions to Prevent a Data Breach

Proactive measures are crucial in protecting your mobile device from cyber-attacks. The Qamba team can assist you with implementing automated security solutions that safeguard your device, accounts, and data. Take the first step in securing your mobile device by contacting us today to schedule a consultation.

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