Our worlds have gone mobile. With the developments of the smartphone and tablet, we are now living in a mobile age. Our devices are our lifelines. We have the ability to call, email, chat, store pictures, play games, and even do our jobs from our mobile devices. So is it any wonder that the hackers of the world have started to target mobile devices?
Most people don’t stop to think about it, but the cyber security threat to our mobile devices is very real. You might think something like that could never happen to you, but you would be very wrong. Several months ago one of the employees here at Network Depot got a virus on his phone, and he ended up having to completely wipe his phone and reset it. Read his account of this experience here.
All our data is now stored on our mobile devices. If a hacker accesses it, they not only will gain incredible amounts of data, including your contacts database, call histories, text messages, etc. But they could also gain access to your work network as well, endangering your colleagues and your company as a whole. They can also take control of your phone and do things like send messages and virus-laced emails and texts to all your contacts, and even take pictures and videos from your phone.
So how can you ensure that your mobile devices are protected? Part of it is education and information, and part of it is having the right protection.
Education and Information
One of the most annoying parts about downloading a new app or performing an upgrade is that horribly long agreement, the “Terms & Conditions”, that you have to check off. Unfortunately, 99% of people are not going to read through that in detail, and that is what gets them into trouble. Especially with apps, it is really important that you know exactly what you are giving this application permission to access on your device. And if you have any doubts, it’s probably better not to download.
When using your email or web browser on your phone, the same rules apply as when you are using them on a regular computer. You need to be smart and careful. Be careful of phishing emails. Don’t open emails from people you don’t know. Don’t click on random advertisements or links. We have this great free e-book that has guidelines for how to stay safe online. It doesn’t just apply to surfing the web on a desktop or laptop computer anymore- surfing the web from your phone or tablet can be just a dangerous if you are not careful.
The Right Protection
When you set out to choose your anti-virus program for your mobile device, there are a number of factors and features you want to be looking at. The program you choose is going to depend on the type of data you have stored on your devices, and also on the type of person you are.
For example, if you are a person who tends to misplace your phone a lot, you might want to make sure that your anti-virus protection comes with an alarm system. This will set off a “scream” that will either help you find it, or deter anyone else from taking it.
There are also certain programs that come with the ability to locate your device via a GPS tracker. So, if you happen to lose your phone or tablet, or they get stolen, you can use your computer (where the software will be installed as well) to turn on the GPS tracker and help you find your device.
Another great feature that comes in some mobile security software options is the protection from strange apps. As mentioned before, some apps will hide dangerous permissions in the fine print of their terms and conditions agreement, knowing that most people don’t read them anyway. Mobile security software will scan all of your apps so you can be assured that you are not downloading anything harmful to your device.
How to Choose
Choosing the right anti-virus protection for your mobile devices is not easy. Since this is a growing problem, more and more options are becoming available, all with different features, prices, etc.
You also need to take into account all of the different things you use your phone for. If you are one of the rare people these days who doesn’t have your work email on your phone or tablet, the risk of passing on problems to your entire office network decreases dramatically. But, if, like most of us, you can basically live and work entirely from your phone and/or tablet, you want to make sure you are getting solid mobile security protection.
There is also this great article we found from TopTenReviews, which shows a comparison of some of the best mobile security software programs out on the market today, so that you can choose the best one for you. Click here to see this comparison chart.
Questions about mobile security? Thoughts on which is the best mobile security software out there today? Let us know in the comments!