The mobile landscape has boomed in the last couple of years mostly in part because of Android devices and social networking. This has opened the door for everyone to have access to a smartphone and have the cyber world at their fingertips. Smartphones have become an extension of us, and we now have our email, banking, social networking, television and internet on the go. We live in a world of instant access.
With this excitement and convenience, we may lose track something we take serious is our privacy and security. Looming in this mobile landscape are people who want benefit from our oversight and continuous usage.
We love to be connected to our family, friends, news and the latest gossip. Having portable devices makes this so convenient. We want to share our daily activities, stay informed, work, purchase and entertain ourselves. Just five years ago who would’ve thought we’d be able to make a purchase, bank deposit and watch a movie all from our phone. They have transformed our lives, making the once fast pace even faster. Now it’s even easier for us to bring work home, stay connected, and always be available at a whims notice even around the world.
For me one of the cool innovations has been banking apps with the ability to snap a picture of a check and deposit, make/receive payments, and view account activity. Such a convenience all driven by the consumer with the thirst for convenience and accessibility. But there is a flip side to this; the dark side knows of about our unquenchable thirst and looks to benefit.
The mobile threat landscape has also exploded with the smartphone boom. It’s nowhere near an epidemic or chicken little scenario, but it’s something we should all be aware of. With the wanting to share this and be consume that, we save contacts, create numerous login accounts, install numerous apps it can become overwhelming so we take shortcuts. Newly formed habits, such as using the same login and password, not locking our phones, install cracked apps and click on any link our friend sends us, have become second nature without even a hint of hesitation.
Taking these little shortcuts are the same reason we love our smartphone, they are a little shortcut to our lives and the bad guys are looking to exploit this. They want access to our private data and money by targeting what we use frequently in our personal and private lives; social networking and our Smartphone’s. We’ve seen attacks targeting our bank accounts in the form of premium-SMS Trojans and Man-in-the-Middle Trojans, spyware aimed at monitoring your activity. Even trusted apps and advertisers have been getting into the fray by collecting our data like email and stored contacts. SMS phishing and website drive-byes, they’re really just looking for a way in, taking shots and trying different tactics.
Fortunately, the operating system developers have made it a bit difficult for malicious codes to operate, but they still can get to us. So we have to take a few extra moments for due diligence. Think of it as insurance as we don’t want anything bad to happen but it’s always possible. Use secure passwords and change often, use a password or passcode on your Smartphone–it’s a great first line of defense, don’t always trust links sent through SMS or email. When installing apps, choose them wisely and download from a trusted source. Check reviews, research the developer and verify permissions requested before downloading. And, finally if your just not sure get help, use a mobile security apps like Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile for that extra piece of mind.
Armandon Orozoco will be speaking at RSA Conference 2013 on the topic of “Android Malware Exposed – An In-Depth Look at its Evolution”. For details on attending, click here: http://bit.ly/YfbahV