Top 7 Mobile Security Threats That You Should Know
It is no doubt that smartphones compile a large amount of sensitive information about their users, which needs to be kept safe from any potential attack in order to protect privacy as well as the intellectual property of its users and company respectively. Smartphones have become a source of new risks, because of the role they play in the lives of users and businesses as a medium for communication, planning, and organizing of work and private affairs. As a result, priority has to be placed on the mobile security of these users as both personal and business information is daily stored on smartphones.
According to Webopedia, “Mobile Security threats include everything from mobile forms of malware and spyware to the potential for unauthorized access to a device’s data, particularly in the case of accidental loss or theft of the device”
If you own a mobile phone, you are at risk because it has been confirmed with a study done by the University of Cambridge that 87% of Android smartphones are exposed to at least one critical vulnerability. Do you know that 95% of Android devices could be hacked with just a text? Oh yes, you heard me right. And that is just one of the many ways that your mobile device can be hacked. Below I have highlighted the top 7 mobile security threats that you need to be aware of.
The biggest fear of mobile phone users has mostly been the fear of malware, but even closer to home than malware is spyware. Spyware as the name implies is a software used to spy on the activities of another. Also known as stalker-ware, spyware is installed to keep track of the movement and activities of its target. This target as mentioned here could be a loved one, family member, friend, employee, or even a stranger. This software is installed like an app into the target’s device without their consent, hence violating the privacy of the target.
To avoid this kind of threat, a good malware detection suite or comprehensive antivirus should be installed on your device for regular and thorough scanning in order to avoid paving way for spyware to creep into your device.
Spoof means to trick or deceive. If that is true, then network spoofing involves the use of a network to trick other computer or mobile networks by disguising as a legal entity. Many of these hackers can set up fake Wi-Fi networks to trick users to connect. They do this in a high traffic public location or environment and name the fake access points enticing names like “Free Wi-Fi” at other times they name it “Coffeehouse”.
Always apply caution when connecting to any so-called “Free Wi-Fi”, and never you give out your personal information in the name of logging into a free network rather create an entirely different password from that of your email if there is any need to create a login detail.
A data breach or information leakage is the unauthorized transmission of data either intentionally or unintentionally from within an organization to an unrecognized destination or recipient. Sometimes, users grant some mobile apps broad or unlimited permissions rather than what they need to function in their mobile devices without checking for any potential security threat. These apps are free and could be found in official app stores. They execute their functions as they claim but also send private data and company information to remote servers, giving cyber thieves the privilege to mine such data.
How do you avoid data breach from taking place?
- Make use of Data Loss Prevention (DLP) software to safeguard any sensitive information after identifying which data needs the most protection.
- Make use of tools to monitor access and activity.
III. Introduce endpoint security to monitor how and which data is leaving the network, when and through which medium or device.
- Lock down your network
- Implement encryption
Phishing is a cyberattack used to steal users’ data, details of credit cards, and login credentials disguised as emails. It aims to trick users into opening an email, text message, or instant message. Phishing is a very dangerous threat because it gives hackers access to hack numerous users at once. And since mobile phone users always have their devices powered on and monitor all their messages in real-time, they are more vulnerable to phishing attacks which often comes as an urgent message.
A phishing attack is a very old method of a cyberattack. In fact, the term “Phishing” arose in the mid-90s when hackers tried to deceive AOL users into giving up their login details. Phishers use the penetrate, observe, and attack methods to hunt down their targets. After penetrating, they observe the numerous emails gathering information. The point of attack is when they get creative.
Improper Session Handling
It is essential that you log out of any site or app when you are done with the task at hand, because when you don’t you may be exposing yourself to cyberthreat. Cybercriminals may gain access to the website and tamper with confidential information. While secure apps create fresh tokens for each transaction or access attempt, other apps allow users to carry out numerous transactions without having to re-verify their identity.
Always ensure that you properly log out of any website or close the session after completing your task, to avoid sharing your session with malicious actors.
Everyone likes to have free data or access to free Wi-Fi, to save their phone data and save money too. While free Wi-Fi is not bad on its own, it becomes bad when it is unsecured because it allows for the flow of data without security or protection. At the point of enjoying free Wi-Fi, a cybercriminal nearby can decide to come in-between you and the free network and distribute malware to you.
Broken cryptography takes place when developers use weak encryption in developing their apps. As a result, this flawed encryption can be exploited by any motivated attacker to gain access to the app. At other times developers may want to speed up the app development process by taking on the risk of using vulnerable encryption algorithms because they are familiar with them.
In this case, it is pertinent that both the developers and the companies involved follow high encryption standards to deploy apps.