Hundreds of millions of people use smartphones on a daily, if not hourly basis. It likely contains your most important personal and financial information. It is a critical ‘weak link’ in your life from a cyber threat perspective.
CSO Magazine has just published an article discussing the six top mobile phone cyber threats and we agree you should keep these in mind.
JR Raphael, Contributing Editor at CSO, has some great advice that our Sentar ‘cybernauts’ think form the basis of a good 2019 resolution, “Safer Smart Phone Use”. We encourage you to read this article in-depth.
In summary, these are the top mobile security threats he discusses in his article: “2019 mobile device cyber threats you should take seriously“:
- Data Leakage: ever wonder why that free flashlight app or game asks for access to your contacts? your microphone? If so, you should read this before saying, “yes”.
- Social Engineering: it turns out that you are three times likelier to fall for a Phishing Attack when reading email on your mobile device, rather than a computer. Might be time for a refresher course…
- Wi-Fi Interference: if you use free wi-fi hotspots, you are in danger of this type of attack. If you do this frequently, you need to consider researching, purchasing, and using a US-based VPN app on your smartphone, whether you use them at a restaurant, a hotel, or a coffee shop.
- Out-Of-Date Devices: Keep your phone, your computer, even the firmware on your home router up-to-date on their latest releases in order to keep up with the every changing cyber threat landscape. Yes, this means your smart phone!
- Cyptojacking Attacks: this is likely the “newest threat” you’ve not heard much about, if any. It’s a type of attack where someone uses YOUR device’s battery, and processing power, to mine for digital currency like Bitcoins. It can overheat and damage your battery while slowing down the phone’s performance.
- Physical Device breaches: Misplacing or losing your phone should NOT mean someone now has full access to all your important data. Protect the device using all the methods available from the manufacturer. Make sure your PIN is strong. Even consider not using a PIN by using a more complex password. With bioaccess devices like face recognition and fingerprint scanners, you don’t even have to key in that longer password that much.
Mr. Raphael summarizes the jist of what IT managers and corporate executives should take away from this article in terms of employee Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) usage very nicely:
“Leaving the responsibility in users’ hands isn’t enough. Don’t make assumptions; make policies. You’ll thank yourself later.”