Securing a Smartphone is Essential

As the technology is evolving, new devices are being introduced and the devices are becoming more and more advanced, as well. And, mobile phones are no different. In today’s date, smartphones are becoming cheaper and better, which means there is an increase in usage.

To many, the rise and adaptation of mobile phones mean efficiency and simplicity in the workplace as well as personal life. Information related to business, social media accounts, images, email, and all other types of data are mostly stored on mobile phones. And this data is quite sensitive, as well. It’s quite useful to have all this data accessible in just a few clicks. But at the same time, it leaves users open to security threats.

4.15
(in billions)
2015
4.30
(in billions)
2016*
4.43
(in billions)
2017*
4.57
(in billions)
2018*
4.68
(in billions)
2019*
4.78
(in billions)
2020*
Number of Mobile Phone Users Globally From 2015 to 2020

As per the above statistics, smartphone users have increased tremendously. Until the end of 2019 alone, the number of smartphone users has been expected to surpass five billion users worldwide due to its increased popularity. No doubt, we can easily say that it will increase further in 2020 and in the coming years, as well, which could impose some severe security threats.

Also, the research done by ptsecurity revealed that both the popular operating systems, Android and iOS often contain critical vulnerabilities.

Client-side vulnerabilities

%

of vulnerabilities
are on the client side

%

of vulnerabilities can be
exploited without physical access

%

of vulnerabilities can be exploited
without administrator rights
(jailbreak or root)
Though Android tends to contain slightly more vulnerabilities compared to iOS, the difference is not significant. So, no matter whether the user is using Android or iOS, they must be aware of it.
The risk level of vulnerabilities in Percentage of Client-Side Components
43%
57%
  • 43% 43%
Andoid
38%
62%
  • 38% 38%
iOS
High Risk
Medium Risk
Vulnerability due to technology cannot be handled by the end-users, but they should be aware of it and take certain precautions like keeping the mobile OS updated whenever the patch is released and above that, take some security measures on their own. So that they don’t fall victims to cybercriminals who often take advantage of these loopholes.

For instance, just one attack on the mobile phone and data like credit card details, secondary authentication information regarding online banking, email accounts, or social media accounts can be stolen, leaked, and misused, especially if the devices are logged from another location using an insecure connection, which has nothing to do with the vulnerability found in technology.

Today’s smartphones are more like small computers though they may not look like that and they are also equally vulnerable to cyberattacks similar to what happens on computers and servers of organizations.

Mobile Security Tips for End Users

No matter which mobile phone you use, whether it’s an Android or Apple phone, both need security. Below are some of the easy to follow tips you can use to secure your mobile phones and it’s recommended to make use of it, whether you are using your devices at the workplace, for personal use, or both.

1. Keep Strong Pins

It’s a no brainer thing, as you keep strong passwords for your email and social media accounts. It’s recommended to have strong passwords, pins, or pattern locks for your mobile phones. So that even if someone gets their hand on it, they can’t access your phone without your permission.

2. Keep your Device Encrypted

Currently, it’s optional whether to encrypt your mobile device or not. It’s recommended to enable encryption for your smartphone going through the settings, as it will help keep all your data, emails, and other important files encrypted and secure.

3. Activate Remote Wipe

If you lose your mobile phone, you should be able to wipe all the data remotely. So, your data won’t end up in someone’s hands.

4. Proper Backup of Mobile Phone Data

It’s recommended to keep backup of your mobile phone data just like your computer and other devices. So, if anything gets deleted by mistake or goes missing, you will have a proper backup and you can get your hand on the data or file quickly. For example, you can save your data using a cloud storage service or separately on your computer or external hard drive.

5. Avoid Installing Third-Party Apps

Avoid installing third-party apps from unknown sources for your mobile security. For example, out of the Google Play store. These days, applications with malware and malicious scripts are widely spread via fake websites or third-party publishing websites. So it’s better to avoid installing such applications if you’re not sure whose application you’re about to install.

6. Avoid Rooting Your Android or Jail Breaking Your iPhone

Though the process of iPhone jailbreaking or rooting Android phones is different, the result is similar. It bypasses and alters the intents of the manufacturers along with security protocols while making your mobile security weak.

7. Keep Your Mobile OS Updated

Whenever you receive a notification for OS update, accept and install it, instead of ignoring. It comes with all the necessary updates that even provide patches for security loopholes if there’s any in the currently installed OS version.

8. Beware of Social Engineering Scams

Social engineering scams are quite high. It’s best to stay alert and avoid using malicious apps and clicking on links sent through fake texts and emails and malicious email attachments used to collect users’ data. As your computer and other devices are open to security threats, smartphones are also vulnerable to security threats.

9. Use Publicly Available Free Wi-Fi Carefully

Yes, everyone likes free Wi-Fi, even I use it whenever I get a chance. But be careful with these free Wi-Fi connections, as it could be insecure and you could end up drawing unwanted attention from cybercrooks.

Avoid doing sensitive transactions like banking or online shopping. Make use of a VPN. Yes, VPN for mobile is available. Free VPNs are available but they also have some drawbacks. It’s recommended to spend some bucks and make use of a VPN for iOS or VPN for Android apps, depending on your device.

10. Install Anti-Malware For your Mobile Phone

Many anti-malware applications are available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Make use of those applications and keep your mobile phone safe from malicious infection.
There are high chances you might be using your mobile phone for many things and it could even be possible that you might be reading this blog post on your smartphone itself. Don’t just read this information, take proactive actions and keep your smartphone secure like how you keep your laptop or computer safe.