Securing mobile devices like smartphones and tablets from threats like malicious apps, and the importance of regular software updates.
Imagine a wallet that doesn’t just hold your credit cards or cash, but your entire life—contacts, emails, financial information, photographs, and much more. That’s your mobile devices (smartphone, tablets), an essential accessory that has almost everything about you in one compact device. Just as you wouldn’t want your wallet stolen or tampered with, securing your smartphone should be of paramount importance.
The smartphone, in the wrong hands, can be a Pandora’s box. A single malicious app can wreak havoc, stealing personal data or injecting harmful viruses. According to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report, mobile ransomware has seen a 33% increase in 2018 (1). How do we secure this digital wallet then?
Think of your smartphone as an exotic pet. The kind that needs the right environment and regular check-ups to stay healthy. The first step to creating this environment is through careful app selection. When you’re browsing an app store, it might feel like being in a pet store, every app looking like an appealing addition. However, just like exotic pets, not all apps are as innocent as they seem.
Look for red flags. Does the app ask for unnecessary permissions? Is the developer reputable? What do the user reviews say? A thorough review can ensure you don’t end up with a digital piranha!
However, even the most exotic pets are susceptible to diseases. In the digital world, these come in the form of vulnerabilities—flaws that hackers can exploit. That’s where software updates come in. These updates not only bring new features but also act like vaccinations, immunizing your system against known threats.
Sometimes, we delay these updates, worried about them changing our phone’s functionality or consuming data. But, that’s akin to refusing a vaccine because you’re afraid of the needle—it’s not worth the risk.
Lastly, just like securing a pet cage, consider adding an extra layer of security to your phone. This could be a strong passcode, biometric authentication, or enabling remote wipe capabilities to delete data in case of loss or theft.
In the era where smartphones are practically an extension of ourselves, their security should be a priority, not an afterthought. Remember, a secure digital life starts with a secure smartphone.
(1) Symantec. “Internet Security Threat Report”. Symantec’s Official Blog, 2019. https://www.symantec.com/blogs/threat-intelligence/mobile-threats-ISTR-2019