“We’ve seen issues on all platforms; Nokia’s Symbian, Apple’s iOS and Android”
~ John Hering, Lookout
In a recent blog post about WiFi access, we offered advice on staying safe online in public places when using your laptop. Whilst people are becoming a bit savvier about computer safety, a recent YouGov survey uncovered some worrying trends amongst British smart phone users: just over a third of people were aware of the potential threats to their smart phone, leaving nearly two thirds who had no idea, and amongst those who are aware, most had done nothing to protect themselves.
So why should you protect yourself if you’re using a smart phone? What could possibly go wrong?
In March 2011, the first newsworthy security breach affecting Android phones was uncovered, with more than 250,000 phones being infected with a Trojan. A recent report from the telecoms company Juniper Networks states that there has been a 400% increase in malware on the Android platform since last summer, and an overall doubling of attacks on all mobile phone systems.
Where once all you’d hear about phone hacking was that a newspaper had listened into a celebrity’s calls and was publishing juicy stories, now hacking can affect everyone who uses a smart phone.
This can affect you in a number of ways, including:
- Sending hundreds of text messages to paying services.
- Making fake phone calls to premium numbers.
- Accessing all ofÂ your contacts and emails.
- Obtaining your bank account details.
- Identity Theft.
- Resetting Passwords.
- Hacking your Facebook, Twitter and other online platforms.
- And yes, listening in on private conversations.
So do you need to worry about protecting your mobile phone like you need to worry about protecting your computer?
You should follow the same guidelines we outlined for public WiFi access, but for mobiles it’s recommended you turn off the WiFi when out and about. In addition, you should never click text message or email links, and you should set up a secure password to access your phone.
We strongly advise that you invest in an anti virus for your mobile that will also track your phone should it be lost or stolen, and has the ability to delete all of your information remotely. We can offer recommendations on this if you would like to know more.
In the meantime, we wish you as always, continued happy and safe computing.