It is an unfortunate fact that mobile phone theft is on the increase. While it is very convenient being able to access the internet from wherever you are just by using your phone, this also raises questions about the safety of your data. Data theft and hacking are both on the increase.
Not only do you need to take precautions to prevent a thief taking your phone, you also need to be careful about how you use the internet, if you don’t want your phone and personal data hacked. Instances of malware and spyware are on the increase. Most of us are well aware of the need to protect our computers, but when it comes to tablets and android phones, we don’t always take the same precautions.
How Your Phone Can be Attacked by Spy and Malware
One of the things that allow hackers to place nasty programmes on our phones, apart from when they steal them, is through apps. Everyone wants the latest game or other type of application on their phone. You need to take care about what you download as a good number of apps from Google Store, that we think are safe, are not.
Another way in which hackers can insert a piece of text and steal our data is by tricking us. Most tricks used on Androids tend to be the ones we avoid on our computers; phishing emails for example or a caller pretending to be someone they are not. Without realising it you can give your personal information to virtually anyone when you fall for bogus calls or emails.
You can easily be tricked into downloading an unsafe application because hackers implement these things as a sort of ‘doppelganger’: they give them an almost identical name to the safe apps, in the hope that you will accidently download the fake one instead. One way of protecting yourself from unsafe apps is to hold off on downloading them until you have the time to ensure that what you are getting is safe.
Protecting Yourself and Your Phone
In the same way that you take precautions to protect your computer, you really need to do the same kind of thing with your phone. Don’t keep bank details, credit card details or passwords listed in your phone; you are asking for trouble. If someone steals your phone and manages to get it unlocked, they can access your personal data. If you have downloaded an unsafe app, the coding contained within it could track your data.
Always have your phone password protected; this makes it much harder for a thief to access your data. Most androids have a built in encryption system to make your personal data virtually impossible to access. Check your phone settings to find out how to encrypt your data – this is especially necessary when you are downloading through the USB port.
It is a good idea to install an anti-spy or malware programme on your phone, just as you would your computer. The vast majority of these programmes are safe and they really can give much needed protection to your phone.
This post was written by James Harper for QT&C , the information assurance specialists.
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