In April 2014, security software company Symantec released its 2013 Threat Report, which showed that 57 percent of adults who use mobile devices were oblivious of the fact that security solutions are available to help protect the data in their devices. With the rise of scams and malware that target the sensitive user data in smartphones and tablets, be wary of what you’re up against and how you can fight back. Most of the time, one or more trusted security apps in your smartphone can already prevent and foil most threats.
Does your mobile device overheat easily or lose battery power quickly? It is possible that your mobile device, especially if it is running Android, is hosting a bandwidth-greedy malware that mines digital currency such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Litecoin. This malicious activity taxes the meager resources of your mobile device.
In March 2014, Prized and Songs–two apps from the Google Play store–were discovered by Trend Micro to covertly mine digital currency when the devices where they were installed were being recharged. The mobile apps were already taken down from the Google Play store. Other popular apps were also discovered to have been designed to stealthily do cryptocurrency mining and were promptly taken down by Google. In April 2014, five live-wallpaper apps were pulled from the Google Play store after they were found to have been secretly mining Bitcoins.
What you can do at this point is to be vigilant when installing apps, to watch out for any crytocurrency mining signs such as overheating and a battery that drains too quickly, as well as to regularly check for news updates concerning the apps you’ve installed on your smartphone.
It may be difficult for you to recognize a phishing email when you view it through a mobile app. This makes mobile devices more susceptible to phishing attacks. The same is true for SMS text messages that purport to come from trusted and legitimate sources.
The solution: don’t click indiscriminately and always scrutinize messages that come with links. Install a good-quality mobile security suite to detect and help protect your data from phishing attempts. Also, consider the following three free security apps from the Google Play store: Norton Security & Antivirus, Mobile Security & Antivirus from AVAST Software, and Kaspersky Internet Security. Remember to keep your antivirus program updated.
The nasty ransomware, which is typically contracted by downloading software that claimed to be a free video player, is a very good reason to get your mobile apps only from a legitimate source like the Google Play store. A ransomware locks all your files by encrypting them. To regain access to them, you then have to pay the “ransom” in the form of a digital currency or a prepaid card.
To protect your Android device from getting infected with ransomware, be wary of apps that are proffered your way through pop-ups and ads. It also helps to backup your important smartphone and tablet data. If your device gets overtaken by ransomware, your best solution is to start your mobile device in safe mode and to delete the ransomware-infected app from the ensuing interface.