A quick look at how you can protect your phone from attackers looking to steal it
Mobile phones have come a long way from the weird little boxes we use to call people. The modern smartphone is a pocket-sized PC full of features that can make your old desktop jealous. People have such a deep connection with our smartphones that there is a kind of symbiotic relationship between ourselves and our smartphones. So much so that for many of us, our smartphone is an extension of our personality.
We do a lot of sensitive work on our smartphones, from personal emails to online banking. As such, it is a very tempting target for smartphone hackers. However, most of us do not feel the need to install antivirus software. After all, viruses attack computers, not smartphones, do they? Wrong!
According to a recent Kaspersky report, the number of attacks using malicious mobile software has almost doubled in one year. The same report further states that in 2018, the security platform identified 1,51,359 installation packages for mobile banking Trojans, 1.6 times more than the previous year. In other words, having an anti-virus software on our phone can be a very good idea. As the old saying goes, “Better a poor horse than no horse at all. Better a poor horse than no horse at all.” According to a Statistar report, 88% of smartphones were powered by Android, making them the main target of hackers.
Of course, you wonder what kind of attack you might face on your mobile phone. Okay, let’s go over some more dangerous types of risks that you can deal with as well as some tips on how to identify them.
Spyware / stockware can tell anyone what you are doing
Spyware is the ultimate consequence of all your privacy fears that become one. Once installed on your phone, spyware is able to track and transmit sensitive information like your location to third parties. This information can then be used in a variety of ways, such as extortion. Stalkerware is a commercial form of spyware that is usually installed by someone we can trust. It then lets the user track what you do on your phone and possibly use that information to intercept you online.
The best way to detect if you have any spyware installed on your device is to make sure you don’t allow apps to sideload your phone. It is usually found under Settings -> Security -> Allow Unknown Sources under Settings. However, this may vary depending on your device. Another way to find out if your phone has spyware is if you notice unusually high data usage or your device takes too long to shut down.
Host ransomware and your valuable files
Ransomware is a special type of malware that encrypts your files and then charges you to unlock them. If you have something very important stored on your phone, you can force the attacker to pay to get their files back. However, there is no guarantee that the attacker will keep his promise.
Sadly, when you realize you’re a victim, it’s usually too late. However, there are some things you can do if you are a victim of a ransomware attack. First, avoid downloading apps from third-party sources. Also, some of these ransomware, such as DoubleLocker and Koler, can be uninstalled by accessing the phone in safe mode.
Personal identity thieves can steal your money by pretending to be you
While this is not necessarily caused by malware, personal identity theft is a very real threat. Hackers who manage to gain access to your mobile can gain access to a bunch of highly personal information which can then be used to steal information such as bank account details. That information may be used to conduct fraudulent transactions in your name.
The best way to identify yourself if you are a victim of identity theft is to keep an eye on your finances. If you notice any suspicious activity, call your bank and let them know immediately.
A gold mine for lost / stolen phone data thieves and other unscrupulous individuals
Losing your phone, or having it stolen is a pretty traumatic experience for anyone. However, this may be the beginning of your anxiety. In addition to selling your phone, thieves can gain access to photos, videos or any other important documents stored on your phone.
In that case, report to the police immediately and ask your telecom operator to cancel your SIM card.
For this reason, installing protective software on your phone can be a good idea. Kaspersky’s Internet Security for Android comes with a bunch of features that help you avoid such problems. The software scans any app or link to ensure your safety. On top of that, the software gives you the option to lock and track your phone in case it gets lost, or wipe the device if you can’t find it.
Android Kaspersky Internet Security is currently available at Rs 599. However, if you prefer more bangs for you, you may want to consider buying Kaspersky Total Security 2019 instead. The software suite not only offers Kaspersky Internet Security for Android, but also comes with Password Manager, Safe Kids, VPN Cloud Security and much more.