The era of smartphones has certainly changed the world we live in and do business. It is estimated that by 2020, there will be 6 billion smartphone users in the world, and with the ability to do practically everything (from checking emails and googling directions, to taking payments and online banking… and even pre-paying and ordering your next coffee at Starbucks!) they are replacing more and more PCs at home and in the workplace.
However, having complete access to your life in your pocket can also have some major security concerns – particularly if you do use your mobile device to do business. Up to now, mobile malware has been fairly uncommon (taking up only 8% of the total infection pie) … however, this malware is now increasing at an alarming rate. There was already a 27% increase in new mobile malware at the end of last year, and that figure is climbing.
Android devices are seemingly the main target for malware, which is understandable when you consider that 85% of the world’s smartphone users are on that platform. That being said, that does not mean that other devices are completely safe!
Threats come in a few different forms:
Banking trojans. These pretend to be legitimate banking apps which lure users into downloading them and then steal their credentials.
SMS malware. These use the phone to send premium rate texts without the user knowing.
Mobile spyware. Like it’s PC counterpart, it will secretly monitor your activity.
Rooting malware. Uses root access to do all sorts of damage, from stealing passwords to purchasing and installing apps.
Device theft! Something this small and this valuable is easy prey to the opportunist thief.
So, what can you do to protect yourself and your company?
Here are a few things to help:
Beware of what apps you load onto your device. Only download apps from trusted sources and be wary of any app that asks for more info than it needs to do its job.
Be careful of using public Wi-Fi sources (eg at airports & coffee shops). If you are using your device for business, look into having company policies on public Wi-Fi use, and provide VPN technology to your employees if needed.
Keep your OS up-to-date, as well as your apps.
Do not allow employees to use jailbroken or rooted devices for work purposes.
Encrypt devices. Strong passwords are a must!
Encourage employees to install anti-malware (Android).
Educate employees on the dangers of mobile malware.
If you need help with setting up your mobile technology to be safer, or what company policies to bring in for protection, our team is here to help! Send an email to email@example.com or call 778-771-0184.