What are the security threats to your smartphone and how can they be solved?


10 steps to protect your smartphone from hacking

Ransomware attacks on users and entire organizations are on the rise. The recent massive WannaCry attack, which targeted more than 200,000 computers worldwide, was largely made possible by poor mobile security. Ten simple tips can help reduce the likelihood of a smartphone or tablet being hacked.

1: Keep your operating system up-to-date

Install new versions of the operating system right away. If it doesn’t happen automatically, pay attention to notifications and don’t delay. Often updates contain fixes for recently discovered firmware vulnerabilities.

2. Install new versions of apps

Mobile app updates often don’t happen automatically either. They do, however, contain tweaks to improve your device’s security.

3) Don’t download just anything

Experts recommend being careful about the information about the app developer and the source of the download. This applies especially to free download links obtained randomly from the Internet. Only trust trusted sources. Also avoid clicking on suspicious links that promise, for example, a prize draw.

4. Deactivate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Remember to deactivate Wi-Fi and other connections when you’re not using them. Hotspots open the door for someone to remotely access your smartphone or tablet. It’s much harder for intruders to gain access to a device that has its wireless connectivity turned off.

5. Pay attention to text messages

Trash messages from unknown senders – especially ones containing links or requests for any of your information – right away. Do not click on suspicious sites (e.g. promising a reward for completing a form or watching a video), even if the link came from someone you know. It’s likely his phone has been hacked.

6. Use complex passwords.

Sure, it’s easier to remember obvious passwords (like your date of birth, or just 12345), but they can be just as obvious to crackers. All combinations based on personal information, words from any language, significant dates and so on are relatively easy to pick. It is best to use randomly generated sets of numbers and letters of different case. Also see what apps can help you manage your passwords effectively and securely.

7. Set up remote access

Two of the most popular mobile platforms have “Android Remote Control” and “Find iPhone” features. These will allow you to find out the location of your stolen device and erase personal data and files from it. And here are instructions on what to do if you’ve lost your smartphone.

8. Enable encrypted backups

A daily encrypted copy of your phone’s data can help you recover information if your device is lost or stolen. Backups are the key to keeping your data safe.

9. Sign out of your accounts

It’s easier never to sign out of your account on frequently visited websites and apps, but this increases the risk of hacking. Instead of clicking ‘Save password’ and ‘Stay logged in’, it’s better to enter your password every time and be safe.

10. Be careful with public Wi-Fi

An open access point without a password is a favourite method for hackers. And even a password-protected Wi-Fi can be dangerous. Once connected to your device, an intruder can get literally everything on your gadget and see everything you do on it.

To determine if your device has been compromised, look for signs such as fast discharging, apps opening and closing on their own, and too much mobile data usage.

How to protect your mobile phone from hacking and hackers

Four out of five people aged 16-45 own a smartphone. Chances are, so do you. But hardly one in five realises that a smartphone is a shortcut to sensitive information. Mobile devices are used by cyber criminals to get to personal correspondence, bank data, passwords and money.

Who is at risk

Every Android smartphone user can become a victim of fraud. The main problem with Android is that it can be downloaded from any source, including pirated software.

Fans of free games, software and porn are at risk. If you google “Angry Birds free download” or visit a porn site that offers “free access via app”, you’re on the brink of infection.

Phone owners may feel a little safer. This platform accounts for only 0.2% of viruses and trojans. However, this does not mean that iPhones are safe: it is the false sense of security that makes their owners vulnerable. It is possible to steal money through an iPhone as well.

The main risk factor is the person himself. If they are inattentive, don’t understand the basics of information security and love freebies, they are the perfect victim of fraud.

How viruses are picked up

Open links from text messages. Viruses know how to send messages on behalf of real contacts. You think you’ve received a text message from a relative and click on the link, download the software and there’s a virus in it. SMS viruses try to scare or intrigue the recipient into opening the link at all costs.

Do not follow links if you are not sure if they are trustworthy. If a link comes from someone you know, ask them if they really sent the message.

Follow an unreliable link on the Internet. Users are looking for interesting content: free music, movies, games, porn. They click on the link, download something, open it and get a virus.

After a visit to the torrents, a strange file appeared in the downloads. Don’t mess with it, let the antivirus sort it out.

Don’t look for freebies or at least do it from your computer. On a smartphone’s small screen, it’s harder to identify a suspicious site and there’s a higher risk of clicking on the wrong site.

Open files and malicious links on social media. Here too, people fall into the trap of searching for content. For example, they visit communities with games and click on links looking for free entertainment.

One click on the icon and the pig-hunter becomes a target himself

Only install apps from the official shop: Google Play for Android.

The attacker’s pages are accessed from a compromised site. For example, you go to read industry news on a familiar site and suddenly some seemingly useful software is automatically downloaded.

If an incomprehensible application appears on your screen, opening it is the worst way to find out what it is

Do not run strange files, even if they are down loaded from a familiar site. If something downloaded itself, it is probably a virus

How do I protect my smartphone from being hacked? 5 important rules

Of the tens of thousands of mobile apps, some bring benefits and joy, while others cause financial loss, stress and worry. A cybersecurity expert tells the Daily Post about how to stay out of trouble.

Games, pixie-faced photo editors, calorie calculators and boku casino sites in the smartphone keep us entertained and make life easier. But the Meitustory revealed that not all of them are safe. A Positive Technologies expert explains how to protect your smartphone from malicious apps.

Trojans? No, I haven’t.

In IT parlance, malicious software that masquerades as a harmless program is called a Trojan. Such applications force the user to install them themselves and issue the necessary privileges.

All Trojans can be divided into two types. The first exploits vulnerabilities in the operating system or applications installed on a smartphone. The latter force the user to authorize actions, such as accessing one-time passwords from text messages, the camera, the gadget’s desktop, or other applications.

When OS vulnerabilities are exploited, malicious activity is difficult to detect. For example, a program that aims to steal money through mobile banking, for example, will be detected as soon as the money is withdrawn from the account.

It is also difficult to protect yourself from malware that forces you to share data or allow fraudulent activities to take place. Such malware uses legitimate techniques, so the blame lies with the user. Without reading the app’s terms of installation, they trust and allow a free dictionary or game to read their messages, make paid calls, and sometimes take full control of their device.

Rule 1: Only install apps from official marketplaces

Most malicious apps get into your smartphone from unofficial app markets or from links from sites with unlicensed content. Google Play and the App Store will test the apps before they are made available to users. It’s much harder to get a virus there. If you do decide to download something from an unknown source, check the box labeled “Install applications from untrusted sources” when installing it.

Rule 2: Carefully read what accesses, permissions and features the app installs requires

Scammers often embed malware in clones of popular paid apps, luring the victim with free music or games. Once in the gadget, the virus exploits vulnerabilities in older OS versions to gain greater control over the victim’s device. Some may, for example, force the victim to enable special developer features – USB debugging. In this way, the installation software from the computer can gain unhindered access to install applications on the smartphone with any privileges.

Rule 3: Update your apps regularly

Research has shown that 99% of attacks target vulnerabilities for which developers have issued patches. When releasing a new release, they always officially notify about the fixed flaws and loopholes. Scammers study them carefully and target those users who haven’t had time to update the old version. Therefore, timely updates of both the device’s operating system and installed applications can reduce the risk of attacks.

Rule 4: Forget root access

Almost all Android users can get full control over their gadget’s system. Root rights Root is the main administrator account. If a rogue user gains access to this profile, he gets a number of features that are not available in normal mode. They can modify the system folders and files: for example, allow you to remove standard applications (calendar, maps and various embedded services), change and delete themes, shortcuts, optimize your device, over clock the processor. There are many apps that establish complete control over the system, but they also completely destroy the security on the device.

Do not use an Android device with root rights for banking transactions. If malware gains these root permissions, it will be able to embed itself in all system processes: read SMS with a one-time password from the bank, delete SMS notifications about debits, have access to bank card data, and even listen in on conversations. All of these activities will be hidden from the user.

Rule 5: Don’t give the app strange permissions

If an app needs to use, for example, access to your contacts list, it will definitely ask for this permission during installation. As of Android 6, some permissions cannot be given at installation time – they are only granted after the app has been launched. So, if the app needs access to read text messages, location or other sensitive information, the user will be able to refuse it. To be on the safe side, you need to be very careful about such offers.