Mobile Security Threats and How to Protect Yourself

mobile security threats

Mobile security threats are increasing day by day. Nearly all of us routinely access critical and personal data from smartphones, for this reason keeping sensitive information out of the wrong hands is something we need to deal with almost every day. Mobile users are more vulnerable, since they are often the first to receive legitimate-seeming messages or calls and take the bait. Being aware of current mobile security threats can help to reduce the risk of malicious attacks.

Simple Tips to Detect Malware on Your Smartphone and Computer

Besides the traditional email phishing, there are quite a few security threats we need to be informed about while using our smartphones. Click on the topics below to learn more about threats we should take seriously nowadays.

Smishing

SMS messaging attacks, where cyber criminals send phone texts in an attempt to put you in the position to divulge private information or to infect your phone with malware.

The text message can direct to websites that impersonate your accounts and attempt to infect your phone with malware or steal information.

How to protect against the attacks
Be suspicious of any unsolicited text message from unknown sources and don’t click on links. Directly contact the apparently senders via their official website, phone number or email address if you are not sure about the legitimacy of a message you have received.
Be aware that Smishing is not the only phishing-like technique, which attackers use when targeting mobile phones. Find more information in the dedicated section.

QRjacking and QRishing

Quick Response (QR) codes are specifically designed to be viewed and processed by smartphone cameras. A QR code is very similar to a bar code we see in products and is typically translated to an URL. Malicious QR codes could point to potentially harmful websites or direct mobile phones to malicious software distribution.

QR codes are most often displayed in public places, used to direct smartphone users to a company’s website. Cyber criminals could replace these QR code posters or produce their own false posters with fake codes which will redirect you to phishing websites.

How to protect against the attacks
Make sure to fully examine the poster from which you’re scanning the code. Many times criminals could place the fake QR code above the real one, which can be checked by touching the poster. Be suspicious of the page you land on through the QR code and never share personal or login information.

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Shortened Links

Abbreviated links obscure details about the URL destination and can secretly house malware—or when clicked—take you to an illegitimate site. Short links and shortened URLs are everywhere. More than 200 link-shortening services turn millions of long, unwieldly URLs into short and spiffy links. Those links can reach you through emails, SMS and social media messages.

How to protect against the attacks
Use your common sense by paying attention when opening hyperlinks especially when those reach you through untrusted sources. If you are not sure about the legitimacy of the link, check it with the sender or run the link through a scanning/preview service; just copy the URL into a link scanner, such as (ScanURL, URL Void or others). This way you can protect yourself from this type of mobile security threats.

Search Poisoning

Search Poisoning, also known as SEO Poisoning, is an attack method in which cyber criminals create malicious websites and use search engine optimization tactics to make them show up prominently in search results. The real purpose, however, is to infect visitors with malware or fraudulently access sensitive information to be used for identity theft.

The sites are associated with terms that large numbers of people are likely to be using in searches at any given time, such as phrases related to holidays, news items and viral videos.

How to protect against the attacks
Keep your internet browsing app up to date, avoid clicking suspicious-looking links and never provide personal information online unless you’re certain the site is valid and the transaction is secure.

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