10 Quick Tips to Mobile Security

Mobile security is a topic I return to again and again and why not? Considering the proliferation of smartphone among the urban population of India and the demand for the same even in rural outbacks with poor internet connectivity, it is imperative to remind ourselves that along with all the advantages (and there are many) these devices can be sources of danger for users, especially kids. And though we are aware of many of these threats, we may not be aware of ALL of them.

I was reminded of the dangers related to these phones upon reading the McAfee Q4 2011 Threat Report.  Some findings related to mobile malware caught my attention:

  • Growth in almost all areas of malware and spam declined, with the exception of mobile-based malware
  • Mobile malware rose during the quarter and recorded its busiest year to date
  • Android firmly fixed as the largest target for writers of mobile malware
  • Much of the Android malware has been for-profit SMS-sending Trojans, which help cybercriminals to hijack phones to send messages that cost their owners money

So here are the promised 10 quick tips to protect your mobile phones:

1.    Beware of third-party applications; download from a reputable app store only

2.    Read other users’ reviews and make sure the app’s access permissions make sense

3.    Be wary of unnecessary permissions asked for, like an alarm clock app asking to access your contacts

4.    Protect yourself against data loss, by backing up your mobile device regularly

5.    Be wary of what you click while browsing the web, as malware makers use ads to trick smartphone users into installing infected apps

6.    Have difficult-to-guess passwords for your phone, just like you do for your PC

7.    Turn off Bluetooth and other connections when not in use

8.    Don’t use geotagging while clicking snaps. When you share them immediately, people will come to know your exact location

9.    Install an advanced and comprehensive security software in your phone to protect your devices

10.  Do use a personal firewall

 A quick word on the next generation of McAfee® MobileSecuritysoftware, which offers greater control to smartphone and tablet owners over their privacy as well as protects them from financial fraud, identity theft and viruses. It is inclusive of the new McAfee App Alert™, which provides important information about what apps are doing with users’ personal information. Besides this, it also offers:

  • Call and SMS Filtering: Easily filters out spammers, incorrect numbers and unwanted texts
  • Online Management: The McAfee Web portal lets users quickly execute needed security tasks, such as backup, restore, locate, and remote lock and wipe
  • Uninstall Protection: Prevents a thief or another user from bypassing their McAfee mobile protection
  • Complete Anti-virus, Anti-spyware and Anti-phishing Protection
  • Anti-theft protection including device locking

So go on, enjoy your smartphone to the hilt, confident in the knowledge that you, your kids, your phone and your data are all safe.

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