3 Security Risks On Your Phone You May Not Know About

3 Security Risks On Your Phone You May Not Know About

    


Smartphones make life convenient. Today, phones let you shop, control home lighting, and bank from the palm of your hand.

But that convenience comes with security risks. Phones contain so much personal data that cybercriminals often exploit mobile devices to gain access to bank accounts and home networks.

Want to keep your phone safe? Here's three security risks to smartphone users you may not be aware of.

1. Open or Unsecured Wifi


Most of us access the internet on the go on our smartphones to avoid going over our data limits. But we don't think about is that the connection we're accessing may not be safe. 

A security experiment by V3 proved this when three British politicians had their PayPal, social media and VoIP connections hacked.

How can you avoid getting hacked?

1. Stay off of free wifi as much as possible.

2. Don't access personal info like bank accounts when using free wifi services.

3. Use a VPN when connecting to open wifi networks to keep hackers from accessing data

2. Social Engineering

Webroot defines social engineering as "the art of manipulating people so they give up confidential information."

 An IBM study discovered mobile users are three times more likely to become victims of phishing attacks (a form of social engineering).

One way cybercriminals often fool people is through email. Because personal and business email is often viewed in the same inbox, it is easier for victims to mistake an email sent to their business email address with a personal one.

Social engineering emails often appear to come from a legitimate company you do business with. These emails contain links that redirect you to a site that looks similar to a company's official website.

Common signs of phishing emails include:

4. Misspelled words and poor grammar

5. Asking you to verify your password or financial information

6. The email is addressed to a different email address than yours If you are the victim of a phishing attack, you can report it to the IC3, a division of the FBI that deals with cyberfraud.

3. Data Leakage on Mobile Dating Apps

Mobile apps often collect tons of unnecessary data about you and sells it to advertisers and dating apps are perticulaly agressive on the data they collect and how it is used. According to a recent investigation by ProPrivacy.com, collect and store all the data you provide as well as any content, like messages, made in the app. Many dating apps also keep tabs on your location and retain all your messages and personal information long after you close your account. For example, the dating app Grinder clearly states in their privacy policy that "when you send an instant message (which may include photos or location) to other users... we will retain the messages."

Even worse, when a user signs up for the popular app Tinder, they may unknowingly give the company the right to store, use, or edit personal information and even publish that information on other sites or in online search results. If you want to date online, keep the personal information you provide through dating sites to a minimum and don't use apps with perticularly liberal privacy policies.

4. Fake Apps

Mobile apps provide an easy way for cybercriminals to install banking trojans or access your home network. According to McAfee, banking trojans increased by 77% in 2018. To stay protected, don't install any device outside of your phone manufacturer's app store.

Wrapping It Up
Only you can protect yourself from getting hacked. Follow the tips above to keep your personal information out of the hands of hackers.


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