Smartphones are much more than a communication device. The have become an enticing target for cybercriminals due to all the personal and sensitive data stored on them, which can be used by the latter for exploitation, harassment, blackmailing, coercion, and so much more. What’s at stake here is your security and privacy. The very handset that you trust with the most intimate details of your life can cause you serious troubles. While you are busy playing games online, using social media, watching movie etc., there could be someone secretly trying to steal your bank account details, personal information, pictures, and even your social identity. To mitigate this risk, you must first become aware of all that you’re up against.
Apps Are a Major Source of Malware
There are thousands of different apps currently available for smartphones. While hundreds of new apps hitting the web every day. There is nothing wrong in using these apps as long as you can confirm that they’re safe to use. One way of ensuring that is by sticking to official distribution channels like Google Play and Apple’s App Store or iTunes. However, don’t blindly trust apps on Google Play as it failed to keep malware-infected apps out in the past. There are several third-party app stores as well, but you’d definitely want to stay clear of them. Installing apps from unreliable sources is a really bad idea as they’re likely to be malware in disguise. Whenever you plan on installing an app from an unofficial store, be sure to do a bit of research to read the experience of other people, as well as learn a bit more about the reputation of the developer that built that app.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Compromise Your Security
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are two of the major features of smartphones, but both of them cause serious security threats. It is very normal for most of us to connect our device with public network, completely oblivious to the fact that we’ve just opened the doors for hackers to walk into our smartphones and steal our personal information such as bank account number, security password, credit card data, etc. Connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, especially insecure ones, involves a huge risk, one that you should never be willing to take. Also disable the Bluetooth feature of your device so that no one present in your surroundings can transmit any malware or corrupt files to your device.
Location-Based Apps Are a Potential Risk
Most of us keep GPS-based location features switched on, which leaves us vulnerable to the risk of falling prey to hackers and scammers. Some of the location features are enabled by default in most smartphones, one example being geotagging. You have to disable them all to keep yourself off the radar, otherwise any stranger with wrong intentions can easily track your device by exploiting those features.