Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are basically small portable computers. The advantages are: small, stores lots of information, connects with everything (i.e., free WiFi, Bluetooth, wireless, cellular networks, etc.), time stamps and GPS tags, video and audio recording, microphone and camera, accepts authorized and unauthorized, applications, etc. Just like your computer at home they can be hacked, infected with a virus and, if unsecured, provide access to your personal information. Small and portable allows for easy loss, thief and destruction – water, fire, crushing, dropping, etc. High cost and sensitive information leads to increase desirability by criminal elements.
The risk of mobile malware is real: hackers can steal money and sensitive information, use these devices as bots and even spy on your activities. Unfortunately, most people have not realised the importance of protecting their mobile devices from such attacks
Protect Your Mobile Device
Keep your mobile device with you at all times, treat it like your wallet or purse. Can be used to access email, company, financial, and social media accounts. Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card can be used make telephone charges to your accounts.
How and Where to Use
- Download only from reputable sites.
- Do not download content from unknown or unreliable sources.
- Turn GPS settings off when not in use.
- Log out of websites when you are finished.
- Do not open anything unless you are expecting it and it is from a trusted source.
- Set device to ask permission to join any new wireless networks.
- Avoid publicWi-Fi ‘hotspots’ in public places like cafés, airports, hotels and libraries
- If making sensitive transactions, only use secure websites and look for: https:// instead of http:// and a locked padlock or key in the browser website address bar.
Secure Your Mobile Device
- Turn on all security features of your device.
- Set apasswords or PINs for the device, accounts, and email.
- Install reputable security software.
- Set automatic updating for operating system.
- Turn off Bluetooth and only use in private areas.
- Use encryptedWi-Fi networks that require a
- Record the International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI) printed on label under battery to for reporting device is lost or stolen and blocking use.
- If your GPS home location is activated on your smartphone and it is stolen, then the thief will know exactly where your home is, which places it at risk. When not needed delete this activation especially when you are on holiday.
Secure Your Information
- Back up data regularly.
- Do not save passwords or PINs as contacts on your phone.
- Avoid online banking over public Wi-Fi or in busy public areas to avoid people watching over your shoulder.
Using applications (apps)
Many apps collect and transmit personal information, location, contacts and messages. Set app permissions during installation. To avoid downloading hoax or malicious software use apps from reputable providers and review user feedback.