By Theodore Henderson
Certified Social Media Security Professional (SMSP) CompTIA Powered
Author – 30 Smart Ways to Protect Yourself from Cyber Criminals
According to the TrendMicro study “2012 Mobile Threat and Security Roundup” in 2012 over 300,000 malicious and high-risk Android app samples were detected and identified. This was a very dramatic 300% increase, over the samples sizes seen in 2011. If this story sounds familiar it should because it is the same historical tack that Windows took. Android’s popularity is making it a prime target for cybercriminals, hackers, and attackers, and at a much faster pace than Windows. Security should be top of mind when it comes to your smartphone and mobile devices. Below are 5 common sense ways to protect your privacy and prevent theft.
1. Password Protect Your Device
Hands down the easiest way to protect your phone is a password lock. The actual reason given by many people who don’t use them is that it’s inconvenient. If your identity gets stolen or a massive amount of personal information will you still think it’s inconvenient? Using a password to unlock your phone may be the easiest way to protect it. Also my recommendation is to use a password and not a pattern lock.
2. Disable Automatic Wi-Fi
It isn’t safe to enable this feature. If enabled your device will connect to any Wi-Fi network it detects that is available even if you haven’t chosen it. Many of these “Free Public Wi-Fi” hotspots are really hackers who are set up to retrieve authentication tokens from whoever unknowingly use this “free” service.
3. Don’t Just Trust Every Android Antivirus App.
Have reliable antivirus apps installed on your phone should be considered mandatory and not just a good thing. PC Magazine did a review of the best apps for 2013 and a report published last year by AV Test revealed that less than half of all Android antivirus apps were effective in detecting threats. The apps that provided the best results included Avast Bitdefender, Lookout Security & Antivirus Premium, Trend Micro Mobile Security & Antivirus 3.0. Web, and Kaspersky.
4. Install Android Updates ASAP.
Like any top-flight service provider the Android team at Google moves quickly to patch up any known vulnerabilities that may be found in the operating system. Always be on the lookout to download the newest Android update to make sure your smartphone no longer has these known vulnerabilities. Don’t just depend on the manufacturer and or carriers, as many don’t always have the newest version of Android available immediately.
5. Install An Anti-Theft App
Quite simply an anti theft app helps you find your find your smartphone if you lose it or it is stolen. Lookout, which I mention above, has this capability and can help you find the location of your phone on Google Maps. For example, the antivirus app Lookout also has services such as finding the location of your phone on Google Maps. In addition it has a nifty “James Bond” type feature sending an alert to your phone, taking a picture of the person who is trying to unlock your phone, remotely locking your phone, or remotely wiping your phone.
These are just a few of the several ways to keep your smartphone secure and protect your privacy.
Theodore Henderson is an Amazon best selling author, Certified Social Media Security Professional Powered by CompTIA, and a Certified Leadership Coach. He is the author of the Security eBook 30 Smart Ways to Protect Yourself from Cyber Criminals aimed at owners of Smartphones, Mobile Devices, and also those who have significant online activities including Social Media, financial services, etc. He is available for keynotes, seminars, and workshops and may be reached through www.SocialMediaSecurityTraining.com