Tag: smartphone mobile security

Mobile security risks are commonly overlooked by consumers

Mobile Security risksWhile safety and privacy concerns are still high among smartphone users, they continue to take unnecessary chances.

Smartphones are being used for a growing number of tasks every day, from placing phone calls and sending and receiving texts, to communicating thorough email, making product purchases, banking, and a broad range of other activities that require a high level of mobile security.

Many of these device users are very conscious of risks, and yet their behaviors increase their chances of data theft.

The amount of sensitive data that is being stored on smartphones is incredible. It not only includes login information for email and social network accounts, but it also involves proof of insurance cards, credit and debit card numbers, identification numbers, and an entire directory of contact information for virtually everyone we know. But at the same time, many of us fail to make the right mobile security choices to ensure that this information stays out of the hands of others.

Mobile security efforts are not nearly as strong among consumers as the steps taken on PCs.

Many consumers are unaware of the fact that their devices could be hacked or become infected with a virus. Moreover, few have taken the steps required to stop this data from being used by someone who has stolen the device.

ABC News recently reported that there are ten foolish behaviors that many people either do or fail to do in the use of their mobile devices. They included the following:

• A lack of password protection for their phone in general and for individual apps and accounts.
• Failing to purge old smartphone data before disposing of the device.
• Making purchases through a smartphone browser instead of through a commerce application.
• Failing to log out of banking and payments apps.
• Connecting automatically to any WiFi connection that is available.
• Leaving the Bluetooth connection open while not in use.
• Storing highly sensitive data on smartphones, such as Social Security numbers, PINs, and bank or credit card account information, which require far more mobile security than the device is capable of providing.

Mobile security threats abound with smartphone payment platforms

mobile security smartphone payment platformResearchers are cautioning device users to be careful with the financial and personal data they share.

As mcommerce explodes in popularity, a rapidly increasing number of people are shopping over their smartphones and tablets, making them a natural target to those who would threaten their mobile security through malware and other malicious cyber attacks.

This, according to the researchers at Javelin Strategy and Research, who wrote a report on the topic.

In its most recently released report from Javelin, the researchers explained that the mobile security threats to the various payment platforms have already reached $20 billion, and they are on the rise. They explained that the smartphone payments sector’s open source platform at Android may experience some of the largest struggles as a soft target, with its 50 million domestic smartphone users.

The researchers pointed out that the mobile security threats will be far from exclusive to Android device users.

Equally, though, the researchers also indicated that mobile security threats are targeting the iPhone and its 33 million domestic users. This could be even more damaging as these are the individuals who have the greatest tendency to shop over their smartphones and who spend the most money on their mobile purchases.

According to the authors of the report “Smartphone security is an increasing concern as mobile malware multiplies exponentially, and Android’s open source platform continues to gain market share over iOS.” They indicated that while Android is the target of the majority of malware so far, as it has the largest number of users, hackers still consider iOS to be the most valuable goal, if more challenging to crack.

The report stated that “iOS users spend more individually and have greater deposits on average than Android users.”

The researchers expect that by 2017, approximately 57 percent of adults will own smartphones based on the Android operating system. This will be almost precisely double the number who are predicted to have iPhones, at 28 percent. This skyrocketing use of Android devices will align predictably with the type of mobile security threats and malware volume that the researchers anticipate over the same time period. This is not unprecedented, as the number of Android targeting malware threats increased in the second half of this year from about 30,000 to approximately 175,000.