Your phone isn’t as secure as you might think.

67% of adults use mobile devices to access the internet, and even more use mobile devices for just for calling and texting. The most common threats for people are: toll fraud, malware, and SMS spoofing.

1. Toll fraud is when an infected phone sends out multiple SMS messages in order to create excessive SMS charges, which results in nothing except hurting the consumer’s wallet. Malware is something that many people are familiar with.

2. Malware, for people who don’t know, is when software on someone’s phone is attempting to do something to cause harm. (Such as cause toll fraud.)

3. And the third most popular threat is SMS spoofing, which is when someone receives a SMS with a link or number telling them they need to click it or dial it to do something important, which tricks people into giving over their personal information.

The following chart from Lookout security shows the most popular threats over the past year:

As you can see, toll fraud is becoming a very popular way of “hurting” consumers.

Android users are particularly at risk because Google doesn’t filter the apps that go on Google Play. This means that absolutely anyone who wants to put an app on their for android phones can and that app can do anything. I personally believe this is one aspect that iPhone is better. Many people complain that the App Store is too restrictive, but I would rather not be vulnerable to these security threats.

In addition, 35% of adults who are online have lost their mobile device putting themselves at risk to identity and data theft. But their is nothing that can be done to help this, except for consumers being more protective of their personal belongings and simply not losing their phones.

I think the best solution to these problems is for people to be educated and use their common sense. For example, your bank is NOT going to be texting you asking for your personal information, nor is any other company. Users also have to be careful when installing apps on their devices by looking at the reviews, amount of users, the developer, and making a decision based on those facts, whether it is safe or not. I believe that users are sometimes too trusting, especially older generations who are not aware that these security threats even exist and do whatever pops up on their phone.

Sources:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/262017/mobile_security_threats_rise.html

https://www.mylookout.com/resources/reports/state-of-mobile-security-2012

http://now-static.norton.com/now/en/pu/images/Promotions/2012/cybercrimeReport/2012_Norton_Cybercrime_Report_Master_FINAL_050912.pdf

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11 thoughts on “Your phone isn’t as secure as you might think.

  1. People use their phones to check everything now, and it’s usually very convenience. But that’s also why people won’t get protection, it’s not convenient. It slows down the phone and you’re pretty sure you’ll never be that guy who get’s his identity stolen or anything, so it’s just not worth it to most people.

  2. That’s true, I always assume that I won’t be the guy that’s going to have anything will happen to me, but there’s still that chance. After I did this post I did choose to install some security onto my phone, just in case.

  3. I find it funny and interesting how despite education people will continue to leave their phones totally unsecured. I wonder when people will finally come to realize that their cell phones are just as vulnerable as their PC’s.

  4. Most people get after me for not having a smartphone, but articles like this don’t really inspire me to get one. Even if proper security updates will keep the mobile device “safe,” no device you own is safe after being targeted by an attacker. As we grow into a more and more digital race, this is really going to just become more and more of an advanced problem and security providers might not know what to do about it as mobile security is sometimes tricky.

  5. It also does surprise me that people will not secure their phones very well but at the same time the people that don’t have the feeling of “it wont happen to me, I’m to smart and cleaver” so they won’t go that extra measure to keep themselves a little more protected.

  6. Smart phones are relatively new on the market, but the technology is out there to secure them. Much of the problem as we saw in class was that their are many who do not use this technology or engage in other poor security practices. You can put all the security tools out there but unless people use them correctly or at all for that matter there is little you can do except build it into the OS and have security patches.

  7. Seems like smartphones would be easier to keep secure. Computers patch intermittently, whenever they connect to the network. Would phones be easier to patch in a hurry, like responding to zero day hacks?

  8. What I find scary is that the whole “Smartphone Revolution” only just recently occurred, and when it gets to the point where even your parents and your grandparents own a smartphone, that is when we will see phone related hacks becoming more of a main stream topic.

  9. The overwhelming large number of applications and usages of smartphones does seem like a seriously overlooked security risk. But when I think about the potentiality of smartphones as the new go to for hackers I tend to think about personal information theft, rather than identity or credit card information. Nowadays, banks and insurance agencies are advertising more and more protection against any unauthorized use of credit cards or any acts of identity theft. I feel like I have a backup plan in case anything like that happens to me, but not if I’m storing some sort of trade secret or any personal top secret information. These types of information and the like are things you really shouldn’t store on anything that has access to the internet, though. So I’m really starting to doubt any sort of future smartphone hacking epidemic.

  10. With phones now you can check basically anything. You can check any social media site in seconds, buy things online, and even check your bank account. With everything going mobile it is very important to have some type of security on your phone because if someone was to either hack or physically steal your phone they would have access to most of your accounts.

  11. I think part of the reason people don’t secure their mobile phones is that they don’t think of them as hackable. The average computer user views a computer as a hackable device, but for some reason, a mobile phone as a safe zone. Their data is magically safe. There is no conciern for breech of security. I think if people were more aware of their risk, they wouldn’t be so blase in their mobile device security.

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