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.