The proliferation of mobile devices and the accessibility to a wider cross section of the society has led to an increased risk of targeting by cyber criminals. Aside from the actual physical loss of your mobile phone, which could put personal information in the wrong hands, there are several ways your mobile phone can be compromised.
- Viruses or worms can be spread through anything you download from the Internet via your phone, by text attachments (MMS, which means multimedia messaging service) and by Bluetooth transfers.
- Phishing by phone is another way cyber criminals scam you. They’ll send a text or email with a phone number for you to call to verify account information. They may also call you directly and ask you to enter your account number before continuing.
- Trojan horses attached to app downloads can delete your files and record personal information you’ve entered (like a credit card number on an online shopping site). Do not install apps that seem to require an unusual amount of information from you.
- An unsecure wireless network can compromise your information, including your contact list, as well as give someone else use of your data plan. Using your 3G connection is a safer option.
- Mobile phones are small and can easily be stolen, potentially putting your stored usernames and passwords in the wrong hands.
- Prompts from companies you don’t recognize may ask you to update, install or run software that could contain malicious software.
- Text messages sent to basic phones that contain malware can shut down or completely crash your mobile phone.
- Your mobile device could be cloned by criminals who copy the serial number to another phone and make fraudulent calls you’re charged for.
- Ensure your devices have the most current security software, web browser, and operating systems.
- Secure your phone by using a passcode to lock the device.
- Avoid installing applications (apps) from untrusted third parties.
- Avoid connecting to open or unknown WIFI hotspots, or limit your use on them accordingly.
- When in doubt, don’t respond.