Despite being invented relatively recently, 3.5 billion people worldwide own a smartphone. With half the world’s population using mobile devices to stay connected, it’s easy to see why mobile cybercrime is on the rise.
In recent years, mobile internet use has grown exponentially. Now, more than half of all internet traffic is generated by mobile phones with more of us than ever using handheld devices to get online. Despite this, very few people are aware of the security risks this poses. Users routinely install anti-virus software, malware blockers and password generators on laptops and desktops, but they don’t apply the same caution when using their phones. Unsurprisingly, hackers and data thieves are taking advantage of the lax security and a whole new era of mobile cybercrime is dawning.
Why is Mobile Phone Security Important?
Take a moment to think about all of the data that’s stored on your mobile phone. Contact numbers, private messages, emails, banking apps, photos, videos and much, much more. In fact, the average user stores a wide variety of data and information on their mobile phone, much of it pretty sensitive in nature.
If this data were to fall into the wrong hands, it could be catastrophic. From having your bank accounts drained to seeing your photos being posted online, there is no end to the problems that could be caused by mobile data theft.
Sadly, mobile cybercrime is becoming increasingly common. Both malicious cybercrimes and more general cyber-attacks, like viruses and malware, are routinely being used to target mobile phone users.
Due to this, it’s essential to take a proactive approach to mobile cybercrime. By learning how to keep your phone secure, you can prevent hackers and would-be data thieves from accessing your information or disabling your handset.
Why is an Anti-Virus Important for Smartphones?
Today’s smartphones are more akin to handheld computers than traditional telephones, which is why you need a more advanced approach to security threats. People routinely ask, ‘do I need antivirus for my phone’, and the answer is always, YES. Any device that connects to the internet can be affected by spyware, viruses and malware, including your smartphone.
While some viruses will prevent your phone from working properly, others will remain in the background and be completely unnoticeable. However, this doesn’t make them any less dangerous. By infiltrating your phone, hackers can gain easy access to your data. Once they have this information, it can be used to impersonate you, access your financial accounts or simply sold on the black market to the highest bidder.
Fortunately, it’s easy to install anti-virus software on your smartphone. Apps like Avast Mobile Security, AVG AntiVirus and McAfee Mobile Security even offer free antivirus software for your smartphone. By scanning the phone for viruses, malware or spyware, these apps will alert you when anything suspicious is found and enable you to take action.
Should You Use a Mobile VPN?
A virtual private network, or VPN, allows you to send and receive data anonymously over the internet. This prevents people from tracking your location or identifying you, which helps to keep your information private and secure.
Fortunately, VPNs aren’t just restricted to laptop, desktop or tablet internet connections. By using a VPN on your smartphone, you can enjoy anonymous mobile surfing too.
So, how does a VPN work on a phone? When you use a mobile VPN, your phone will simply connect to the VPN’s servers before being directed to the websites you want to visit. While some users notice a slight lag in loading times when using a VPN, this rarely affects user experience. What’s more – the increased security and privacy is worth much more than a split-second delay when it comes to loading.
Making Smartphones Child-Friendly
It isn’t just adults who have been gripped by the mobile revolution, kids and teenagers are avid users of mobile technology. It’s estimated that half of Australian kids aged between 6-13 own a mobile phone, which shows just how ubiquitous mobile phone usage is amongst younger generations.
However, it’s vital that youngsters are well-educated when it comes to the dangers of mobile cybercrime. There has been an increasing awareness of cybersecurity in recent years, but this has focused mainly on surfing the web from laptops, tablets and desktop computers. As many people remain unaware of the risks associated with mobile internet browsing, they aren’t taking steps to protect kids and teens.
Of course, surfing the web from a mobile device can be just as risky as visiting websites from a laptop or tablet. In fact, the increasing number of apps designed to connect strangers and spark chats may mean that mobile internet use poses more of a risk to kids than other forms of internet behaviour.
Due to this, it’s vital that kids are educated about the potential dangers of mobile cybercrime and taught how to stay safe when using mobile technology. It’s easy to assume that kids are more familiar with technology than their parents, but this knowledge doesn’t always extend to security.
By taking a proactive approach and installing appropriate security software on your kid’s phone, you can keep them safe online. From using password managers to keep data secure to apps to implement parental controls, there are numerous ways to increase mobile phone safety for kids.
Choosing a Secure Device
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a mobile device is how secure it is. Whether you’re replacing a broken handset or treating yourself to a phone with all the latest features, it’s vital that it’s completely secure and free from any unwanted software.
At OzMobiles, we understand the importance of mobile phone security, which is why we’re committed to providing sustainable, affordable and secure mobile solutions. With 100% Australian stock, stringent testing protocols and a 12-month warranty, we deliver phones you can trust.