There is a wide range of cyber threats that happen every day, it is important that we follow all of the necessary precaution’s in order to ensure the safety of our private information including but not limited to passwords, network credentials, banking or credit card information. Malicious attacks occur more frequently than one would expect, their purpose is to damage a device. Most of us are unaware of the weaknesses we have within our smartphone’s security settings.
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With that being said, expand your current knowledge, try to be conscious of the weaknesses that surround us and attempt to eliminate them before they are able to obtain any personal information. A good way to go about this is to consider your smartphones security features as a whole, this approach could potentially decrease the threat. It is essential to narrow down where these threats are coming from in the first place also. Trace them back to the root and understand their motive of the attack. It was known that old techniques were used with new ones. As technology has been on the rise in the past decade, the sophistication regarding the attacks has increased immensely. A number of threats usually come from the smartphone itself, such as our internal touchscreens and the chargers. In the case that something went wrong with your phone, in most cases, the issue is taken to the carrier and they attempt to troubleshoot it. If the issue is unable to troubleshoot they are then expected to replace what is broken with refurbished parts. The risk with these replaced parts can vary, one common issue is the device’s security setting is compromised. Opening up a vulnerable spot for an attack.
However, attackers always find new vulnerable targets to focus on regardless of the setting circumstances. Most times it doesn’t matter if your smartphone is protected rather, how protected is it? Developers ensure safety but sometimes leave “back doors” open which then limits the securities effectiveness. If they are unable to crack the passwords, the attackers focus on searching for flaws in the code. Flaws are another way for the attackers to modify the app functions. Instead of solely focusing on a password, keep an open mind and look out for flaws in the codes, or anything that would allow them to get in. It is mandatory for the developers to enforce complete encryption standards before releasing the app. Some of the bigger threats to be aware of are “application-based threats”, “web-based threats”, “network-based threats”, and “physical threats”. Anew type of firewall program was developed and that fills in the missing layer of security. Some of the widest range threats consist of, data leakage, which is triggered by the apps on our phones, for the most part, the leakage is unintentional, there is nothing out of the ordinary to search for due to the fact the apps perform just fine, in fact as advertised. Phishing attacks typically come in the form of an email, this is the attacker’s attempt to gain confidential information from their target. They try to get ahold of the targets, official passwords, credit cards, and even network credentials. In order to decrease this kind of threat is to be sure to monitor your email, always avoid clicking unfamiliar links sent to you or as a group mass message, usually sent in the form of an email. Although it may take a bit more time, try to manually type in the URL. Spyware is a way to track individuals. In order to avoid this, make sure you download an effective antivirus. It is beneficial to eliminate them before they eliminate you and take your personal information as if it was their own. Unsecured wifi is one of the most common ways for attackers to get your information, not many people consider the fact that the wifi they are using is a way to become a target. When there is free wifi somewhere like at Panera or a Starbucks, most of us don’t second guess it and join the network, assuming its safe. Any personal information you have stored on your phone is now available to them to access. Always be cautious when choosing a network to join. There are some ways to be able to decrease the threat before it actually happens. First, always be sure to lock your phone rather it’s by a passcode you have created or even better a fingerprint detection f your personal print. Set a timer on your passcode lock, that way after a certain amount of time the phone will be locked and secure. In order to protect your information, encrypt the data you have. Set up a “remote wipe”, that way if your phone was ever stolen you are able to clear any data you have on your phone immediately. Always back up your phones information and be ready to update your phone once the latest update is available, this also helps clear glitches. If you happen to download an unsafe app then immediately download an anti-malware in order to ensure your protection. Malicious apps are dangerous, they can acquire access to everything within your smartphone ranging from your address book to your pin numbers. These apps can redirect your personal information anywhere, there are no limits when it comes to the web. Most individuals use online services, they are constantly reviewing their bank information, glancing at their credit card statements, or even paying them and tackling emails which usually have private conversations regarding an individual’s personals. A wise professor once said during an “academic-led fightback” against malware attack specifically “Success in this project would mean a rare opportunity for the cyber-security community to stay ahead of an emerging threat, instead of reacting to a threat which is already prevalent. (Turner 2014). A few years back there was excessive funding, specifically millions of dollars to research teams at multiple different universities around the world towards enhancing their cybersecurity. “You may think that the phone in your pocket is safe, but think again. We’re used to considering our phones as a trusted, private channel of communication, and suitable to receive authentication information to access specific online services. Unfortunately, this information can be leaked or abused by colluding malware if the mobile device is infected.” (Turner 2014) This statement enlightens us as to the seriousness of how vulnerable and unsafe we are at times. As technology has expanded, so has the amount and kinds of cyber threats. Average individuals, rather they are a part of a business or not are usually more likely to retaliate against attacks even if the hackers continue to reside a few steps ahead. AS a research group has previously mentioned, “more breaches are happening, because more and more of our lives and money is online”. (Toronto 2014) The best way to decrease threats to smartphones is to try and prevent them from happening in the first place. If you are unable to prevent them, fight back against them.
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