Mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops have become an integral part of our lives. We use them for communication, work, entertainment, and many other purposes. However, as mobile devices store sensitive information and are frequently connected to the internet, they pose significant security risks. In this article, we will discuss mobile security, including the key factors that influence it, the risks associated with mobile devices, and ways to mitigate those risks.
Knowing it’s you
One of the greatest ways into any system is through some sort of identification. This can either be a password, a code, a fingerprint or a face scan. Your identity should thus be authenticated before you access your devices and accounts.
Authentication is the process of verifying the identity of a user. Mobile devices should have strong authentication mechanisms such as passwords, biometrics, and two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorised access. By having MFA, multi factor authentication, you make it almost impossible for hackers to access your data and devices, since it’s a lot more difficult to get all the information needed to break the MFA. So, it’s highly recommended to use MFA on all your devices and to your accounts.
Another important thing to have in mind when storing data on different devices is to encrypt the data. It makes it impossible to read the files, unless you have the specific key to read them. Encryption is the process of converting data into a coded language that can only be read by authorised parties. Encryption should be used to protect sensitive data such as financial information, personal data, and trade secrets.
Secure your device
A thing to remember about WiFi is that if you’re on public WiFi, anyone can access your data if they are eager enough. The public and open WiFi is a bridge between your device and the hacker. That is why you should use secure network connections. Mobile devices should connect only to secure WiFi networks and VPNs. Open or public Wi-Fi networks are risky and should be avoided as they are vulnerable to cyber attacks.
What you also should remember is to update your devices regularly - as soon as there is an update available, you should install it. Your devices should be updated regularly to ensure that they have the latest security patches and updates. Regular updates help ensure that mobile devices are functioning correctly and are not prone to attacks.
The updates further give you access to any new functions your provider might have for the phones. So in order to get all new functions and new features, it’s necessary to update your phone. This, of course, also includes the newest security features, so you are safe against cyber attacks.
On every phone you purchase, pretty much in the past one or two decades, you find applications that make the experience even better. Some are pre-installed, others are available through different “stores” depending on which operating system your smartphone has.
You would think all apps are safe to install since they are on the app store, but that is not always the case. Hackers and IT criminals constantly find new ways to force their way into our systems and data. Some users claim to have experienced hackers in apps for children, believing that they kids would give information to strangers - it has not yet been 100% confirmed, but it did spark quite a debate back in 2010, when the apps “Talking Tom” and “Talking Angela” were launched. Children could “speak” with the characters Tom and Angela, and some parents believed that hackers were behind the app to get children to give personal information.
Remote Wipe and backups
Remote wipe and backup features should be enabled on mobile devices to protect sensitive information if you should lose your phone - either by theft or simply by dropping it somewhere. Being able to do a remote wipe, you ensure that in the case of losing your device, no one can access your information. And if you make sure to make backups of your device, you would have no problem deleting and wiping your phone.
With backups you can restore your data on the new device and go on with your life - and the only thing you lost was the physical case for all your data. That is thus a cheap price to pay for ensuring all your data and personal information.
Balancing different factors is essential when it comes to mobile security. Implementing too many security controls can reduce efficiency, while too few controls can increase the risk of security breaches.
Mobile security is crucial as your devices store sensitive information and are frequently connected to the internet. Fortunately, many mobile devices have MFA, so that it has gotten more difficult to hack into systems and devices. Furthermore, encryption and secure networks are important to keep your data safe - by implementing these security measures you can ensure your devices from potential cyber attacks.
When you think more carefully about what you download, which links you click and which WiFi’s you connect to because the number of phishing cases are rising, you improve your security significantly. Hackers constantly find new ways to trick people into giving personal information - and we want to avoid that.
Caroline is a copywriter here at Moxso beside her education. She is doing her Master's in English and specializes in translation and the psychology of language. Both fields deal with communication between people and how to create a common understanding - these elements are incorporated into the copywriting work she does here at Moxso.