Tips to protect your mobile phone

Mobile phone scams existed before the FedEx text attack, but its success is expected to increase the number of such scams in the future, so it’s worth preparing well in advance.

Again this year, there has been serious confusion and, in several cases, the financial damage caused by mass mailings of fraudulent text messages announcing the arrival of parcels. The incident has highlighted the importance of ensuring that smartphones are properly protected. What are the precautions to take to protect your device and the personal and banking data stored on it?

Secure closure

Always lock your device securely and avoid simple but weak solutions such as the “L” shaped unlock pattern or the password “1234”. In the case of unlock patterns, draw complex shapes and give the unlock code a unique sequence of numbers as long as possible. If possible, use biometric identification (e.g. fingerprint or facial recognition) in addition to the password or pattern. This also makes unlocking more convenient if the software is reliable.

Using the official store

As tempting as it may sound to download apps from sources other than the official Google Play or App Store, doing so puts your device at unnecessary risk. Unofficial app stores are not as rigorously and regularly monitored as the official version, so there is a greater chance of downloading malicious apps from them.

Application permissions

Apps ask for various permissions when they are installed, which you should read through rather than scrolling through quickly and if you see anything suspicious, look for another app. If we accept everything without thinking, we may be allowing them to access our data on our device, or scam us out of money, or even spy on us.

For example, a few years ago, security researchers discovered a Trojan masquerading as a harmless flashlight app that was actually trying to obtain bank IDs.

Security software use and fixes

Today, smartphones face similar threats to computers, as they can be attacked by viruses or have unauthorized access to their cameras. Well-known, reliable security software for Android systems can save you from many inconveniences. They can protect against cyber threats and Trojan infections, block suspicious websites, protect your sensitive data and help you find lost or stolen devices.

As well as security software, always install the latest official app and operating system updates on your device, as these often include security bug fixes that can help protect you.

Encryption, backup

Backing up is the process of making a copy of all your important files (family photos, documents, emails) and storing it outside your device. Our files can be damaged or lost in many different ways. For example, our phone can be stolen, malfunction, get into an accident or even be the victim of a malicious virus attack that corrupts or locks up our files on it.

In these cases, you can reduce your annoyance if you at least have a backup that you can use to restore your data.

Be aware of the dangers

In addition to malware and malicious apps, phishing attempts and scams are a common problem on smartphones. Phishing scams come in many forms, such as text messages containing infected links, landing pages that may contain malicious software, or, as seen in the latest incident, attempts to trick you into downloading a malicious app.

There have also been recent cases of victims receiving calls from international numbers – from countries with which the caller has never had any previous contact. Calling back the number can result in extra high billing charges, so think twice before calling back unknown numbers abroad. Last month’s “Package arrived…” Text FedEx scam series, for example, mass text messaging from infected phones caused additional financial losses for victims.

Safety awareness, caution

We often put the safety of our equipment at risk ourselves. We tend to think that, as ordinary users, we are not interesting or valuable enough for criminals, so we don’t take the necessary protective measures. However, the recent SMS incident has also shown that fraudsters do not usually target specific users, but rather try to launch a mass attack, hoping to fool as many unsuspecting users as possible.

By recognizing that the threat is always present, we are better off in the long run because we can minimize the risks by being cautious. In addition to backups, virus protection, and screen locking, it is important to be security conscious when using your phone. If we follow these tips, we’ll be ready to deal with the unexpected.

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