Guarding Your Digital Companion: 5 of the Biggest Smartphone Security Risks
Smartphones are more than just devices; they’re our trusted companions. However, they are not immune to digital threats. In this article, we’ll explore five of the most significant smartphone security risks you need to be aware of.
Some of the biggest smartphone security risks can severely harm your physical and mental safety. In the wrong hands, your phone can be used against you because of how intimate people generally are with personal devices. So, here are some of the worst to watch out for.
Tracking and Geolocation Data
Knowing your location is a serious piece of information for someone wishing to cause harm in your life. For instance, your location can be tracked to know when you aren’t home, and therefore, attack you when outside the home or gain entry to the home. Fortunately, it’s easy to change IP address on Android when you know how. It’s quick and easy and adds an excellent layer to your safety and security, making it more of a challenge for criminals.
Using Unsecured Networks
Public Wi-Fi and other unsecured networks are among the worst threats to your phone’s security. Hackers are known to sit and wait on the public internet for a target with lax security so they can intercept data and steal it. This can be sold on the dark web or even used against you. For example, a hacker can access your cloud image storage and use intimate pictures to blackmail you for money. If you can help it, never use Wi-Fi in coffee shops, stores, or transport terminals.
Smartphone Security Risks Include Viruses
They might be old school, but viruses like trojans and worms are still around, and they can cause immense damage to your devices now, just like the first iPhones. Trojans can appear as other apps and install background programs like key loggers and screen readers to track everything you do, such as entering passwords to banking apps. Fortunately, you only need to install simple antimalware apps to prevent almost all of these, but intense protection isn’t free.
Backdoor Exploits and Vulnerabilities
Keeping your phone updated might seem like an unnecessary task, but it is highly valuable. This is because hackers target unpatched vulnerabilities left in software and hardware that allow them to gain entry. This is why you should always have your devices set to update automatically. This includes software and firmware. Phones are good at this and will generally update as soon as one is available or sometime that night so it doesn’t interrupt you, but it must be turned on.
Access to Your Camera and Microphone
Know as “sextortion,” someone can record you undressing and threaten to expose it if you don’t send them more images or money. This is actually a common criminal act that targets boys, girls, and women, with Homeland Security investigating around 3,000 tips per year. Be aware of online chats, strangers trying to get close to you, and suspicious activity on your cloud storage or social media accounts. It’s also advisable to explain this to your younger children as well.
Exposing your geolocation data is one of the biggest smartphone security risks. Viruses can also cause a lot of damage. Sextortion poses the highest risk because of the potential damage.
Don’t let these threats deter you from enjoying the endless possibilities your smartphone offers. It’s our responsibility to stay informed, implement simple security measures, and protect our smartphones. It’s imperative to keep personal information safe and educate ourselves about cyberbullying and digital extortion.
After all, a secure smartphone is a happy smartphone, and a happy you!
Stay safe, stay smart.
Lots of love