According to MobileCommerceDaily 25% of consumers will use mobile sites to buy Christmas gifts this year.
As our lives continue to migrate towards mobile technology for shopping, banking and communication, so do the ill-meaning individuals that wish to exploit these devices.
It's important smartphone users understand some of the threats that come with mobile transactions and take security measures to protect themselves.
Just like the countless viruses and scams on laptops and desktops, the goal of those attempting to hack smartphones is to acquire private information. This can generally be done in one of three ways. The first is an SMS attack generally known as smishing. Criminals send out mass text messages with links that are intended to spread malware. Phishing via email is another common form of attack. And apps are another common point of entry as illicit programs on the app market are not always caught by the authorities immediately.
With these threats in mind, here are five simple steps to keep your smartphone safe:
- Keep Your Phone Locked: All smartphones offer various ways to lock the phone. Whether it is a numerical PIN pad or a tactile puzzle with a unique answer, it is important to always lock a phone. This is the first point of defense if a smartphone is ever lost or stolen.
- Steer Clear of Cookies: If a criminal does gain access to a phone, the first thing that they will check is the websites of all major financial institutions. Owners should never allow cookies that ask to remember the passwords to social networks, banks, or credit card websites.
- Always Log Out: Certain websites will leave users logged on for upwards of 30 days. Even if cookies are removed, those with a stolen phone can still access financial accounts if the owners to do not log out after every use.
- Be Wary of Texts: Whether is is smishing with text messages or phishing with emails, no one should ever open files or click on links from any source that they do not trust.
- Only Download From Trusted Sources: Finally, smartphone owners should only download from companies or sources that they trust. This goes for apps, email, text messaging, and even surfing the web.
For more tips see our recent blog post for safe online shopping this holiday season.