Mobile devices make up 50% of global internet traffic, topping out desktop computers and tablets as the most popular browsing tools in the world. They’re convenient and easy to use, but their significant popularity also makes them vulnerable to cyberattacks. Here are five key practices mobile phone users need to increase mobile device security against online threats.
Update the Operating System (OS)
Using outdated OS software drastically increases the chance of a cyberattack. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in the old software and gain access to sensitive information. iPhone and Android devices get frequent updates to protect users from the evolving mobile cybersecurity landscape and promote higher mobile device security.
Users who get notifications for newly available updates should install them ASAP. They could also go into their phones’ settings and set automatic updates so their devices always have the latest software. Apple just released IOS 15.5.1 for iPhones, while the newest version of Android OS is 12, which has been available since October 2021.
Set Challenging Authentication Steps
Today’s cell phones have high-security authentication measures, including facial recognition, touch ID and complex lock screen patterns. Users should take full advantage of these features to increase their mobile device security and prevent unwanted access. It’s also a prudent habit to routinely change the passwords for mobile accounts every few months.
Multifactor authentication is another beneficial security feature. It requires two or more clearance steps before the user can access an account. People uncertain about the strength of their authentication methods should recruit the help of a password manager like Apple iCloud Keychain or Google Password Manager to bolster their defenses.
Don’t Overshare Online
Many people have a terrible habit of oversharing information online, especially on social media applications. Oversharing to strangers is bad for mental health and poses a great security risk. It opens the door for cybercriminals worldwide to gather and exploit personal information and compromise mobile device security.
People sharing their immediate location on social media is perhaps the worst habit of all. Users should refrain from doing this for their online and offline safety. Someone might be watching. They should also take advantage of the available privacy features on each platform to keep strangers away.
Limit Application Access
Newly installed services or apps request access to certain pieces of information: location, contacts, photo gallery, camera. They will also ask if the user wants to receive notifications. People should lean on the safe side of higher mobile device security and limit the access they give to mobile apps.
Watch Out for Spam Calls and Messages
Cybercriminals use various methods to extract information from their victims and compromise mobile device security. One of the most common is spam calling and messaging. For example, the spammer might try to impersonate a loved one or a trusted organization and persuade someone to reveal their credit card info. Users must be wary of all unsolicited calls and messages from unknown caller IDs.
Anyone who suspects they’ve received a spam call or message can report the sender to the Do Not Call Registry online or by phone. Don’t give unknown callers anything. The onus is on the caller to prove their trustworthiness, not the receiver.
With Great Mobility Comes Great Responsibility
Mobile devices have been a gift to humanity, enabling people to communicate with anyone from anywhere in the world. However, with great mobility comes great responsibility. Cell phone users must take extra precautions for mobile device security, whether browsing social media or using their favorite apps.