Recently, there has been an alarming upward trend in cybersecurity breaches, with 2018 seeing over 600 breaches only halfway into the year. Cybercrime is now the fastest growing crime in the US, and according to the FBI every 3 seconds, an identity is stolen. That’s 35,000 every day and more than 15 million every year! Major companies are now falling victim to cyber-attacks including Marriot, Facebook, Google, and Macy’s most recently. Hackers can now get personal information from customers such as phone numbers, email addresses, credit card numbers, and birth dates, and much more.
As hackers are becoming more advanced, the ways they can steal information are growing, making mobile devices vulnerable to cyber-attacks now too. According to Wandera Inc., “the number of malicious malware installation packages found striking mobile devices more than tripled in 2016, resulting in almost 40 million attacks globally.” This all may sound frightening but fear not! There are many ways to protect your phone from cyber-attacks. Keep reading to learn several ways you can keep your phone safe from malware applications!
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1. Infected Apps
Infected applications are the most commonly used delivery system for hackers to transfer malware to mobile devices. Hackers typically choose popular apps like PokemonGo or Whatsapp to replicate or infect, increasing the chances of their rogue app being downloaded by users. Occasionally, hackers will come up with brand new applications infected with malware to infect your phone.
Infected apps are most commonly found on third-party app stores but recently have been showing up more in official app stores like Google Play or the App Store. In 2017, Google removed over 700,000 potentially malicious apps out of the Google Play store before they were able to reach Android users. Since then, the vetting process for apps to enter the official app stores have become much more rigorous and secure making it more difficult for the malicious apps to get in. Even so, some malicious apps are still able to slip through the cracks and get into both the Google Play store and Apple App store.
Scams are another favorite tool amongst hackers used to infect mobile devices. Users are redirected to a malicious web page, either through a pop-up screen or a web redirect. Sometimes, links to infected pages are sent directly to users through email or text messages.
Once the infected page has been visited, the code on the page triggers the automatic download of the malicious software. The sites are usually designed to replicate legitimate websites to get users to accept the file on their devices.
Malvertising is the use of online advertising to spread malware. The ads look the same as regular advertisements and can appear on a wide range of apps and web pages including legitimate online ad networks.
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