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Locking Down Your Smartphone to Avoid Smartphone Malware PDF Print E-mail

Most smartphone users have quite an amount of personal information in their handsets. Most Android phones have photos, phone contacts, messages, Facebook accounts, Twitter and the like. All this is valuable to the users and criminals target them in an attempt to compromise their security and obtain personal information for malicious use. As a result of all this, android phones are hit with Trojan horses and other types of malware.

The security of phones is not considered as important as that of a computer and to make matters worse the mobile malware is still in its early stages so one may be unaware when it strikes. Users of smartphones are highly recommended to download a security app which can protect them from cyber criminals and other malicious attacks and while most of these security apps are usually accessible free of charge.

Installing an antivirus program is the first step you need to take. It comes with features like remote wipe which helps you securely remove all data stored on your phone in case of loss. It also supports the GPS tracking for finding it if stolen or misplaced and SMS spam blocking to filter the incoming emails. Scanning for malware is of course the primary responsibility of the antivirus.

One of the popular and free applications is called "Lookout Mobile Security". It scans automatically the new applications you install on your phone and any existing malware threats. The ones that are not for free and need subscription to access include Symantec Norton Mobile Security (beta version), AVG Antivirus and McAfee wave secure.

iPhone owners need not to worry about malware since Apple is strict on what is on sale at their app stores. However, you never know what might come up along the way so security for your phone is mandatory.

One of the mobile security apps from Apple is called Find my iPhone as part of iCloud services. It offers tracking and remote- wipe service. This is offered to any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch owner free of charge. This app can lock and remotely delete information saved in your smartphone. The GPS can track it, set a pass code remotely and locate it anywhere around or inside the house by displaying an on screen message with an alarm sound.

Others method just involves being aware of the dangers and using sound judgment when considering downloads or leaving the house.

"Keep calm and carry on," but take this opportunity to learn about the new dangers facing users of Android smartphones. Here are some vital security measures that will protect your computer-phone from malicious software.

  • Lock down your handset. Set a password, PIN, fingerprint, or pattern lock - whatever security measures are available on your phone, use them. When your phone is locked it is safe.
  • Choose and use an antivirus scanner. Heretofore excused as pointless, antivirus scanner apps such as Lookout will now be an important line of defense when downloading other apps. There are some further recommendations for these below.
  • Research reviews for apps before downloading - also look into the developer's history. A developer with one or two apps to their name and a poor description are all red flags.
  • Examine permissions before downloading. Make sure the permissions correspond to the tasks being performed by the potential app. If something doesn't match up, it's best to move on.
  • Limit Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. When you leave your house, disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to limit outside network access to your device. Set it so that you have to give a mobile hotspot or foreign network your permission to connect.
  • Limit screen timeout setting. Setting the screen timeout to one minute or fewer limits access to your phone's computer one minute after you are no longer actively using it. When malware
  • Steer away from installing APK files. APK is a file format that represents Android Package Files. APKs are part of the shining genius of the Android opensource philosophy allowing amateur developers to contribute to the application-building industry. It does have a dark side now, though. The same element that makes APKs a great opportunity for legitimate devs is the same thing that allows the criminal element to easily mold their destructive codes into an APK structure that will deceive unwary users.
Mobile Phone Antivirus - Which Antivirus Software For My Smartphone? PDF Print E-mail

Not many people are aware they can protect their mobile phone with antivirus software. And that's partly because antivirus software is associated with computers and protecting them from online threats. But things have changed these last few years, and mobile phone security is now a hot topic in the security industry and press.

Mobile phones now pretty much do everything that computers do. And that includes going online, shopping, banking, paying bills, sending emails, reading spreadsheets and many other tasks. And this is made a lot easier with smartphones which have larger screens, faster processing speeds, operating systems and a host of other features and tools that allow for easy internet access. And the addition of apps on iPhone and Android phones has revolutionised the Mobile world and brought the personal computer to near extinction.

But Smartphones have brought with them a new set of threats. And some of these threats are run by seemingly genuine companies that fleece millions of customers each year.

Mobile Phone Threats

A common and rising threat is rogue app downloads. These programs charge you a small fee to download the app to your Smartphone and they compromise your handset security. So they study all your online activity and steal your personal information like bank details, usernames and passwords.

Recent research by Get Safe Online shows that 17% of Smartphone users now use their devices to manage their money and this doesn't escape the notice of criminals. And research by AVG shows that a fifth of Smartphone users download new apps at least once a month. And all this activity is driving cyberbrooks to target Mobile users.

Smartphones are now widely used for social networking and users can use these services wherever they are. So many of the threats that affect PC users who use social sites also now affect Mobile users and many have fallen victim to phishing attacks.

Mobile Phone Security Software

Mobile Phone security is essential and you should download a good mobile phone antivirus software program. We recommend you go for Kaspersky Mobile Security which protects your mobile privacy and now works with Android and Blackberry Smartphones.

Kaspersky is a leading security firm with a good track record of protecting PCs, Macs, mobile phones and corporate systems. And it offers multiple protection services for very low prices.

With Kaspersky Mobile Security you get protection as you make calls, send SMSs, surf the web and communicate via Social sites every day. So it basically protects everything you do on your own and keeps your private life, private.

It has many other good features; and one of them is the ability to locate a lost or stolen Smartphone. It does this through its in-built GPS Find function that locates its precise location.

It also has Parental Controls which you use to restrict your children's calls and text messages and keep track of their whereabouts using the GPS Find feature.


Besides mobile phone antivirus software, we recommend you take other steps like:

  1. Turning off your mobile phone when you aren't using it to stop hackers from accessing it.
  2. Never use a free Wi-Fi spot that's not secure. This could be used by hackers to access your Smartphone
  3. Check your battery regularly to ensure it's not draining faster than normal. If it is, then it's a sign that something malicious is running in the background.

So with these simple tips and your mobile phone antivirus software, you will easily block malware threats and hackers on your mobile phone.

Does My Smartphone Need Antivirus Software? PDF Print E-mail

To date, there's never been a major outbreak of mobile phone malware. Yet several security vendors - including Trend Micro, Norton and Kaspersky offer mobile solutions of their security packages. It's reasonable to question whether such software is really necessary in the absence of a visible virus threat.

In fact, virus in the traditional sense - programs that spread by making copies of themselves - are very rare these days even on PCs. By far the most common way to get infected is via a dodgy download from a seemingly innocuous website. Since all the major smartphones feature a web browser and support third party applications, that's a risk as applicable to mobile devices as it is to a iPad, Mac or PCs

In some ways, mobile phones are better defended than regular PCs. That's partly because they were designed in an age in which online threats are well understood. Mobile operating systems have security built in at a fundamental level: It would be impossible to give Windows that sort of security without breaking compatibility with software and ways of using the computer that dates back more than two decade.

Since mobile phones are used more casually than computers, they can also afford to place more restrictions on the user. Computer malware could be all but eliminated if Microsoft had to approve every application before it could be run on Windows, but if it tried to do this there would be uproar.

With Apple's iPhone, though, exactly such a system is in place - making it extremely difficult for rouge software to get onto the phone - and millions of satisfied users have no complaints at all.

Mobile threats

Although your smartphone maybe less vulnerable to malware than your windows PC, there are still dangers out there, Many online threats, for example, don't involve software at all: phishing scams in which fake banking websites steal your login details, run just as well on your locked down iPhone or Blackberry as on an unsecured PC

In fact, the scam works better on a mobile platform: the smaller screen makes it harder to spot telltale mistakes on fake websites. Web addresses may be truncated in the browser, concealing the incorrect URL's. Against threats such as his, your only defense is vigilance and perhaps, security software that can warn you when a website has a dodgy reputation. Webster Consulting recommends not using mobile and public places for online banking as prevention is better than cure.

Another danger is fake applications - programs that are disguised as games or tools but security monitor your secretly monitor your keyboard or run malicious processes at the same time. Although Apple, Microsoft and Google all have more or less strict approval process in place at their official application stores, these aren't guaranteed to be foolproof, and if you download from other sources you don't have even the wisp of reassurance. In cases such as this, your only hope is mobile security software that can identify the malevolent code before it strikes.

What happens if you do get caught out? Mobile phones are a great opportunity for criminals since they're directly linked to a payment system. For example, a rogue application could work by sending multiple text messages to a premium number, racking up huge costs over days and weeks. In fact just such a program, disguised as a music player and distributed for Android, was detected by Kaspersky in 2010.

Although mobile malware hasn't yet become a widespread problem, it's clearly possible and it's becoming a more attractive prospect for criminals by the day. So while you may not feel the need to install a security suite on your phone right now, it's important not to be complacent the first epidemic could strike at any time.

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