According to findings by Kaspersky, as reported in Security Week, the number of malware attacks on mobile devices running the Android operating system (OS) increased considerably in 2017. Popular attacks included banking Trojans, ransomware Trojans, and various other attempts to direct users to malicious sites or give up personal and financial information.
The use of rooting malware, which inserts itself into the deepest parts of the operating system, declined although Kaspersky said this is likely due to fewer mobile devices running the older Android 5.0 OS. Android, as do all OS developers, has taken great pains to protect their OS from all malware attacks and the decline in rooting malware use reflects this.
But malware developers are persistent and work as hard to find weak points in an OS as the developers do to prevent them. While this may sound like doom and gloom, it is simply the state of the world today and a security mindset on the part of mobile device users can go a long way to protect their identity, privacy, and data from being stolen.
Let’s take a look at CRIP.TO’s definition of a security mindset. First and foremost, it is caution when using a mobile device for online transactions and communication. Our world is fast paced and we are always in a rush. Malware developers count on this haste, expecting their targets not to pay complete attention to the “bait” they send out.
So, take a breath and when you get an email or text from an official looking source, do not click any link in the communication. Go directly to the company or agency website by typing it into your browser. Most legitimate banking/financial companies or government agencies do not send emails or texts asking for you to enter your account or personal data or to click on a link for some reason. And, all those emails saying you can share in millions of dollars…? Acting in haste can be a problem.
Second, keep your mobile device’s OS updated. This provides the device with the most secure version and often provides new features. However, at some point, your device may not be able to use the new OS.
Third is protecting your transactions and the data and communications that go with them. This is essentially the same thing as caution but goes further in case you do fall prey to a malware attack. If you look around, you find many security solutions for desktop and laptop computers but fewer for mobile devices. For our mobile devices, the focus seems to be on encrypting communications and creating secure communication paths using virtual private networks (VPNs).
These two types of products have a weakness, your data still resides on your mobile device. It is only protected when you are communicating. Malware can infect the device and get the data later when it is not protected by encryption or the VPN. And with any free to use product, the developer will collect and then sell a lot of your personal information so they can make money to provide their product.
While the sale of data by these developers isn’t malicious, it can still be considered as an invasion of your privacy. So, the best solution is to protect your data with alternative solutions. CRIP.TO does exactly this and allows you to communicate fearlessly. Find out more at www.crip.to.