When you are browsing the internet on your smartphone, you probably do not put much thought into the kinds of sites that you are visiting. After all, viruses are for computers, not smartphones, right? But this sort of mindset is dangerous and could lead you to all sorts of problems in the future. And when you think about it, it makes sense that a small, handheld device would be at least as vulnerable as a sophisticated desktop computer or laptop. Still skeptical? Here are just a couple of the ways in which your smartphone can be vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Apps are the number one method that most hackers use to gain access to your smartphone. There are a lot of apps out there that are created with no other purpose than to gain access to your devices. The best thing to do is to be vigilant about screening which apps you download in the first place. Most app stores are good at catching dangerous apps, but they do not always find them in time. If you are about to download an app, make sure that it is created by a trusted source, has positive reviews, and serves a specific purpose.
When you purchase an app, you might also be unknowingly handing it access to your information and punching holes in your network security by clicking accept to the terms and conditions. You can buy virus protection software that will scan each app before you download it.
Just as one of the easiest ways to get a virus on your computer is by opening an attachment sent by email, the same rings true for a smartphone. So whether you are sent something by email, text message, or some other service on your device, be just as discerning as you would on your regular computer, when deciding whether to open it or not.
Sometimes your phone is fine, but it can become infected the moment that you hook it up to the wrong device. If your computer has a virus, and your phone is unprotected, it will quickly get the same virus too.
Just as the wrong websites will cause problems for your computer, your phone is equally vulnerable to internet downloads and popups. There is no clear cut way to avoid offending sites, but as a general rule, sticking to well known and respected sites is a good way to cover you back, and take note: if the site is illegal (such as a site for torrenting music, movies etc) it is one to avoid at all costs!
In the history of modern technology, smartphones are a relatively new concept, which means that much is still unknown regarding protecting them from this sort of harm. However, that only makes it all the more important that we take the necessary measures to do whatever we can.
If you are a member of a big company with access to a lot of sensitive information, a cyber attack can be crippling to the company as well as you personally. But even if your smartphone only has access to your own information, or perhaps your home security system, the personal implications will be just as devastating. So next time you see that hilarious app that you have never heard of, think twice before tapping the download button.