Despite being an atypical year, summer arrives and, with it, holidays. It is time to prepare the luggage and, among the objects that cannot be missing, is the mobile phone, an inseparable companion that during the holidays allows us, at any time, to take snapshots, be in contact with family and friends and review the email. However, despite their importance, from Check Point they emphasize the low level of protection of these devices.
In fact, according to the company’s Threat Intelligence Report, in the last 6 months almost 8% of cyberattacks in Spain were directed against smartphones, standing 1.5% above the global average.
And it is that not all smartphones have security solutions such as Samsung KNOX, which protects mobile terminals of that brand from the moment you turn them on for the first time, so you have to take precautions, as they explain to us from Check Point.
How to protect your mobile on vacation
For this reason, and facing the summer holidays, a time when it is more likely to relax and lower your guard, the experts point out 5 security measures to protect the information stored on the smartphone:
- Exercise extreme caution when using public Wi-Fi: buses, trains, airports, restaurants, shopping centers… finding an internet connection point is becoming easier. However, there are many risks that this type of network presents for data security, since being open connections they lack privacy. Therefore, it is very easy for cybercriminals to be able to access the data traffic that occurs between the terminal and the server through Man-in-the-Middle attacks, so they can steal sensitive data such as passwords, bank credentials, graphic documents, etc. For this reason, from Check Point they recommend not connecting with any banking service or of a sensitive nature while connected to this type of network.
- Turn off GPS, bluetooth and other connectivity options: Holidays are the best time to disconnect, something your mobile phone should also do. Unless necessary, it is essential to have connectivity functionalities such as GPS or Bluetooth disconnected, since this way we prevent a cybercriminal from finding our physical location. In addition, in the case of bluetooth, cybercriminals may use what is known as “Bluebugging”, a type of cyber attack that takes advantage of vulnerabilities in the authentication of the device to execute AT commands and take full control of the terminal, thereby that could lead to data theft, etc. The company’s experts point out the importance of having the operating system updated with the latest version available, in order to correct this type of security breach.
- Download applications only from official markets: During the holidays we may show a more open attitude to download all kinds of applications (filters for photographs, programs to know the most recommended places or plans in a city, to find accommodation or even meet people). However, by installing this type of service on the smartphone, users run the risk of also downloading malicious programs such as spyware, banking Trojans, etc. especially if the origin of these applications are unofficial markets. Therefore, only official providers can be trusted and, even so, it is essential to review other aspects such as the score or comments that the application receives, as well as the permissions it requests, since it can be an indicator of reliability.
- Caution with social networks: share images, upload videos … in summer it is very common to be much more active on social networks. Cybercriminals are aware of this fact, so they also take advantage of this moment to launch phishing campaigns through these platforms, with the aim of tricking their victims into redirecting them to fake pages with the aim of obtaining financial benefits, or even downloading virus on the victim’s device that allows them to access more information. On the other hand, it is important that users optimize their access password to these types of services, since, if an attacker gains control of their account, it can serve as a bridge to access other platforms such as email, etc.
- Security measures against theft or loss of the device: In addition to having security tools that protect our smartphone against threats in the digital world, we must not forget the importance of protecting the information we store on the phone in case the user loses or the equipment is stolen. For this reason, Check Point recommends that, whenever possible, identification systems by biometric parameters be used to unlock the screen. In addition, another highly recommended practice is to install an “anti-theft” application on the device that allows the user to remotely block, locate or even format the smartphone. In this sense, the company recalls the importance of backing up information, since in this way the risk of data loss is mitigated.
Check Point, for its part, has SandBlast Mobile, a defense solution against mobile threats that protects corporate devices against advanced mobile attacks. In addition, SandBlast Mobile protects employee devices from infected applications, Man-in-the-Middle attacks via Wi-Fi, operating system exploits, and malicious links in SMS messages. In other words, it provides mobile security by preventing, detecting and avoiding the most sophisticated cyberattacks.
In addition, mobiles get hot in summer, and for that you have to take other measures in addition to security, as we have told you before here in the most common problems of smartphones.