February 9, 2011

Top 10 Smartphone Security Tips

Top 10 Smartphone Security Tips

CIO Update,By Pam Baker

When it comes to security issues, smartphone users are a bit delusional in believing the phone is safer than the PC. "If you can access data on your smartphone, so too can hackers," warned Martin Hack, EVP of NCP engineering.

What can thieves get from your phone? Access to your mobile banking site complete with passwords and PINs; your email at work and at home; passwords and access to your employer's networks; your social media accounts that contain all the info. an identity thief needs (and desperately wants); access to your PC when you sync your phone; and ... much, much more.

For example, smartphones are increasingly being used as a second factor of authentication by banks and other businesses. Cybercriminals are aware of this and will be increasingly intercepting the SMS-based (text) authentication messages that are sent to users' phones. Typically, during high-risk or high-value transactions, many online businesses will send a one-time pin (OTP) or a temporary password to the user's smartphone by SMS text message. Once the user receives the OTP they type it into the webpage to authenticate the transaction or simply reply to the SMS message. Businesses do this to add an extra layer of security for user account changes and online transactions in case the user's login credentials or online session had been compromised.

Read tips from Kaspersky Lab's Tim Armstrong

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