In today’s mobile, digital world, nearly everyone has a smartphone tucked away in their pocket at least has some knowledge about how to use one… but how much do people really know about smartphone threats? If you’re a smartphone user you probably keep private data and info on your device, and you want to keep it secure.
Smartphone security is an essential issue today especially now that more people are working remotely, and keeping your smartphone free from security risks can help ensure your personal and professional information is safe and secure. However, keeping your device safe from smartphone threats, like hackers, trojans and more, can be challenging. If you want to be sure that you know about the most critical smartphone threats today, and how you can keep your phone safe, read on. These smartphone security tips can help you know what to look out for when it comes to risks and threats,.
The basics: three layers of smartphone security
According to smartphone technology experts, all have three basic levels of security you should use to keep them safe:
- Device protection: Device protection allows remote data "wiping" if your physically device ever ends up lost, stolen, or in the wrong hands.
- Data protection: Your company has a lot of private data on its devices and servers. Data protection stops this information from being transferred over to different networks or devices that are not related to your company (i.e. personal devices or apps running on the same networks).
- App-management security: Each app on your smartphone has its own information in it. Apps have their own built-in security features to keep the information within them safe.
Types of smartphones: which is safest from smartphone threats?
There are several different types of smartphones out there, and each is best suited for a different purpose. It’s important to keep your device safe from smartphone threats the way best suited to your device, no matter which device you’re using. Here’s some basic info about security for each type of device.
Androids are the least secure smartphone device on the market, and according to smartphone security experts, they are known for being most vulnerable to smartphone threats. Android’s security has a questionable reputation, mainly because no one owns it. This means that also no one regulates what can or cannot be offered as an Android app, or even what can be sold as an Android phone. If you use an Android phone for personal or professional use, you can keep it safe from smartphone threats by keeping it updated and avoiding downloading apps of unknown or doubtful origin.
More recent Android devices support Google's Android for Work, which was specifically created to protect workplace applications and uses. In addition, recent Android devices from Samsung also support Samsung's own Knox security technology, which is known for being effective and robust.
Apple iOS security
Apple's iOS mobile operating system is tightly controlled by Apple itself, which also tightly controls the apps available in the Apple App Store. This helps ensure that apps that come to your device are safe "out of the box," — at the price of some user restrictions. For example, iOS only allows one copy of an app on each device. So, if a user has a company-provided copy of an app, with security restrictions built in, the user cannot also have an unrestricted version of the same app for personal use.
Blackberry tightly controls devices and apps, like Apple does. However, Blackberry is also built for mobile device management (or MDM), making it easier for a company to manage and protect its devices. MDM is the process by which a company secures and monitors the security of the mobile devices that are used in or for the workplace.
Android vs iPhone vs Blackberry: weighing your options
No one device or operating system is the definitive "best" when it comes to security. How secure your smartphone is, depends on your personal or professional needs and level of tech fluency. Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of each type of device, along with a few things to think about when making your decision:
- Pro: Highly configurable; you can fully control your privacy settings.
- Con: Lack of standardization means weak "out of the box" security.
- Tip: Best if you are comfortable with adjusting security settings and tools.
- Pro: Consistency and reliability; you know what you are getting.
- Con: Not invulnerable to malware; heavily dependent on Apple security practice. Also, while Apple products are generally priced higher than the Android, they don't guarantee 100% security and are still vulnerable to malware and hacking.
- Tip: Probably the simplest choice for "pretty good" security.
- Pro: Designed to provide industrial-strength enterprise security.
- Con: You will probably need a separate personal device, which may come with its own security issues.
- Tip: The best choice if you work in an industry like finance with critical security concerns.
Each smartphone option has mobile security strengths and limitations. How you use your smartphone—and how comfortable you are with adjusting its security settings—will play a big part in deciding which is the best choice for you.
Mobile app security: blocking major windows into smartphone threats
Once you choose a smartphone device, even if it is one known for being the safest, you still must take extra steps to protect it. Smartphone threats are pervasive and hackers are constantly figuring out how to sidestep built-in security apparati. Smartphone threats also continue to increase as the number of apps available increase. This is because not all apps are created equal—and many are created without the necessary security measures built in.
Protecting the stack: a comprehensive mobile security picture
What’s most important when it comes to protecting your personal or company’s phones from smartphone security threats is actually the entire "stack" of a device. This means both operating system of the phone and the apps it runs. Choose a phone that has the right built-in security levels for you. Then, make sure you are only running secure apps on the phone.
Most phones have settings that allow you to verify any apps coming from unknown sources before downloading. As a rule of thumb, to avoid smartphone threats, you should stick to the Apple, Google Play, or Microsoft stores for finding apps, rather than finding apps from third-party app deliverers. However, no matter where you get your apps, always read the reviews, even in the official stores, to make sure you're not adding anything suspicious to your device, if you want to be sure you’re taking all the necessary precautions to keep it safe.
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Smartphone Threats: What You Should Know About Smartphone SecurityKaspersky
Mobile device use is on the rise because smartphones and tablets are quickly becoming more powerful as companies embrace the idea of bring your own device (BYOD) policies and allow users to access corporate networks with personal technology.