January 12, 2017
Despite the fact that mobile takes over desktop not only in media consumption but in business as well, mobile device security is still taken rather lightly by the majority of users, as it seen from the recent survey.
Mobile security breaches are on the rise: about 39 percent of users have downloaded malware, many of them without even suspecting it. Smartphones and tablets are not just toys anymore – people use them for business, handling finances, shopping. Mobile devices store sensitive information, therefore their security is vital. We cannot afford carelessness with which we have been treating mobile up until now. The following is the list of essentials recommended to keep your data safe.
Your first line of defense is a screen lock. Today all major OS, both mobile and desktop, protect the privacy of their users by offering them to set passwords, PIN codes, gesture-based verification, or even a fingerprint scan. As advanced as these default options are, you can always employ the service of screen locks that has some additional features to protect your device both from theft and from secretive snooping.
If you own an Android device, opt for CM Locker or Screen Lock Guardian, as they offer a wide range of safety options, such as locking applications, photos and contacts on your mobile phone or tablet remotely to protect your sensitive information. They also log all failed attempts to unlock the target device and activate a front camera to take a picture of the intruder. CM Locker will also sound the alarm to alert everyone around about possible theft. Both apps are customizable and let you set the maximum number of attempts. They also offer a variety of personalization features, such as lock screen images and widgets, which is a nice thing to have also.
For iPhones and iPads owners various lock screens offer only widgets and customization, leaving security issues to the built-in lock screen system.
VPN is indispensable if you want to use public wi-fi while keeping your accounts safe. No data you share through public wireless nets are secure unless you take some preventive measures. The passwords you enter as well as any sensitive information you share in your emails can be collected by a third party. To prevent this from happening, it is strongly recommended that you use VPN (aka Virtual Personal Network) service.
It creates a secure encrypted connection between your device and VPN’s server. Although it does not provide you with a bullet-proof protection, it takes a far more advanced hacker to crack a VPN, making it your must-have for better internet safety. Moreover, with VPN you can access American services while traveling abroad.
Both Android and Apple fans can benefit from services of VyprVPN, whose main attraction is its simplicity, IPVanish VPN that among its options offers P2P traffic, and ExpressVPN, one of the most trusted and secure services.
Password managers are one of the most underestimated security tools out there. It is no news that the more complicated the password, the more secure your account. Moreover, the well-known rule of thumb goes: as many accounts, as many passwords. Yet we often are content with a single password we deem strong enough to use everywhere.
This is an outright reckless thing to do, because whoever cracks it, has it all – our data, our entire digital identity stolen. Keeping a list of your sophisticated passwords in a notebook is also not an option, and it takes eidetic memory to keep the lot in your head. That is why a reliable password manager is mandatory for everyone, who has several accounts with sensitive business, financial or private information.
LastPass with either free or subscription plan has versions for iOS, Android, and desktop. It stores your information on their encrypted cloud services and offers two-factor authentication. Therefore, your passwords are safe, while being available across all your devices. RoboForm is another option, which is both reliable and affordable.
At last, the turn came for something that is well-known and widely used. Since the dawn of the digital era, anti-virus solutions were considered a compulsory measure for everyone who intended to surf the Web. However, on mobile, people too often neglect to choose among the available security solutions, since the downloading mostly pertains to official stores.
This is, however, potentially dangerous, since phishing emails and suspicious links are still out there. Moreover, mobile security solutions aren’t limited to file scanning. Since the biggest threat to smartphones and tablets is loss and theft, most popular security software provides special protective features such as device location, remote locking or complete wipeout of the private information if the device recovery is impossible.
For example, Avast provides an impressive variety of tools: scanning, shielding from malware, anti-theft features – it is a seamless and versatile solution that does not drain battery power is easy on the system resources. Whereas 360 Security is hardwired to detect and deflect any threats, and it does so with 99.9-percent effectiveness. In addition, it offers some system maintaining and tuning up features, such as fixing system vulnerabilities and cleaning up duplicate photos and idle files to save memory space.
Parental Control and Monitoring
For parents, who are concerned about their child’s safety, there is a number of specifically tailored solutions. First thing, which interests parents and caregivers is their child’s whereabouts. Then, there is forgetfulness – younger kids often leave pricey devices all over the place or simply drop them in the playground while swinging head down from the tree. Then, there are inherent cyber dangers, such as adult content and harassment in social media. To help these woes, there is a variety of parental controls.
Norton Family Parental Control is perfect for families with several children and numerous mobile devices: it enables age-appropriate settings for each device, web filtering and tracking their location. In addition, there is an option of controlling the screen time in order to set healthy limits.
Pumpic also offers tracking, geofencing, content filtering and blocking inappropriate resources, on top of that it logs calls, texts, email correspondence and just about every online activity there is – a full-scale monitoring solution for digital safety.
This is a starter kit for mobile security, and we would better start taking the matter seriously. The world has irreversibly gone mobile, and cybercrime is no exception. Technology becomes more sophisticated each day, and our common sense is not enough to protect our digital identity.
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