Top Tips to Enhance Mobile Phone Security
The reason why all businesses are looking for good Mobile App Development Company is that Smartphones are becoming more and more technologically advanced, affordable and more and more people have started to use them worldwide. People use mobile apps through smartphones to access their business information, social media apps, email, photos and images and to save lots of other kinds of data on these mobile devices. The thing is that often this data carries very sensitive and personal information. Today we have started to rely on our phones so much for our digital activities like checking bank balance, paying for a product, sending messages to friends and family over social media, accessing work emails among others which has led smartphones to store lots of our personal information. Although it is very useful to have this information which you can use anytime but this information is prone to mobile security threats.
As per an estimate, by 2020, there will be more than 5 billion smartphone users in the world.
Now the question is how to make your mobile device more secure. Although mobile malware is still uncommon, with the total rate of infections standing at 8 %. However, mobile malware has been increasing at a rapid rate. Hence securing your mobile phone has become top priority for all of us whether we use it for personal or business use.
That’s why many security and antivirus apps came in the mobile app market to enhance the smartphone security. Generally mobile threats target data such as credit card numbers, authentication information used in online banking, Facebook and Gmail and private information or personal media such as images and videos.
That’s why most of the companies providing Android App Development Services or iOS app development services are trying to build more secure mobile apps. Today’s smartphones are actually small computers therefore are equally vulnerable to malware attacks. The malware tries to exploit weaknesses in mobile communication through wifi networks, text messaging and also through web browsers or mobile operating systems.
How Your Mobile Phone Can Get Infected?
Till now the most common way for your mobile device to get infected is when you download a malicious app. Sometimes hackers infect an existing app and list it on a third-party app store with hidden malware attached and when users download the app then the malicious software enters their mobile devices and start infecting files, data and other information stored in the phone. Hackers also exploit popular vulnerabilities in an operating system. That’s why it is very important that you keep your mobile device up-to-date with the latest versions of the OS. The old method of sending a virus via fake emails has still not obsolete and it still can pose a threat to mobile phones. If you click a link on a fraudulent email or text, it can send you to a duplicate site and in the process automatically download malware onto your mobile device. Now there is one more way you might expose yourself to an attack and that is by connecting to a public WiFi hotspot. This WiFi is generally not encrypted and attackers can intercept the data stream letting intruders to hack any conversations going on over compromised network.
Why Android Smartphones Are Vulnerable?
Google’s Android is right now the main target for malware. As per an estimate about 19 million malware programs have been developed for Android. The main reasons for this is that Android has largest share in global smartphone market, inconsistency in updating Android OS and its open system for distribution of apps. Let’s discuss these a bit more:-
Android Phone are Easy to Attack as They are More in Number
Right now about 85% of smartphone users worldwide have an Android phone. Many big companies like Samsung, Huawei, HTC, OnePlus, Xiaomi all run on Google’s Android OS.
Frequency of OS updates
Android updates are fragmented and it takes more time for consumers to receive the updates of Android when Google releases them. They get regular updates only in case of Google Pixel smartphones. The non-Google Android devices are customized with different apps, depending upon the device manufacturer hence each customized version roll out Android updates at a different rate.
Openness of Platform
Android has a more open platform which makes it more vulnerable to cyberattacks. On it, users can download apps from third-party sources, which are not controlled by Google Play. In this same way large number of 10 million Android devices got infected by the Adware Hummingbad in 2016 and a variant of the malware was discovered in 20 apps in Google Play Store.
Why iOS Smartphones Are Vulnerable?
Most of the iPhone App Development Services are working towards building safer apps as similar to Android, Apple’s iOS is also not entirely safe.
There was a large-scale XCodeGhost attack occurred in China in 2015 compromising more than 39 apps, including some versions of popular WeChat app. The hackers infiltrated the App Store by offering a hacked version of Apple’s XCode software to developers. After that they stole the data and sent fake alerts to compromised devices which led users to reveal their information.
Jailbroken iPhone are at a risk of a malware attack as they bypass the security restrictions imposed by the App Store. Many users want to jailbreak their phones to gain access to free apps or to those that are not available on the App Store. But this open them up to significant risks and users may find that they have downloaded an infected app.
Another hack occurred in 2015 known as KeyRaider hack which compromised more than 2,25,000 Apple accounts by targeting jailbroken iPhone and iPads.
How Will You Detect a Malware Attack on Your Phone?
If a virus comes inside your computer, you can easily spot that something has gone wrong as you will see hundreds of irritating pop-ups or find that your computer starts to behave wrongly or you will see your PC crashing. But detecting an infection on your mobile is not that easy. You may have some malware running in the background and corrupting your phone without giving signals to you. One of the sign which you can look for is if your device suddenly begins to operate more slowly or your battery drains more rapidly. There can also be an indication to upgrade your phone and also a noticeable and sudden drop in performance could be a sign of a virus or malware infection.
Another sign to tell you that you may have a virus on your phone is if you see sudden spikes in your data usage. This could be a result of a virus running background tasks which you are not aware of, or trying to access the internet in order to transmit data from your phone.
Removing Mobile Malware from Android Phone
If you thing that your phone may have been compromised, then you should work towards removing that malware from your phone. Let’s discuss first how you will do that on an Android phone.
First of all, you need to put your phone into Safe Mode. You can do this by holding down the power off button until you are prompted to reboot your phone to Safe Mode. The Safe Mode disables all third-party apps, so if you find that now your device is working smoothly then it can be an indication that a virus has infected your mobile phone and slowed down its performance.
After that go into your settings and to the apps folder. Check the apps and point out the one which you thing might be the root cause or anything which you don’t recall downloading. From here you can easily remove these kinds of apps manually by clicking the uninstall button.
Sometimes the uninstall button won’t respond when you tap on it, because the malicious app has granted itself administrator rights. In this case, you need to go into the security settings and deactivate rights for the malicious app. After that you should be able to remove the app from the app list.
If you are still find yourself unable to remove the malicious app from your device, then only option for you is to go for full factory reset. You can do this by going into your phone settings and click on the Reset button which will erase all data. Make sure you back up the important data and pics before you do this.
Removing a Virus from an iPhone
Normally, an iOS malware is not so common as Android malware but attacks are still possible. Some apps may have malicious code inserted in them by a hacker and the user who have jailbroken their phones may have downloaded a malicious app. Good thing is that iOS’ sandboxing structure restricts every app’s access and prevents any malware to spread and corrupt other apps or the OS. Hence it is simple to see which is the compromised app which you can then remove from your phone. You can also see if there is a newer version of the app in the App Store, as the problem may have been identified and resolved in a new update. Otherwise removing the app from your device by uninstalling it is the best option.
Top Tips for Securing your Mobile Phone
The best way to protect your phone from malware is to take preventive steps. Below are the top tips for securing your mobile phone: –
Be Careful of Public WiFi hotspots
Try not to access any sensitive information through public WiFi for example logging into your bank or checking sensitive work emails, as a hacker may be able to intercept your communication. Using 3G or 4G is more secure.
Do not jailbreak or root your device
Although you may be tempted to download paid apps for free by jailbreaking your iPhone or rooting your Android but be careful as this removes the protection from Apple and Google respectively and your will make your phone vulnerable to malicious apps.
Download Apps Only from the Official App Stores
Although hackers can get past the security measure of Google Play Protect and Walled garden of the App Store but still official app stores are the best place to download apps as here the risk is lowest.
Update your Operating System Regularly
Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in operating systems to gain access to outdated smartphones. Hence install updates to your OS regularly i.e. as soon as a new version is released, to remove the risk.
Check the App Permissions
Generally, when users download new apps they don’t read the Terms and Conditions and don’t pay heed to what data they are allowing the app to access. Hence review your app permissions in your privacy settings and disable any permissions which are not essential.
We have just discussed how your mobile phones are at risk of getting infected from virus and malicious apps and how you can remove these from your Android and iOS smartphones. We have also told you how to secure your mobile phones by following some precautions. Right now there are billions of smartphones in the world and their number will go on increasing in coming years. Hence, hackers are finding new ways to attack the smartphones through some vulnerabilities. Therefore, you should update your device OS and applications regularly so that your device remains safe from such kind of attacks in future.