Cyber Crime – It means more than just your computer

Published by Sean Rodwell on 22 October 2018

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In October 2016 it was announced that for the first time mobile devices were used more than traditional computers for web browsing. Two years down the line, quite unsurprisingly, findings from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that mobile phones remain the most popular devices used to access the internet. Among the surveyed adults, 78% used mobile phones to access the internet.

The same survey by the ONS reveals a slightly more worrying statistic however. Of the smartphone users mentioned above, 26% did not have any smartphone security installed and in addition, 24% weren’t even aware if they had such security installed.

These two statistics combined, therefore, lead to a growing population of people at risk of cyber-crime through their mobile devices. For fraudsters this will be viewed as a growing number of opportunities, so it’s no surprise that mobile malware is one of the fastest growing types of malware.

Mobile technology allows us to do our shopping using our phones, send emails, check our bank accounts and even manage our charity’s finances using latest cloud based software. So if your mobile device isn’t secure then fraudsters could be getting all of your information from these activities too.

Never fear though, there are some simple steps to making your mobile more secure.

  1. Probably the simplest of them all, install an anti-virus app on your device. It’s almost unheard of to run a desktop or computer network without some form of anti-virus or internet security software, so why would you leave your mobile device unprotected? Such software can be relatively inexpensive and there a number of providers to choose from.
  2. Add a pin or password to your device. If your phone is lost, stolen or simply left unattended, then without a password this can present a security risk.
  3. Ensure the operating system and apps are up-to-date. These updates aren’t simply to introduce new features and better usability, but they also often contain important security updates to prevent the latest threats.
  4. Review apps before installing them on your device. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that some apps available to download onto your mobile phone are of a malicious nature, so before installing on your phone you should check reviews and descriptions carefully.
  5. Ensure you regularly back-up the contents of your mobile phone. Again, similar to how you would ensure security on a desktop computer, you should ensure your phone is regularly backed up. In the event that your device becomes infected you may then be able to restore it back to a pre-infected state without a significant data loss.

By taking these steps you reduce the opportunities fraudsters have to access your data or install malware on your device and therefore reduce the risk of potentially damaging attacks to your charity. The threat to mobile devices maybe isn’t as obvious as desktop devices, but it is no less real.

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