Book Image

Mobile Security: How to Secure, Privatize, and Recover Your Devices

Book Image

Mobile Security: How to Secure, Privatize, and Recover Your Devices

Overview of this book

The threat of hacking may be the most damaging on the internet. Mobile technology is changing the way we live, work, and play, but it can leave your personal information dangerously exposed. Your online safety is at risk and the threat of information being stolen from your device is at an all- time high. Your identity is yours, yet it can be compromised if you don't manage your phone or mobile device correctly. Gain the power to manage all your mobile devices safely. With the help of this guide you can ensure that your data and that of your family is safe. The threat to your mobile security is growing on a daily basis and this guide may just be the help you need. Mobile Security: How to Secure, Privatize, and Recover Your Devices will teach you how to recognize, protect against, and recover from hacking attempts and outline the clear and present threats to your online identity posed by the use of a mobile device. In this guide you will discover just how vulnerable unsecured devices can be, and explore effective methods of mobile device management and identity protection to ensure your data's security. There will be special sections detailing extra precautions to ensure the safety of family members and how to secure your device for use at work.
Table of Contents (21 chapters)
Mobile Security: How to Secure, Privatize, and Recover Your Devices
About the Authors
About the Reviewers
Tips to Help You Protect Your Mobile Device
The History of Social Networking, the Internet, and Smartphones

The dangers of mobile computers

Most consumers are aware of the risks that viruses and malware pose for computers, but how many are aware that smartphones are vulnerable to the same sort of pernicious attacks? In a study in the year 2012, antivirus program developer McAfee found that 19.32 percent of consumers either had disabled or nonexistent antivirus software. Assuming that this figure is correct, the vast majority of computers in the United States do possess some sort of active antivirus software. Therefore, most consumers in the US are aware of the risks posed by malware and viruses, and take active steps to protect themselves against such risks.

Compare this with the percentage of smartphones that do not possess some form of antivirus protection, that is, 40 percent. Even worse little more than one third of iPhone users actually have antivirus software installed on their device. Why? According to a research firm, Kaspersky, this is because mobile users feel relatively safe. Many consumers underestimate the danger that malware and viruses pose for their smartphones, even while they recognize the similar risk malicious software poses for their personal computers (

A widespread lack of awareness

When we consider the number of reported malware attacks, the lack of awareness on the part of consumers becomes truly alarming. Between January and June 2012, Kaspersky recorded over 50,000 malware or virus attacks on smartphones. The number of attacks between January and March eclipsed the number of attacks for the entire year of 2011. In other words, there is a staggering amount of malware programs targeted at smartphones and that number is multiplying at an alarming rate (

Malware and viruses

Because of the nature of smartphones as multi-purpose devices, the risk posed by malware or viruses can manifest in surprising ways. Consider the Geinimi Trojan, a malware that is embedded in certain apps and games. For a user to contract this Trojan, all they need to do is download an infected application. After installing the app, the Trojan allows hackers to remotely control the device; these criminals can use smartphones to place phone calls, send and delete text messages, and even locate the device geographically using the phone's maps application via the GPS (Global Positioning System) functionality that is embedded in the device. If the smartphone's owner had been using the device to conduct mobile banking, then the hackers would even be able to access their banking account or to record their account information. Once the customer data has been identified or captured, then the hacker can send the data back to the "mother ship" via a number of mechanisms, including e-mail and/or text messages (

Understanding legitimate programs

Malware and viruses represent a significant risk for smartphones; a risk of which many consumers remain unaware. Unfortunately, this threat to smartphone security is not limited to illicit programs, such as malware or viruses. Legitimate programs produced by respected companies are also used to collect and disseminate our personal information. In addition to the well-known companies such as Facebook, smartphone-specific companies, such as our cell phone carriers, also track and monitor our usage. Occasionally, these companies even sell this information, thus further removing our ability to control our privacy. All of this means that containing security risks to our smartphone is not as simple as downloading and installing an antivirus program. In fact, many antivirus products for smartphones are relatively ineffective at stopping threats (

While risks to our smartphone security may seem daunting, there are steps that consumers can take to protect their devices. Using this book, we will teach you how to protect yourself against threats to your smartphone, as well as how to respond in the event that you become a victim of an attack.