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Mobile Viruses - How to Keep Your Mobile Device Safe?

Date Posted: Monday, August 18, 2014

Risks and Attacks:

As the use of more capable cell phones increases so does the need to protect them from hacking. Cell phones are often as vulnerable as laptops and PCs to being hacked.

One popular attack is for cyber crooks to deploy fake Wi-Fi or Bluetooth devices that infect your mobile device. In some public places these devices can push a file to your phone. Attackers typically hide a device that either collects details from or infects devices that come within range

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth “hijacking” usually takes place in high-traffic areas like airports, restaurants, malls and coffee shops.

Devices that contain sensitive information including PHI (Protected Health Information) or PII (Personally Identifiable Information) must be encrypted and require a password. Massachusetts’ Law requires all portable computing devices that contain PII to be encrypted. This includes laptops, phones, portable hard disks and memory sticks, etc.

The Defenses:

A few simple practices can greatly reduce the risk of having your mobile device infected. These are simple configurations that should be set on your mobile device, or routine practices that should become a part of your mobile computing routine, especially when you are in public places.

  • Password protect your device.
  • Configure your device NOT to automatically connect with wireless networks. Instead, make the effort to connect with the networks you need to connect with.
  • Leave Bluetooth disabled when not using it. Many people never even use Bluetooth, yet it is still enabled on their device. This reduces battery life and makes the device susceptible to attacks. If you don’t use Bluetooth, it is a good idea to simply turn it off.
  • Never connect your phone to a computer you do not trust, or one that is not protected by antivirus/antispyware software
  • Always ensure your phone is updated to the latest software version -- contact your mobile operator for more information on how to update your device.
  • Never open text or picture messages from unknown senders. This too can be a method for attack.

With these simple measures, your mobile devices and the data they hold will be protected and you'll know that you did everything you could to stay safe.