The recent explosion of cell phone spyware infections can be directly linked to the changing patterns of use of these devices over the past few years. What at the time was just a way to stay in touch away from home is now an integral part of everyday life,to the point that it has become a prime target for spyware.
What is cell phone spyware?
Spyware is a program that records your actions or information about you without your knowledge, whether you are using your home computer, work laptop, tablet or cell phone. The majority of spyware is installed by tricking the user into visiting a corrupted website and then exploiting the software to install the spyware, or by the user themselves choosing to install a program containing spy. There are also dedicated spy apps that an individual can install on your device in less than a minute if they can get access to them.
Potential damage caused by spyware
Many spyware programs are scary but harmless and can even be set up by your phone’s manufacturer. This software tracks your physical movements and your activity on the Net in order to better target the advertisements that it sends to you. It’s a bit scary if you think about it, but this type of spyware rarely has any direct impact on you or your information.
There are, however, other types of cell phone spyware to be wary of. These programs are designed to collect your information for identity theft or industrial espionage, or even to spy on you directly by accessing your smartphone’s camera and microphone. Mobile devices are becoming more like computers and are being used in a growing number of businesses. This is the reason why you should expect such type of threats to become more prevalent in the future.
Three tips to avoid this problem
If you want to protect yourself from spyware, you must first try to avoid it. It’s not always possible, but if you follow a few simple rules, you’ll be much less likely to end up with malware on your phone.
For starters, avoid installing third-party software on your devices. Despite this, especially if you are using an Android device, only install apps launched by reliable developers that have lots of positive reviews. Third-party apps are full of malware, and even some in official stores can embed spyware.
With this in mind, always check the permissions of apps when you install them. A navigation app will obviously require access to your phone’s GPS, while a note-taking app won’t. If an app requires permissions that seem suspicious, abort the installation and avoid the app.
Just like on your home computer or work laptop, you should always be wary of unsolicited attachments, links and open and public wifi connections.
Finally, all these rules mean nothing if you do not protect your smartphone properly. If someone steals your device, it takes minutes to steal your information or install spyware. To protect yourself, always lock the screen of your phone. So, if you lose sight of it even for a few minutes, the thief won’t have time to bypass the lock and gain access to your device.
Benefit from complete protection
Mobility plays a more important role both professionally and personally. Thus, even the most cautious user cannot be sure that his caution alone will be enough to protect his mobile phone against spyware. The higher level of protection absolutely requires the use of a quality mobile security solution .
A mobile security app scans apps as soon as you download them to make sure they’re free of viruses and spyware. It continuously checks them as the databases are updated with the latest mobile threats. It will also block dangerous websites that may install malware on your mobile phone, and even scan links sent via text messages. If your device is stolen, you can even block access to your information or completely erase its content.
There are free mobile security apps available, although they are generally less capable and less frequently updated than more established apps. Your best strategy would be to opt for a mobile security solution that offers a free trial period so that you can test the application before making the decision to purchase it. Some industry leaders also offer a combination of security packages that can protect your mobile phone, tablet, and computer all at once.
It seems like there are already tons of spyware and malware in circulation, but the problem is more present than ever. It is essential to take steps now to protect your identity, information and finances. Furthermore, only intelligent use of mobile devices combined with mobile security software can guarantee your protection.