As we all know smartphones have exploded in popularity and are becoming as common and important as carrying around our wallet. In fact they may soon replace our wallet. They have and continue to evolve into not only just a mobile device but a do it all companion that we rely on for just about everything. Google reported that there were 3.7 million android devices activated over this past Christmas weekend. There are several players in the game but the two heavy weights are apple with their iOS and Google with their Android system. It’s reminiscent of Apple vs. Microsoft during the personal computer era.
The good will be the continued evolution of mobile hardware and software to make our lives more convenient, fun and productive. The bad is that with the rapid growth there will be a whole new wave of hackers looking to pounce on unsuspecting and vulnerable users. Smartphone users for the most part did not have to worry about installing antivirus or security apps on their phone but now it’s becoming more of an issue. Hackers are going after the money so that means you’re shopping and mobile banking are going to be more enticing for them. Your personal and business contacts as well as emails are also valued by hackers.
The more up to date your operating system is the better prepared you will be to fend off attacks but the rise of hackers still make almost all smartphone’s subject to security breaches and mobile malware. Android is more vulnerable to attacks because it is an open source operating system and a new report by Lookout Mobile Security Systems estimated that Android users lost more than a million dollars to cyber thieves last year. So what is so bad about being attacked? Hackers and thieves cans steal your financial passwords and take money out of your account. They can run up your cell phone bill, send text messages to companies so you can be charged, slow down your phones to a crawl and many other malicious activity.
There are several things you can do to minimize your chances of getting attacked such as installing a mobile security application on your phone. There are several good applications that protect your phone from cyber attacks. Using official applications are more secure than using your browser, so if you are banking make sure your use the banks official app if it is available. Using secure Wi-Fi is important as public Wi-Fi is an open invitation to be searched. Use different passwords for your accounts and try to use websites that have secure sockets layer encryption (SSL). Nobody knows what’s in store for 2012 but it looks like this is the year you may want to secure your smartphone.