Consumer, Mobile Security

Mobile Security Myths

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By on Feb 13, 2013

Mobile computing is the new frontier of personal technology. Whether you are on a phone or tablet, if you have a carrier connection, you are mobile.

Today, most of us can’t live without our mobile devices. We live in an always on, always connected world. While this is convenient in many ways, it also brings about new security risks that many people don’t think about.

For example, most of us know that we need to use security software on our PCs. But how many of us know to use security on our mobile devices? Mobile devices are our most personal computers, yet they open the door to many vulnerabilities that don’t exist on a traditional PC.

Here’s some fact vs. fiction around mobile devices:

Mobile Myth #1: The best way to locate my lost phone is by calling it.


  • False. While “Call Me Maybe” may be your theme song, and this is sometimes a viable option, it’s much easier to use security software that lets you locate your phone by GPS or make it “scream” so you can find it (this is much louder than your ring tone). You can also display a message on your lost phone if anyone does find it, so you can tell them how to get in touch with you.

Mobile Myth #2: It’s ok to have my apps automatically log in to my accounts if I have my phone protected with a PIN.

  • False. Even though a PIN is a good start, this is not complete protection. Hackers are often able to guess PIN codes and also have programs to help them quickly figure out your 4 digit combination. Make sure you use a PIN that is not 1111 or 1234 and that you do not set your apps or mobile browser to use the “remember me” function. If your phone falls into the wrong hands, that gives the person easy access to your accounts.

Mobile Myth #3: Phishing is just for PC users.

  • False. In fact, one study showed that mobile users are 3x more vulnerable to phishing scams than PC users. Hackers can use phishing attempts via email (if you access your email via your phone or tablet) but also via text and social media apps. Also, it is much harder to tell if links are “real” in a mobile browser or email, so you should use mobile security software that warns you if you are going to a malicious site.

These are just a few mobile myths that exist out there. To really test your mobile knowledge, play our Mobile Mythbusters quiz on Facebook, where you can also enter to win great prizes like a Galaxy tablet, Kindle Fire, or a copy of my e-book “99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile Device Was Hacked,” all with a 1-year subscription to McAfee Mobile Security.

MobileMyths

In addition, share you’re your mobile myths with @McAfeeConsumer using the hashtag #MobileMyths to help debunk mobile security myths and protect yourself and others. Top tweeters will win a copy of McAfee All Access or McAfee Mobile Security.

And if you’re going to be at Mobile World Congress, stop by to visit McAfee and see our product demos. We’re in the Intel booth in Hall 3, Stand C34. You may even get a small gift if you show that you’ve liked McAfee on Facebook or followed us on Twitter when you come see the people in the red shirts!

 

Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Expert to McAfee. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked!  (Disclosures)

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