Consumers with smartphones understand they are carrying around the functions of a computer, but most users are unaware that smartphones are susceptible to the same security threats that plague laptops and desktops.
As more online retailers introduce mobile e-commerce applications, criminal hackers are taking notice. Existing mobile operating systems are under attack and, like standard PC operating systems, they sometimes fail to provide the necessary security to support a payment application.
Malicious software (malware) can invade a device when consumers click a malicious link in a text message or email, surf a risky website or download a potentially unsafe app. Once the device is infected, malware allows the collection of data from the device such as a location information, financial information, and login credentials.
Verizon Wireless has always protected devices on its network using sophisticated network intrusion and data analysis tools. Now they will extend their network security to customers with the introduction of Verizon Mobile Security, an application that helps secure and protect Android smartphones against digital and physical threats.
The new offering covers concerns such as device infection, misplacement or loss, reaffirming Verizon Wireless’ commitment to protect its customers, devices and network by providing resources with robust security capabilities. Representing the next level of protection, Verizon Mobile Security, co-developed by Asurion and McAfee, is available on Android smartphones running Android 2.1 or higher.
To help protect yourself, I also recommend:
- Refrain from clicking links in text messages, emails, especially if they are from someone you don’t know
- Set your smartphone to lock automatically and unlock only when you enter a PIN
- Keep your phone’s operating system updated with the latest patches
- Invest in mobile security protection, which includes antivirus, for your smartphone
Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Evangelist to McAfee. Watch him discussing information he found on used electronic devices YouTube. (Disclosures)