How to Secure Your Mobile Device?
Mobile devices outnumbered laptops and desktops in use today, that is why it is very important for everyone to treat them with utmost care, and a reasonable level of skepticism when using it for online transactions. The smartphone is the most personal computer of all personal computer, it is where users trust most of their personal data, including their bank account details and other personally identifiable information. This is why both Apple and Google are the top two vendors that are pushing for default encryption standard for all smartphones.
However, not all responsibility can be pinned down to the OS vendors and hardware manufacturers, the lion share of it belongs to the common Joe and Jill who use the mobile device. Here are some mistakes common users make with mobile devices, which can bring them closer to trouble:
- Wrong Password choice
- Persistent use of public Wi-Fi
- If it is too good to be true, it really is too good to be true
- Learn from the mistake of others
“Open Sesame,” remember that phrase? Well, in the standpoint of passwords, the principle of having a password to a common user means it should be memorable. The unfortunate side effect of which is being memorable also means being simple, having a simple password means it is easy to guess. Another wrong choice is to use the same password across many web services. That is a distinct weakness that can bring the user into potential trouble, as soon as one web service one day becomes a victim of a data breach, the cybercriminal can now freely use the stolen password and try it across many web services.
Public Wi-Fi is value-added services provided by coffee shops and other commercial establishments. It provides customers an incentive to stay longer in the store, compared if there is none. There is nothing wrong for using public Wi-Fi, and it is safe to use if the website being visited are TLS encrypted, those websites which start in https:// instead of http:// only. Unfortunately, many websites are still not encrypted, and anyone using them in an open Wi-Fi connection have their packets flying in the air, anyone with enough know-how can extract these packets.
Social Media became a platform not only for information and entertainment but also for deception. Phishing and social engineering are two of the top most profitable operations that cybercriminals heavily rely on. It is subtle, as the victims are not aware that they are being taken for a ride without them realizing it as it happens. Users need to develop a reasonable level of skepticism when it comes to dealing with online transactions and online conversations.
There are already example negligence issues by other users, most of which are even celebrities when it comes to their online activities. How many times we have heard the news that Actor X lost control of his email address, while Actress Y had someone pulled revenge porn on her. Please let us learn from their mistakes, we need to be alert at all times and practice safe computing practices.