"How susceptible a device is to malware depends on its operating system and how users interact with their device. There are far less threats targeting iOS than there are targeting Android, but a few iOS threats do exist. Scam sites that are designed to steal your personal information, for example, exist on both platforms. Hacks often occur on the server side and users who donít have a security application installed on their device will not be aware that their information could be misused," told us Filip Chytry, Mobile Malware Analyst at AVAST.
Here are some essential tips that will increase the security of your mobile device:
1. Lock your device. It may sound like a no brainer to some, but a great deal of users leave their devices permanently unlocked for the sake of convenience. It doesn't matter if your phone was stolen or you simply misplaced it, an unlocked device is easier to misuse. If you have the remote wipe function enabled as well, a locked device can buy enough time for you to remove private data from prying eyes.
2. Install software and operating system updates. If your device can be updated, always keep the software up to date to eliminate a variety of vulnerabilities. Users with older devices that cannot be updated should be especially cautious when downloading apps. Always download apps from trusted developers and markets like Google Play. Also, check the app's permissions to make sure it's only granted access to functions it truly requires.
3. Install anti-malware software. AVAST's mobile malware team collects 2,500 new samples of mobile malware every day. It's therefore essential to protect yourself against mobile malware such as ransomware and spyware, which are both on the rise. If you're running Android, try a solution like the free avast! Mobile Security, which protects against malware, privacy intrusion, theft and data loss.
4. Secure your Internet connection. Most of us are used to being connected all the time and don't think twice about using an open wireless connection for browsing the Internet, using social networks, and even Internet banking. The overwhelming majority of open Wi-Fi access points are not secure and you should tread carefully while using them. One way to make sure your connection remains private is to use a VPN solution like avast! SecureLine.
5. Backup your data. Your device can malfunction, it can get stolen, you can lose it. By frequently backing up your data you also don't have to worry about accidentally deleting files. It's easier to replace a device than to replace the data so remember to save contacts, text messages, emails, call logs and photos.
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