Modern gadgets are our best friends until they stop working. Whilst phones and tablets can degrade over time due to general wear and tear, cybercriminals can also hack or infiltrate them. We often hear of laptops being hacked, as laptops/desktop computers are easy for scammers to target. Yet, we rarely hear of mobile phones or tablets being hacked when these devices are just as, if not more, susceptible to hacking. Have you noticed a sudden decrease in your phone's performance, strange glitches, or an increase in spam messages? This could signal your device has been hacked. Whilst the main phone providers, Google and Apple, routinely release security updates for devices to combat security risks, no device is completely safe from hacking. Due to a difference in security measures, Android phones and tablets are more susceptible to viruses.
Gone are the terribly edited fake scam emails for which no one was silly enough to fall. It has gotten much harder to discern a scam email from a real email, with hackers now perfectly replicating the design and messaging from companies like Paypal, Monzo, Apple, etc. Text message scams have also become more prevalent, with scammers disguising themselves as DPD or Royal Mail, tricking us into thinking we have missed a parcel. Without thinking, we can innocently click through to phishing sites and unknowingly give away our data to the wrong people.
Whilst it is unlikely, apps we download from our phone’s App Store can sometimes contain malware, damaging our phones. Whilst Apple maintains a close reign on their App Store, carefully vetting an app’s programming, the Google Store is a little less protected. On the Google Store, you can also change the settings on your phone to install apps from other stores, but this is not recommended from a security perspective.
Did you know that you could expose your phone to a potential virus every time you use a new or public network? When connecting to a public network with no password, we often forget that if we can access the network so easily, a hacker can too. Phishing scams through fake Wi-Fi connections or packet sniffers can hack your device and infect it with malware, as there is less security encryption on public networks. Through these insecure connections, hackers could steal your personal information, passwords, credit card data, etc.
Virus Protection Software
If you are worried about the health and safety of your phone or tablet, purchasing anti-virus software may be a worthwhile investment. Anti-viral software protects your device, and highlights possible security threats, but it can also help your phone or tablet perform better. Anti-viral software can help locate, isolate and strengthen your phone’s defence against malware; you have to download the software and let it work its magic.