Preventing your mobile device from malware | Dailytrust

Preventing your mobile device from malware


Smartphones and other mobile devices are now the preferred mode of accessing the internet by many Nigerians. This is why hackers are increasingly launching attacks through mobile devices.

Tech security experts said hackers are developing more sophisticated malware targeted towards mobile devices, and they are capable of finding new ways to mount their attacks with every attempt.

In fact, the number of threats your phone and other mobile device encounters keeps increasing every day, as the number of new mobile malware types is reaching alarming rate in 2021.

And once your phone is hacked, your other devices may be next if they are connected, they said.  That’s because your overall online security is only as strong as the weakest link in your chain of connected devices. Malware can spread from your hacked phone to your tablet or another mobile device through the network, according to

Here are five mobile security threats and how you can help protect phones from them:

Madware and spyware

Madware is short for mobile adware. It’s a script or program installed on your phone, often without your consent. Its job? To collect your data for the purpose of better targeting you with ads. On top of that, madware often comes attached at the hip with spyware. Spyware collects data about you based on your internet usage and transmits it to a third party. That data is then bought and used by companies to send you advertisements. However, seeing more ads is the least of your worries when it comes to spyware. It also collects information about your location, internet usage, and even your contacts. This makes it a problem not just for you, but perhaps also for everyone you know.

 Viruses and Trojans

Viruses and Trojans can also attack your mobile devices. They typically come attached to what appear to be legitimate programs. They can then hijack your mobile device and mine the information it holds or has access to, such as your banking information. Viruses and Trojans have also been known to send premium text messages that can be costly.

Drive-by downloads

Drive-by downloads refer to any malware installed on your device without consent. If you visit the wrong website or open the wrong email, you might be exposed to a drive-by download that automatically installs a malicious file on your mobile device. The file could be anything from adware, malware or spyware to something far more nefarious, like a bot, which can use your phone to perform malicious tasks.

Browser exploits

Browser exploits take advantage of known security flaws in your mobile browser. Browser exploits also work against other applications that function with your browser, such as PDF readers. If you see that your mobile browser’s homepage or search page has unexpectedly changed, it could be a sign that you’re a victim of a browser exploit.

Phishing and grayware apps

Phishing apps are a new take on an old theme. In the past, criminals would send emails that appeared to come from a trusted source. They’d ask for personal information, such as your password, hoping you’d be trusting enough to respond. Phishing apps are designed to look like real apps, and a mobile device’s smaller screen can make it even more difficult to tell the difference. These fake apps secretly collect the information you input — passwords, account numbers, and more.

Grayware apps aren’t completely malicious, but they can be troublesome because they often expose users to privacy risks.

How to protect your phone from mobile security threats

Mobile security threats may sound scary, but here are steps you can take to help protect yourself from them.

Keep your software updated

Only 20 percent of Android devices are running the newest version and only 2.3 percent are on the latest release. Everything from your operating system to your social network apps are potential gateways for hackers to compromise your mobile device. Keeping software up to date ensures the best protection against most mobile security threats.

Choose mobile security

Just like computers, your mobile devices also need internet security. Make sure to select mobile security software from a trusted provider and keep it up to date.

Rather than allowing the malware to enter and then detecting it later, you will be better off installing a reliable antivirus app on your mobile device. There are many good mobile antivirus programs out there, both free and paid.

Just take a quick look at the options available and install the one you feel would best serve you.

The installation of an antivirus program will stop malware from being installed on your mobile and offer a whole set of services to make your overall experience in using your smartphone run smoother.

Install a firewall

Most mobile phones do not come with any kind of firewall protection. Installing a firewall provides you with much stronger protection against digital threats and allows you to safeguard your online privacy.

Always use a passcode on your phone. Remember that loss or physical theft of your mobile device can also compromise your information.

Download apps from official app stores

Both the Google Play and Apple App stores vet the apps they sell; third-party app stores don’t always. Buying from well-known app stores may not ensure you never get a bad app, but it can help reduce your risk. Apps are the real heart and soul of the mobile phone as far as the users are concerned—there’s no way the average user can live with a mobile phone and not use apps. But the important part is to know the apps which can cause harm to your mobile device. Hackers plant malicious content in certain apps, but you may not know if they are malware unless you remain vigilant.

If you find your battery draining faster than usual, check the apps running in the background and you may locate one or two that you never intended to install and use.

Always read the end-user agreement

Before installing an app, read the fine print. Grayware purveyors rely on your not reading their terms of service and allowing their malicious software onto your device.

Double check your settings

Sometimes there may be default settings on your mobile device which could permit malware to break in without you being aware.

One of them relates to the Wi-Fi “Auto-Connect” feature. This should be disabled. This will mean wherever Wi-Fi connectivity is available, the phone will check with you before connecting to its Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi can be quite risky and malware can make an entry. You must have a strong password to unlock your phone and it should lock itself when it has not been in use for a little while.

Be careful while browsing

If you are familiar with the usual advice given on the dos and don’ts while browsing the internet using your PC, the same rules apply for your mobile device as well. What sites you visit and which email attachments you click on really does matter since malware can find its way into your device through any of these actions on your part.

You must, therefore, be vigilant while using your mobile phone to browse the internet.

Be aware of the latest mobile threats

Unfortunately, many people in the general public are not attuned to the best-practices involving cybersecurity and data protection.

If you spend maximum time on using your mobile phone and have invested a great deal in buying a high-end device, then it is very important that you learn the risks that your phone can be exposed to.

It may take some time for you to grasp the instructions and a little more effort at following them, but these are worth the work since protecting your phone is very critical.

Derek Halliday from Digital Trends states, “No OS is completely safe, and protection is a requirement across mobile platforms.”

Any electronic device can be infected by a virus and it can make the device unfit for use. But when it comes to smartphones with the capability to be connected to the internet, the threat level increases manifold. There are elements bent upon breaking into devices using malware they have developed. These malware programs can be in the apps you download and install or can lodge themselves in your device when you visit a website.

It becomes critical, therefore, for the users to not only learn the latest functions the phones come with, but also the kind of challenges they bring along if not handled properly.

This is an attempt to expose you to the few ways you can prevent malware from making an entry into your device. Follow these tips so you can keep your device safe and secure.



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