Looming threats call for better mobile security resolutions

With the New Year now upon us, it is time to start creating resolutions for 2013. Most resolutions include losing weight, eating healthier or even taking more photographs. This year, if you’re one of the over 20 million Americans who unwrapped a new smartphone or tablet this holiday season, it would be wise to consider including better mobile security to your list of resolutions. You already lock up your house, your car and take other daily security precautions, and yet less than half you smartphone owners use passwords to protect their valuable devices from unauthorized misuse or theft.

Mobile devices are increasingly becoming targets for cybercriminals. McAfee Labs recently published the 2013 Threat Predictions Report detailing several new threats of whichusers should be aware. McAfee uncovered three stand out threats that pose a significant problem for mobile users:

Mobile Malware Propagation: These malicious apps can use your account to purchase additional apps from an app store without your permission. User engagement is not necessary for the mobile malware to be spread.

  • Be aware when downloading apps: Make sure to do your research before downloading any app. This is as simple as reading  reviews or doing a simple online search.

Mobile Near Field Communication (NFC) Attacks: The use of NFC has become an increasingly popular feature on smartphones. With the ability to touch phones and send your friend a music play list cybercriminals also have the ability to “touch and infect” your phones to steal personal and financial information.

  • Limit NFC access: If your phone has NFC capabilities, you may be unaware of default settings. Turning this feature off while in public settings is a great way to stay protected from cybercriminals.

Ransomware on Mobile: With the ability to hijack your mobile device, cybercriminals are able to hold your contacts, photos, calls, etc. for some sort of ransom. Beware: even if you do pay the ransom you don’t always get your data back.

  • Don’t open suspicious emails or links to websites: By simply opening an email with a piece of ransomware within it you are leaving your mobile device vulnerable to hijacking.
  • Invest in a mobile security product: Even if you take the necessary steps in being cautious there is always the chance that your mobile device will be infected by ransomware, which is just one form of malware. A mobile security product will give you the protection you need when you simply can’t plan for extra cautiousness .

It’s not too late to start new resolutions or just brush up on mobile safety tips. By taking these extra steps to ensure your mobile device is safe from cybercriminals you can ensure that 2013 is a year free of digital problems.  This resolution will be easy to keep!

For more information on mobile security for your Android visit www.mcafee.com/us/mms.

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Story added 27. December 2012, content source with full text you can find at link above.