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Mobile Phone Malware and Security

12/11/2019
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Mobile Virus Security

Most of us rely on our phones to process and store personal digital data, check bank balance, pay for a product, accessing work emails, and lot more. But, have you ever thought about, how secure is your mobile phone? Any device that connects with the internet is at risk of a cyberattack. The mobile malware is increasing at an alarming rate. So, taking proper security measures should be the top priority for both personal and business use.

Types of Mobile Malware

Following are some of the mobile malware users are usually exposed to:

• Mobile Spyware

This type of malware is capable of diving into your activities, record your location. and is even strong enough to steal your sensitive passwords. this type of malware may enter your phone by your carelessness in granting an app to harvest the information at the time you download it.

• Rooting Malware

This is an unsavory form of malware that will gain root access to the device and provide the hackers with the administrative privileges and access to users' files. One of the common rooting malware is the Ztorg that embed themselves into the system folders that even a factory reset won't work in removing them.

• Mobile Banking Trojans

The scope of mobile banking is on its hike and is getting more popular. The main problem in the cybersecurity world is the mobile banking virus. The attackers usually develop a similar banking app and make the users install it and steal their credentials.

• SMS Malware

This type of malware manipulates a mobile phone to send premium-rate text messages without the user's permission. The user notices this when they receive a shocking bill.

How Your Mobile Phone Gets Infected

There are many ways your phone may get infected with the malware. But, the most common way is by downloading a malicious app. Cybercriminals who are always active work on the existing applications and display it on a third-party app store with unseen hidden malware. When you download these apps, you are inviting the malicious software to work on your device.

Hackers may try to breakdown the vulnerabilities of your phone's operating system. So, its always recommended to periodically update the device with the latest software.

Another common way of exposing yourself to the malware attack is by connecting your device to a public WiFi. Even though a public WiFi is encrypted, the attackers can easily handle the data which is streamed between the user and the access point.

Common Signs of Malware Attack

It is very easy to find out a virus on your computer as you can see hundreds of pop-ups showing your computer is at risk.

Spotting out an infection on your phone is some thin really hard. Your phone may be holding some malware working in the background and corrupting your phone that you cannot even realize.

Some of the commonly seen key signs are - slow operations, rapid battery draining, a sudden drop in the overall performance, etc. Another thing that shows the presence of a virus is the sudden spikes in your data usage, Some of the malware even makes money by sending premium texts from your phone without any indication that you may not be aware till you receive a monthly bill showing strange huge charges.

How to Remove the Malware

If you detect any of the malware presence on your phone, then you need to take the necessary steps to remove it. Firstly, you need to set your phone in a safe mode by pressing the power off button till it shows to reboot your device to safe mode. Entering this mode will disable all the third-party applications and if you find that the phone is now working fine, you can make sure that there is a malware presence.

After confirming the malware presence, go to your phone's settings then to the apps folder. Make a scan of all the apps that you think a fraud or others you don't recall downloading. Remove such applications by just clicking on the uninstall button.

Sometimes you may notice that the uninstall button shows a grey color and won't respond to you. This is because the malicious application has granted itself administrator status. In such a case, you can open the security settings and deactivate its administrator rights. By doing this, you can remove the app by clicking the uninstall button which will be now active for you.

In other cases, if you still can't remove the malicious app from your phone, all you need to do is a full factory reset. This is done by entering your phone settings and erasing all the data. But before performing this operation, make sure that you have backed-up all your important data.

Tips to Secure Your Mobile Phone from Malware

• Aware of Public WiFi Hotspots

Don't try to access any of your private information via public WiFi like logging into your bank, checking official sensitive emails, etc as the hacker can easily catch your communication. So, it is recommended to use a 3G, 4G or to use a VPN.

• Use Official Stores to Download Apps

Always make use of official app stores for downloading the apps that you are looking for. If you try to download the apps from other unsecured stores upon your own risk, you may need to face malware attacks from the malicious apps that you download.

• Make Periodic Operating System Updates

Cybercriminals can easily gain access to outdated smartphones. So, be sure that you install the software updates that you receive whenever a new version is released. By this, you can minimize the risk of attacks to a certain extent.

• Encrypt Your Device

By encrypting your phone, all the files it holds will get scrambled and you are the only one who can access them. After encryption, to decrypt the same, you need to enter a PIN or password which should be kept highly secured.

• Review the Access Permissions

Most of us don't try to read the terms and conditions while downloading new applications and we are not concerned about what data they are allowing the app to access. For some apps like transport, weather, etc it will be useful to allow access to your location. But is it really necessary for other apps to know your location if they don't have any use of it? So, make sure to review your app permissions that display in your privacy settings. Disable the consents that you see which are not essential.

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