Mobile devices are clear targets for hackers. We use them to browse the Internet, be in contact with friends and family, make purchases… This means that we must always know how they can attack us and, most importantly, what to do to be protected. We are going to talk about all of this in this article. We will give some tips to keep your security protected at all times.
How can they attack your mobile
To be properly protected, it is important to know how they can attack us. For this reason, we are going to explain the main techniques that cybercriminals can use to sneak in malware, steal passwords or simply make the system start to go wrong, with constant problems or even leave us offline.
Something very common is social engineering. In this case they will use some strategy to make the victim fall into the trap. They usually use a bait, which can be an alarming message for example, so that we click, download something or send some type of personal information to the attacker.
A clear example of social engineering is a Phishing attack . The cybercriminal is going to send an email or SMS and impersonate a legitimate company. It will ask us to do something with some pretext, such as an alleged failure in our account or some problem. But by clicking on that link you send us, we are actually entering a fake page, controlled by the attackers. This will allow them to steal our passwords or personal data.
They can also use social engineering to steal personal information through a variety of methods, such as using social networks or even messaging programs like WhatsApp. In this case, what they are looking for is to talk to us, ask us for certain information and for this they are going to pretend to be a legitimate user, without malicious intentions. Our data can be used to launch other attacks.
Of course, another common method is through fake programs. And here it must be mentioned that there is a great variety, as well as different problems that we can suffer from. This can happen simply when installing an application, but also when we come across a supposed update that is going to make something better.
The first thing is that by installing this program we could be adding software that is going to steal personal data and compromise privacy. But it could also be a program that won’t even work and is actually malware, like ransomware, and encrypting your files.
A common type of rogue programs that affect the mobile is what is known as chargeware . Apparently they are harmless, free applications, but in reality we are going to pay a subscription. You are going to register us on a platform and we are going to pay, without realizing it, an economic amount.
Mobiles can have very varied failures. Vulnerabilities may appear that leave an open door for attackers to steal data or otherwise compromise our privacy. This can appear both in the system itself, as it would be in Android or iOS, but also in some application that we have installed.
These security flaws sometimes allow malware to enter easily. An attacker could create a backdoor and have access to basically do whatever they want, as if they were physically in front of the phone. It can install dangerous applications or even steal personal data.
Dangerous Wi-Fi networks
By connecting to a public Wi-Fi network that can be dangerous, our mobile could also be attacked. A hacker would have the ability to spy on us, to know what we are doing when we enter an unencrypted website. Basically the information we are sending could be leaked.
These dangerous Wi-Fi networks can be in shopping malls, libraries, airports… We can find them in any public place, since an attacker could create them with the aim of stealing personal data or infecting the phone.
What to do to keep it safe
After explaining how they can attack us, we are going to give some essential tips to prevent your mobile from being hacked. The objective is to improve security as much as possible, avoid malware and also not make mistakes that could weigh down our privacy when browsing the net.
keep it updated
Something fundamental is to have the mobile correctly updated . This will help us to correct possible vulnerabilities that they may use. We have seen that it is one of the ways for cybercriminals to exploit flaws and leak our personal data or even install software without our consent.
This must be applied regardless of whether you are using Android, iOS or any other operating system. In addition, it is also convenient to have the applications updated correctly. Sometimes we leave them installed without updating and they can have bugs that are the cause of many security problems.
Use only official apps
Another important recommendation is to always use official programs . To install them, it is best to go to legitimate application stores, such as Google Play. There you will find software that has been verified and you will have less risk of attacks. Another alternative is to go directly to the web pages of those programs.
But you should not only take this into account when you are going to install the applications, but also when installing updates. Sometimes we can find messages that appear when browsing and that indicate that there is an error and we must update the system, the browser or any application. This is a strategy used by attackers to get us to install fake software. You should always update from trusted sources.
Some attacks against mobiles come through Bluetooth. For example, one of the most common is Bluebugging , which takes advantage of flaws in this technology to attack. Another is Bluejacking , which can send annoying messages. If you always leave Bluetooth on, you will be exposed to a wide variety of attacks.
The ideal way to be protected and not suffer attacks of this type is to disconnect it as long as you are not going to use it. You will save battery and also improve security. Whenever you need to connect something, you just have to enable Bluetooth and you’re good to go. It is a simple advice to carry out, but very useful.
If there is something important to prevent your mobile from being hacked, it is common sense. In most attacks, the cybercriminal needs us to make a mistake . For example, clicking on a link, downloading an attached file that comes to us by e-mail or interacting with an attacker.
It is best to always be alert, not to trust any message or email that comes to us, not to download files without verifying the source or not to interact with possible bots on social networks. It is also essential not to expose more information than necessary, such as our e-mail account or telephone number in open forums.
One more tip is to have a constant review. Our mobile may be safe and protected today, but in a few days or weeks it may not be. It is important to always check that we have everything up to date, protected and that we are not making any mistakes that could facilitate the work of a hacker.
Therefore, a periodic review , to see that everything is going well from time to time, will help to make sure that everything is going as it should and that our personal information will be protected and we will not have problems.
Programs to improve safety
As you have seen, until now we have not talked about security programs to protect the mobile. There are some options that you should take into account and that we will detail below. This will allow you to analyze files or block possible connections that could become a problem.
The first option is to have a good antivirus. This type of application will help detect malicious software that enters the mobile. For example, if you mistakenly download a document that comes to you by mail, WhatsApp or any page. It will constantly scan to find any threats and launch a warning.
You will see many options, both free and paid, to protect your mobile. Some options like Avast or Bitdefender are very useful and work well. Of course, always download them from official sources and make sure that you are installing a guarantee program and it will really help you.
Another type of program that you can use to protect your mobile is a firewall or firewall . It is an application that will block connections that are insecure and can represent a threat to the device. There are also both free and paid ones and it is always advisable to choose very well which one to use.
Also, a firewall is very useful to save data. If you have a limited rate and it is running out, you can configure it so that it only allows you to connect to certain applications that you choose, such as WhatsApp or mail. In this way you will prevent it from updating the system or using some programs that can consume more.
Without a doubt, another very useful program to prevent your mobile from being hacked is a VPN. What this type of tool does is encrypt the connection. If you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, the data will be protected and will not be leaked. It is essential if you are going to make a payment or any transaction that may be sensitive.
Our advice in this case is to avoid those that are free. They do not usually work well and can also be dangerous. Some programs like NordVPN or ExpressVPN work quite well and will help you to surf the net more safely, without exposing personal information.
In short, by following these tips you will prevent your mobile from being hacked. The objective is to improve security to the maximum and protect your personal data at all times. Avoid making mistakes, use security programs and always have everything up to date. This will help protect your devices.