One of the most common forms of cyberthreats designed to collect personal information from a user’s device is mobile adware. This is because roughly 4 billion people are connected to the Internet via their smartphone.
Despite the adoption of mobile devices, companies rarely prioritize mobile security. Check Point’s Cyber Security Report 2020 shows that in 2019, 27% of companies suffered a cyber-attack because the security of a mobile device was breached.
“It only takes one compromised mobile device for cybercriminals to steal confidential information and access an organization’s corporate network,” explains Pankaj Bhula, Regional Director for Africa at Check Point.
The main problem with adware is pinpointing how a phone became infected. Adware is developed to sneak onto a device undetected without uninstallation procedures. Removing this type of virus can be extremely difficult and the information it collects, such as a devices operating system, location, images, etc., can be a high-security risk.
Adware is commonly distributed through mobile apps. According to Statista, there are 2.5 million apps available to Android and Google Play users and there are 1.8 million apps available on the Apple Store. These figures demonstrate the wide scope of this kind of attack, giving a clear indication as to why cyber-criminals focus on mobile devices.
Here are five ways to ensure that you and your business are protected from mobile adware:
- Only download apps from official Google Play or App stores. Pay attention to the number of downloads and reviews by other users.
- Check whether the functions the app asks you to access are necessary. For example, if a flashlight app asks for access to your contacts, it is a red flag.
- Avoid allowing the app to function in the background (unless it seems completely necessary).
- Update your device and the application to the latest version, with all necessary security patches available.
- Utilize security tools to help you protect your device as cybercriminals can attack both Android and iOS users.
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