Blog / Mobile Phone Security Software – Do You Have Any Anti-Malware Installed on Your Phone?
Cell phones are everywhere. Many of us have one, while plenty of people have more than just the one. How many of them have any sort of Malware detection installed on them? If it is a personal phone, then that is highly unlikely. Even for a business phone, it is not a guarantee there will be any kind of Security Software on the phone, and most of the phones are not for business.
There are all types of Malware out there that could infect your phone. Some of it is designed to provide advertising revenue to people, by loading websites in the background. Other is created to steal information from your phone. There is also software targeting banking applications and works by loading a screen over-top of the application, so that it can pull-in your data that way.
There’s even Malware that can exploit various Security holes in certain versions of operating systems, so that it cannot be deleted.
My personal phone has no Anti-Malware or Security Software on it. This does not bother me, because the only things I have on there are my contact list (which contains names, not necessarily accurate, and phone numbers), as well as a couple of games. I go out of my way to make sure I never put anything sensitive on it or do any sort of personal finances. My work phone is another matter. That is not Anti-Malware software that periodically scans for infection.
So, are there any tips that can help people improve their Mobile Security?
I) Install Anti-Malware and Security Software on your phone
This is the basics, but it is also a good place to start. There are several options available for download; pick your favourite and set it up. Do not rely purely on built-in Security (Windows has had built-in Anti-Malware for years, and the advice is always to buy something else.)
II) Don’t do your finances from your phone (if you can avoid it)
I wrote a newsletter in the summer of 2019 about a farm that lost a huge amount of money, because of mobile banking. In that case, no Malware was involved. If you can, do all your personal banking from your computer. If you are paranoid about it, install a browser that you only use when doing your banking. You may think that is a bit over the top, but it is not. I could easily take this much, MUCH further.
III) Do not combine your work phone and your personal phone
If your company has a policy that says your position requires a cellphone, make sure you do not combine it with your personal one. This may seem like a simpler option, since you do not need 2 phones, but it’s not. You should treat your business equipment and personal gear differently. Also, it’s unsafe to allow your employees the option of using a personal phone, instead of supplying them with one of your own.
IV) Never connect a personal phone/device to an organization’s network
For personal devices, only use the public network at the office, to get Internet access. This becomes an issue when you combine your personal and work devices (which is one reason not to do so.) A personal device is a potential unknown, so it should NEVER be allowed to connect to an internal corporate network. This should be stated in your policies EXPLICITLY and pursued, if discovered.
V) Keep your phone’s operating system up to date
The current newest version of Android is 10.0 / The current newest version of iOS is 13.6
Check your phone’s settings to see if it has the most up-to-date version, or not. If it does not, then check for an update. If there is none, it could mean your phone mode is no longer receiving updates (or maybe one is in the works.) Updates are linked to the hardware (a Galaxy 9 and a Galaxy 10 are very different), so your phone will not be updated forever. Phones are often sold during a certain number of years. Just because you have only owned it for a little while, does not mean it was not on the market for 2 or 3 years before you bought it. If your phone’s hardware is more than about 4 years old, do not expect the updates to last for much longer.
VI) Don’t select links you receive in your messages
SMS (text messages) have a lot of ways to exploit you, by hiding the details of a website you visit. The only time it is okay to do that, is if you are expecting to receive something and even then, it is better to get that sort of thing in your email and view it on your computer.
VII) Don’t connect your phone to any app stores, except for the authorized one
Third party app stores do not necessarily have rules that are as strict as the Apple and Google stores. That does not mean you can simply trust any application on the major app stores. Part of the reason that third party app stores exist, is because of the rather large cut that Apple and Google take for using their stores (around 30% of everything.)
Phones are like credit cards in that they are designed to be convenient, and they are. What you need to remember is that when push comes to shove, convenience wins, not Security. Finally, I will end off with a bit of Shakespeare paraphrasing:
And yet, to say the truth, Security and Convenience keep little company together nowadays.
If you have any questions about Mobile Security, please reach out to your TRINUS Account Manager for some stress-free IT.
By Kind Courtesy of Your Friendly Neighbourhood Cyber-Man.