The state of mobile security around the world is a popular topic of conversation among SynchroNet technicians. We get to meet many clients who are not aware of the multiple threats and risks they can bring into their businesses and personal lives just by using their smartphones in unsecure manners.
Just about all of us make regular use of smartphones on a daily basis, but estimates by Google, which happens to be the developer of the Android operating system, suggest that only 30% of us actually operate our mobile devices in a manner that can be considered fully secured.
At SynchroNet, we enjoy explaining the basics of smartphone security to our clients. Below you will find a few tips that can go a long way towards making your mobile experience safer:
Make Sure Your Smartphone is Still Supported
The mobile device you truly enjoy using will always be the one you think is best for your lifestyle and needs, but this may not always be the latest version. Quite a few smartphone users feel more comfortable with older devices; this could be a matter of form, style , or user interface preferences, but it doesn't necessarily translate into adequate security.
Once manufacturers or operating system developers stop supporting mobile devices, users are left out of crucial security patches and upgrades. If you're still using an iPhone 6 or iPhone SE in 2022, you are out of the security update loop. If your Android smartphone or tablet runs on version 7, you could be targeted with several exploits that Google no longer intends to address.
Information security researchers who evaluate operating systems will tell you that Android 11 and 12 have come a long way in terms of security, and the same can be said about iOS 13 and above.
Get Acquainted With Your Smartphone's Security Features
As previously mentioned, information security researchers are truly pleased with the way Apple and Google have been developing their respective mobile operating systems. In the case of Apple, iOS 13 marked a new era of smartphone security; for Android, version 11 is superb, but version 12 really shines.
Unfortunately, not many users take the time to learn about all the features they could be using for a safer experience. If your smartphone is equipped with a fingerprint reader, please take the time to set it up.
If you wish to minimize the likelihood of spyware attacks on your iPhone, be sure to check out Apple Lockdown Mode, which is included included with iOS 16. Google released Smart Lock and Authenticator apps in recent versions of Android, and they have been welcomed by the information security community.
Be Careful When Installing Apps
Most of the mobile security threats affecting smartphone users these days come from malicious apps. If you stick to getting your mobile apps from trusted sources such as the Apple App Store in Google Play, you will be safer than if you follow a random link, but this does not let you off the hook completely.
The App Store tends to be safer than Google Play, but you can make your Android experience more secure if you enable Google Play Protect, a relatively new feature that not many people are aware of.
It is always a good idea to review the apps you have installed and the permissions you have set for them; while you can always do this manually, major internet security vendors such as Norton offer mobile app scanning as part of their subscriptions. This app review is particularly important if you opt to "sideload" apps from sources other than official app stores; you never know when malicious code has been added to the app.