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Cyber criminals turning their attention to smart phones

Business Technology | January 25, 2013

The vast majority of malware attacks still take place on PCs. But cybercriminals are increasingly turning their attention to smart phones. And no wonder: Smartphones have grown to be miniature computers. Many people use smartphones to surf the Web, read e-mail messages and do banking on the go. These products, then, are ripe for attack. Fortunately, there are things you can do to guard your smartphone from hackers.

Scary Numbers

The security firm F-Secure shows the rather frightening numbers: According to the firm, the quantity of malware attacks directed at mobile Android devices quadrupled from the first quarter of 2011 to the same quarter in 2012. That’s just one of several unsettling statistics regarding mobile malware. CNN Money writer David Goldman, for instance, recently cited a report from security firm Lookout Security that four in 10 smart phone users will click or swipe a suspicious Web Link this year. Goldman also writes that smart phone cyber attacks have spiked by a factor of six, based on numbers revealed from anti-virus company McAfee.

The Good News

These numbers shouldn’t cause smart phone users to toss their devices in the river. In spite of the rise in mobile malware, cyber criminals continue to focusing primarily on PCs. For one reason, it’s easier. Developers have learned from their past mistakes, and have managed to make it much more hard for cyber criminals to take over smartphones and other mobile devices. On top of that, these criminals are so effective in targeting PC users, they’ve got little financial incentive to focus on mobile devices. Consumers, though, shouldn’t count on this for much longer, Goldman writes. As smart phones continue to increase in popularity, they will see a greater number, and variety, of malware attacks.

Protect Yourself

You can protect your phone from mobile malware attacks. You can begin by downloading anti-virus software from reputable companies. Be cautious, though–cyber criminals could create bogus anti-virus software that doesn’t protect your phone but rather sends these criminals your personal information. Also, be sure to research any app before you decide to download it. You want to be sure that it is provided by a reputable company. Finally, be equally cautious about phishing schemes just like you should be while sitting in front of your PC. Never provide your Social Security Number, bank account numbers or other important information in an e-mail. Your bank will not ask for such numbers inside an e-mail.


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