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Smartphones, Tablets & Co.: Security To Go

Apart from technical threats – new devices and new systems naturally also open up new paths of attack – after all, in an age of mobile user devices the "physical" access factor also plays a major role.

In addition to the rising volume of malware for mobile operating systems, mobile devices also have a higher risk for profiling: with GPS coordinates, for example, it is possible to generate precise records of locations and keep track of people's whereabouts to within a metre.

Beyond the misuse of geographic positions and meta data, it is essentially possible to distinguish four different modes of attack:

  1. Functional restrictions or limitations, shutdowns
  2. "Remote control" of the system
  3. Theft of or tampering with data/identity
  4. Redirects to or activation of added value service(s)

Assailant codes are usually loaded unnoticed together with "normal" programs, games for example. In addition, Android also makes it possible to install mobile phone software via a Google account – user consent is already given in the browser. Gf a Google account is hacked or the access data has been phished, the linked smartphone or tablet is also under the assailant's control.

Smartphones are being used more and more like computers so they should also be protected against assailants and harmful malware:

  • Avoid leaving your mobile devices unattended (not just for anti-theft reasons)
  • Protect your mobile phone and tablet like your computer with passwords
  • Make sure you are not being watched when you are entering passwords or private data
  • Download a reputable virus scanner optimised for your operating system and protect yourself with text messaging remote control against third-party access to your data
  • Never surf the web from an insecure wireless network, always use https connections
  • Never download apps from third-party providers
  • Take a critical view of any authorisations that call for apps – in case of doubt, steer clear of the software and make enquiries with the developer

 

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