GoMo’s protect your smartphone advice for Xmas

Rating: Inspired by Stonesoft’s Top ten tips

Install a decent mobile security app like avast! for Android

We all know that significant numbers of handsets – especially smartphones, will be given as Xmas presents this year. However, consumers don’t naturally associate mobile phones with threats from hackers, viruses and malware. As Ash Patel, regional director with Stonesoft, says, “To a consumer, cybercrime may seem a distant threat that is mostly related to espionage between nation-states or hacking against big enterprises.” However, mobile devices are very easy to steal as we’ve reported before but they can contain seriously damaging personal data – such as credit card information and even login details for social networks. So Stonesoft has put together its own Top Ten tips on mobile security for Xmas time. Sound advice but not always entirely  practical.For example, take Top No. 5. ‘Change the default access code and the PIN code of the SIM card’. Do not use your birth year or other number combinations that would be too easy to guess

That’s fine but as we reported here ‘iphone is the most snatched handset – official‘,  thieves have got wise to this and steal your phone whilst you are on it.

So instead, consider something like McAfee’s App Lock (see ‘App Lock from McAfee defends against handset loss‘) which protects individual apps within the smartphone.

So, for example, even if the handset isn’t locked, the thief still wouldn’t have your password for eBay.

Now the piece of advice we regard as useless is Tip No. 2 ‘ Install programs only from reliable sources, e.g. well-known appliance stores such as App Store, Google Play or Nokia Store.’

No. There are lots of very smart Android applications which require smartphone users to download software from ‘unknown sources’.

Enabling this facility from the Android Settings menu (see Security & screen lock) allows you to download apps from a source other than Google Play (Android Marketplace).

There are many trustworthy app stores around – including Getjar and Opera, for example. So Tip No.2 is impractical.

GoMobile News would argue that it is a function of your mobile security app to protect you from malware.

If you have installed decent security software this shouldn’t be a worry.

Did you know for example, that it is entirely feasible to run two security apps simultaneously – usually without each app clashing with another?

Here at GoMobile Towers, we run avast! mobile secuirty and AVG AntiVirus at the same time with no problems.

We do, however,  agree with Stonesoft’s Tip No. 10 ‘Make regular backups of all data in your mobile device. Cloud services are practical for this purpose.’

Should your smartphone become infected with malware, then you can erase all data by performing a factory reset. Then restore your data from a previous backup.

Better still, if you use a cloud based service – like pple’s  icloud- then you won’t lose your mobile data if your personal computer gets infected.

Plus – if you accidentally upload a PC virus from your smartphone, that won’t be a problem if the backup is cloud based. We don’t know any cloud service that runs on Windows!!!

To see the full Stonesoft Top Ten tips go here.

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
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