Over fifty percent of web traffic worldwide today is via mobile. Considering the amount of time we spend using our smartphones, this fact should come as no surprise – but are we trying hard enough to keep ourselves safe when we surf the internet? Although mobile devices used to have superior online security to PCs, cybercriminals have been targeting their safety protocols more and more in recent years. Despite this, most smartphone users don’t even consider installing any software to protect against threats.
Research also suggests that mobile users exercise less caution when following links, as evidenced by a much higher rate of clickthrough. This is likely due to the ease of tapping the screen with a finger, and it is more probable that a link advertising more on instant withdrawal casinos here will be followed from mobile than from a PC. Even those who are fairly vigilant on a home computer don’t always take the same care using a smartphone. Here are five tips on how to make sure you stay safe when surfing the internet via mobile.
1. Choose how and when you connect
One of the quickest ways that people give up their online security is in favor of convenience. Modern smartphones can be paired with or connected to a whole range of other devices, and set to do so automatically. In this case, the fact that we can does not mean that we should. If you use a sharing app like AirDrop or its Android equivalent Nearby Share, only keep it on when you are actually using it. WiFi and Bluetooth should be treated the same. If you are really serious about keeping those connections under control, then you can switch to airplane mode when you are not using it.
2. Public networks are a security risk
Speaking of convenience, being connected all the time is very important to a lot of us. In order to conserve our data plans, we often take advantage of the many public networks that are all around us in most urban areas. The only safe way to use these is to assume the worst of their safety protocols. So it’s fine to look up the time of the next movie showing, but checking your bank balance is a big no-no. Alternatively, install a VPN to hide your IP address and add an extra layer of data encryption. While you’re at it, you may want to update your mobile browser to one that blocks tracking software and adverts.
3. Install security software for mobile
As mentioned in the intro, the rate of use for mobile security software is much lower than that of PC. Even the experts are not in complete agreement that this is a necessary precaution, but if you subscribe to the school of better safe than sorry, then it’s a must. It also means that you can be a bit less hyper-vigilant, although it is still inadvisable to access sensitive information while using an open network.
4. Never download unverified apps
Unsurprisingly, apps are the easiest way for cybercriminals to infect your device with malware or access your data. Apps can be found in many places online, but always stick to the official app store for your OS. Even some of the apps found here can be potentially risky, especially as they can theoretically access a large amount of your phone’s data.
5. Stay vigilant for scams
Rates of SMS-based phishing scams have skyrocketed in recent months. These often claim to be from companies like your home utilities or internet service provider, and many look very plausible. Always think hard when you receive a link via SMS, and practice excessive caution with all unknown phone numbers.