Smartphones are vulnerable to cybercrime, too!

close up of hands on a smartphone
2 minute read  

It’s becoming increasingly common knowledge that cyber crime is on the rise, and your computer and laptop are susceptible to attacks. But what many may not consider is how vulnerable their phone is.

Criminals are turning their attention to smartphones due to the personal and financial information they carry. Most phones have little security and anti-malware protection. Given the right opportunity, malware creators can breach your email and contact lists, monitor highly personal communications, and capture important data such as your mobile banking app passwords. Even if you avoid using banking apps on your smartphone, you may use messaging apps that have previously experienced spyware attacks and expose information previously sent using them.

You’ve probably received a spam call from local phone numbers and international numbers, so you may be more inclined to trust a text message. But before you trust a text message, consider if it’s coming from a trusted source. If there’s a link included in the text, it would be best to err on the side of caution and not click it unless you  were expecting to receive the text. Otherwise you may end up clicking a link that could download a virus onto your phone or request sensitive information from you in a convincing manner.

Which phones are safe from cyber attacks?

While no mobile phones are impenetrable, recent reports show that androids may be easier to hack since the apps are not as tightly regulated and can be installed from untrusted sources across the wider internet. That being said, smartphones running iOS are not impervious to cyber attacks.

On top of that, many retailers do little to promote anti-virus software for smartphones. There are even cases of Android phones coming preinstalled with unremovable malware, meaning they have unwanted apps installed without the knowledge or permission of the user. This can lead to compromised security and privacy.

What is fleeceware?

Fleeceware is a new type of financial fraud that involves smartphone apps illegally charging users at the end of a trial period. If you use any apps to help you run your business (or your life!), make sure you do ample research before you sign up for any trial periods. It may not be a cyber attack, but if it affects your bottom line, it’s something to be mindful of.

Ensure you’re covered

If you’re thinking of insuring your business against cyber crime, make sure you look for a cyber insurance policy that provides coverage for portable computer systems which include not just laptops, but also tablets, smartphones, USB keys/flash drives and similar portable devices.

To learn more about cyber insurance and how it can help your business, visit our cyber risk and data breach coverage page today!

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