Group President, Group Managing Director & Editor In Chief: Dr.Shelly Ahmed

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Is Your Smartphone Protected From Cyber Criminals?

By Sukanya Mahapatro / Bhubaneshwar

There was a time only when criminals with a face were on the prowl. This class included people who snatched gold chains, picked pockets or stole cars. But with wealth management going online, they have become faceless, at least until they are tracked down. In fact, until a few years ago, tracking these cyber criminal was not so difficult as a hacker could be traced back to his computer. But that is not the case any more.
A report published in the Business Line today said this is due to a software which spoofs IPs and hence cover the hacker’s identify as well as the place of his origin. The attacks by cyber criminals just got more intense as, with increasing popularity of smartphones, the number of viruses and malware that can be used to hack also surged.

“A sample study carried out by our company in eight cities shows that more than one lakh smartphones are subjected to cyber attacks every day in India,” Ritesh Chopra, country sales manager of anti-virus manufacturer Norton, has been quoted as saying in the report.

There are various types of risks. Such attacks not only affects the hardware slowing down the phone, but also your exposes your personal data to the criminals. Many of us store details of our bank accounts and other such personal financial data on our smartphone these days. But unlike PCs and laptops, most of these smartphones don’t have anti-virus software installed. Since many use social media via smartphones, identity theft too becomes an added risk.

So what should you do? One way to deal with this issue is to get rid of the smartphone and use a low-end phone instead. But if that’s not possible, you could take a few steps to mitigate the risk. For instance, don’t have your internet switched on your phone when you are not using it. Also be cautious while using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, since these are relatively more vulnerable to such attacks. And finally, you could install antivirus software. Read the full Business Line story here.

INN take: We think using a low end phone really is not a solution but installing an antivirus from a reputed company is. Also, ensure that you download only those apps which you really need. If an apps seeks access to your contact list, better avoid it. Surfing untrustworthy websites like porn sites will also make your  smartphone vulnerable as such sites without a doubt spread virus. If you are not sure whether your smartphone has been a victim of a virus attack, there are a few indicators which will help you identify. 

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