Four Ways Hackers May Be Trying to Infect Your Device
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What You Need to Know About Ransomware for Mobile Phones!
Spotting malware on your desktop PC is not too hard. You may stumble across random pop-ups constantly opening up right in the middle of your screen, the hardware performance may take a nosedive, weird noises might start coming from inside of the case, or you may be asked to pay a ransom. In other words, there’s no need to be a cyber security expert to diagnose that something is amiss with your machine. But can the same be said for your mobile phone?
Mobile phones require a different approach
Although many symptoms may be similar, as a smartphone user, you may not even notice that anything is wrong with your device… until it’s too late. After all, there’s no taskbar or pop-up window that would give away the presence of malware on your system. Being a mobile VPN user doesn’t shield you from infections, despite it being a great way to protect your online privacy in all other aspects.
Mobile-targeting ransomware is on the rise
Relatively recent research points toward the fact that in 2016, mobile-targeting malware almost tripled in numbers. In the very same year, around 40 million attacks were spotted. Although malware for Android is more prevalent than the one targeting iOS users, both of these user groups should not neglect the security of their devices.
Hackers are spreading infected apps
Infected apps are the one of the most common malware delivery method in the world of mobiles. Repackaging and impersonating popular apps is one of the methods attackers use to lure you into downloading them. However, sometimes hackers decide to code something entirely from scratch and market it as a legitimate app. To stay safe from most of these threats, avoid any third-party app stores. They don’t scan what developers submit as meticulously as the official app stores do. However, don’t think you’re 100% safe by sticking to the latter either. In 2015, for example, 250 iOS malicious apps were purged from the app store. Unfortunately, however, thousands of users were unlucky enough to have downloaded them beforehand.
You can get infected through a malicious advertising campaign
Even if you’re behind a mobile VPN, clicking on a malicious ad is all it takes for your device to get infected with malware. Unless you decide to avoid clicking on ads altogether, being cautious won’t save you – these ads look completely normal at first glance. Some aggressive versions of these malicious websites were designed to take over your entire screen, but some may take a stealthier approach. In some cases, touching the screen when it gets run over by malicious ads can be just the thing that triggers the malicious download.
Hackers may take you for a ride and scam you
Manipulation is another tool in hackers’ arsenal. Once your system gets infected with malware, hackers may send you fake alerts to trick you into doing their bidding. Scamming you, however, is not out of the question even when your device is completely malware-free. Using social manipulation tactics (and in some instances even phishing), a hacker can trick you into downloading and installing malware on your device. Sometimes, visiting an infected website is all it takes.
Mind the direct attacks to device
In dire circumstances or when the opportunity presents itself, a hacker will try to obtain physical access to your device and attempt to install malware manually. Whether forcefully visiting an infected website or transferring it from another computer or infected storage device, this is how numerous high-profile attacks are executed. Leaving your device unattended for a couple of minutes can be all it takes for it to happen.
Learn to get rid of malware that’s already installed on your phone
Despite taking every possible preventative measure into account, you can still get infected if you’re out of luck. Therefore, it’s essential to get a good antivirus scanner and run it often. Did you know it’s also possible to remove the malware manually? If you’re certain which app is causing the problem, you can go ahead and uninstall it yourself through the Application Manager. You can access it by opening up the settings menu.
Remember to stay vigilant at all times
In the best possible scenario, your goal would be to prevent malware from nesting itself on your phone in the first place. Think twice about what websites you visit, what apps you install, and who you’re chatting with. Using a mobile VPN, for example, will make it harder for an attacker to sniff out your real IP, which is the first thing they need to launch a direct attack against your device. On a positive note, once you know all the concepts we’ve discussed today, it will be much more difficult for hackers to access you, and they’ll likely end up searching for an easier target.
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