With the festivities of the new year long gone, it’s time to take a step back and truly contemplate what 2016 will look like. There are a lot of trends being predicted right now, but one of the most important for the average American is mobile security. Keeping private information safe has always been a priority, but now more than ever smartphone threat protection is of the utmost importance.
According to the Pew Research Center, around 68 percent of American adults own a smartphone. With that number continuously growing, it’s clear that the U.S. needs a wake up call concerning the security of these handy devices.
China will push mobile malware
Although citizens from every country need to be concerned about hackers attacking their phones, the one nation that seems to be pushing mobile malware development is China. According to Trend Micro CTO Raimund Genes, Chinese hackers are going to bring the total number of mobile malware to 20 million within the next year.
The main reason for this doesn’t seem to be that China has more hackers or even that their cybercriminals are more advanced in their techniques. Rather, Chinese citizens are using less-than-safe methods for downloading their mobile apps. Many Chinese users utilize third-party app stores in order to procure their apps.
This is a serious problem because of how little work these stores put in to vetting the apps that are for sale. Other vendors, such as Google Play, have very stringent standards for the apps that they put in their store. This requires a lot of testing, and therefore weeds out the malicious apps from the harmless ones. Google does this because they have a reputation to protect, and this customer-facing image can be very easily destroyed by a malicious app making its way to the store.
On the other hand, third-party app stores are all about profit, and without much of a need to protect their reputation these stores don’t put much testing into the apps they allow. This allows Chinese hackers to easily infiltrate devices for personal gain.
While this is a major warning for Chinese mobile users, the information contained here is still relevant for American audiences worried about mobile threat protection in 2016. Basically, anyone wishing to avoid getting their phone hacked should absolutely avoid downloading apps from shady third-party stores. They may offer better deals, but those savings come at a price.
It’s all about the money
Personal gain of course means money, which is really what hackers are after when they attempt to take control of any device. A study conducted by Verizon found that 75 percent of hackers did their malicious deed in order to profit monetarily.
While this certainly isn’t surprising, it should be in the forefront of every smartphone owner’s mind when they are using their device in the coming year. Basically, users should be constantly thinking about whether or not their actions could result in a hacker stealing their financial information in one way or another.
This could be as big as not posting a picture of your new credit card on Instagram, or as small as mentioning a beloved pet’s name if the person uses it for a password. It also means smartphone owners should never give their financial information to an app that they aren’t 100 percent sure of. Safe application would be your bank’s official app, as this institution is obviously committed to threat protection.
Protect yourself with Trend Micro Mobile Solutions
Avoiding bad apps may be enough to stop some hacking attempts, but those truly concerned about their content security need to invest in mobile cyber security software. Following best practices while online may provide a certain level of protection, but at the end of the day users need dedicated software on their devices to fill in all the security holes.
Thankfully, Trend Micro offers some of the best mobile cyber security software available. With solutions ranging from mobile backup services to protection against viruses and malware, Trend Micro can help users stay in control of their personal information without having to constantly live in fear that a cyber criminal will take what’s theres.