February 12, 2014
It’s time to know all the ways you can make sure you’re safe when in mobile space to prevent identity theft.
- It’s 10 pm; do know where the malware is? Malware is stealthy and hides in places you least expect, like search engines, tech-related sites, entertainment sites and web ads. Malware can even be waiting for you when you download what seems to be an innocent app for your favorite game. In fact, gaming and gambling sites are common targets, as are search engines—and these threats aren’t going to disappear too soon. Install antivirus especially on Android phones.
- Beware of peeping toms. That is, someone peering over your shoulder to catch you typing in a password. Mobile devices don’t mask passwords with those big dots like a laptop or desktop will. That snooping thief is hoping to get a glimpse of your password. Consider sitting against a wall when using your mobile in public. Cover your device with your other hand when entering PINs
- Click with discretion. The mobile webscape is replete with juicy-looking items to click: promotions, ads, weblinks…and it’s pretty much impossible to tell the legit ones from the fraudulent ones. Even the URL can’t indicate this. Scam offers can look legit and trick you into clicks. Don’t let the menagerie of all that stuff to click on overwhelm you. Don’t visit anyplace you’re not sure of.
- Don’t get reeled in by phishing e-mails. What should you do if you get an e-mail from eBay or something like that, requesting you click a link to update your credit card information because suspension of your account is imminent? Don’t open. Delete.
- Credit card companies, the IRS, banks, etc., will never contact you via e-mail and request your private information. Other scams take the form of announcements you’ve won money, your password has been compromised, or some other emotional message. Make a habit of never even opening these.
- Stay with app stores. The mobile webscape is cluttered with enticing offers of free downloads. A minority are fraudulent and it’s impossible to tell which are which. Never download from mobile-only sites or those crammed with ads. Download only from app stores you trust.
- No “Jailbreaking or “rooting”. These terms refer to installing software that will break down the walled gardens of your iPhone or Android. Once you do this you oprn the devices up to malware.