Cyber-attacks are now a problem for the whole internet community, with daily attacks becoming the norm. And it’s not just aimed at corporations either. The everyday average individual is a soft target for attackers because they don’t consider themselves to be in danger. Even when they know about best practices in cyber security. The fact remains that most people think it can’t happen to them. In truth, a person will be targeted at least once in their lifetime, and most people many times more than that.
Why do People Become Targets of Cyber-attacks?
Android users are at particular risk of being targeted by malicious characters because these devices are so popular. It’s important for an attacker to invest their time and skills into a venture that is as profitable as possible. Stealing and profiting off one person’s data or identity is nothing when they can get access to thousands or millions of devices. Another factor that escalates the risk for Android users is the fact that manufacturers don’t update the software as often as they should.
The latest version of Android can take months to be implemented and sometimes never arrive. Most Android devices only receive security updates for around two years at most. And since people tend to keep their phones for much longer than that, it may lead to a disaster if they cannot access the latest security patches. Another big motivator is the people work for. Many attackers don’t care about the individual but rather what information they can get to.
What Security Risks do Android Users Face?
These days, people have their entire lives on display on the internet. That includes not only those questionable photos from last year’s office party but sensitive private information too. Online shopping and banking have made it very convenient to conduct every transaction in digital form. But that comes with significant risks if people don’t take the necessary steps to protect themselves.
These exploiters can do all sorts of things with the information they glean, from selling people’s identities to blackmailing them. Once an attacker has access to a phone, they can see everything a person is doing on it. They can also use the camera and microphone – criminals are unscrupulous about invading personal space. Mobile security isn’t just about implementing fancy tricks and tools. It’s also about building a habit of doing safe things every day. It’s entirely possible for simple preventative measures to be effective.
Set up a Smart Lock:
It’s as simple as that, really. Smart locks have been around for years now yet somehow people still fail to set them up. Don’t be like them – just do it. Setting up a smart lock on an Android phone is easy to do and takes a couple of seconds. But it could spare months of misery in case your phone gets stolen. The method of setting up a smart lock varies from one Android manufacturer to another. However, it generally goes something like this: Settings > Lock screen & Security > Screen Lock. The location and/or terminology might slightly differ from one model to another, but this is the basic idea.
Use Two-Factor Verification:
Long gone are the days where simply using a password makes something very secure. If those days ever existed in the first place. Instead, many companies are relying on two-factor authentication to add another layer of security on top of the usual password login method. This trend is growing rapidly, and most popular apps, financial websites, and software clients now use two-factor authentication.
Secure all Google Accounts:
Google apps are an inseparable part of the Android operating system. Making sure that an Android device’s Google accounts are secure is one of the most important steps on this list. That’s where all of the synced user data is stored after all. This step is not only important for keeping the data on the phone safe, but also for other security measures to work. For instance, when using two-factor verification on any other apps or websites that are linked to a Google email address. A compromised Google email account will render those security measures useless as well.
Ironically, the best way to secure all Google Accounts is through two-factor authentication. But it deserved a separate mention due to how important it is in this case. To set up two-step verification on a Google account through Android, do the following:
- Go to the Google Account settings they can be found in the settings tab in Gmail
- Go to the “Security” tab
- Click on “Two-Step Verification”
- Also, make sure to enable sign-in notifications
Turn on Find My Phone:
Again, a simple trick that almost everyone is aware of, but so few people actually do. This is important, however, because people don’t just face threats from cyber attackers on the internet. Theft is still a very genuine danger and without this feature turned on, most people have almost zero chances of recovering their phone. Or, if need be, remotely reset it so the thief won’t find any valuable info.
To find the “Find My Phone” settings, go to Settings > General > Lock screen & Security > Find My Device. Again, the terms and location might differ a bit from one smartphone model to the next.
Get a Password Manager:
Let’s be honest. Most people don’t follow good password practices, even though they know that they should. Likely, it’s due to the it won’t ever happen to me mentality. But hackers can and will take advantage if they get the opportunity. One promising solution is password managers. This software lets people continue doing what they’re already doing – remember a single password.
Instead of using that one password for everything, it’s used to open the ‘vault’ of passwords in the manager. It also has to be long and complicated. The generated passwords stored safely within the password manager can be used for any account and are hard to crack.