Halloween has to be one of my favorite holidays of the year. Creative costumes, buckets of candy, and pumpkin spice lattes make All Hallows’ Eve a memorable event for people of all ages. But what I love most about Halloween is the traditions associated with it: pumpkin carving, trick or treating and bobbing for apples are just a few of the traditions that have stood the test of time.
The one thing I don’t like about Halloween? All things scary. Ghosts, killer clowns and the undead all give me heebie-jeebies. Oh, and scary mobile threats. And no, I’m not talking about the girl from The Ring, I’m talking about spyware, ghost apps and more!
I Know What You Did Because of Spyware
Spyware is a type of malware that lurks in the shadows of your trusted device, collecting information around your browsing habits, personal information and more. Your private information is then sent to third parties, without your knowledge. Spooky stuff.
Dawn of the Dead Apps
Think haunted graveyards only exist in horror movies, think again! Old apps lying dormant on your phones are like app graveyards, especially since some of these older apps may no longer be supported by Google or Apple stores. These apps can be infected with malware or they could potentially be leaking your data to a third party.
Bone Chilling Botnets
Botnets emulate Invasion of the Body Snatchers, on your mobile device. What is a botnet you ask? When malware infiltrates a mobile device, through something like a sketchy app or phishing scam, the device becomes a “bot”. This bot or bots then become a part of collection of infected internet connected devices, that are used to spread viruses, generate spam, and all sorts of cybercrime. Most mobile device users aren’t even aware that their gadgets are compromised, which is why protecting your device before an attack is so important.
Malicious Click or Treat
Clicking links and mobile devices go together like Frankenstein and his bride. Which is why ad and click fraud through mobile devices is becoming more prevalent for cybercriminals. Whether through a phishing campaign or malicious apps, hackers are able to gain access to your device and your private information. Always remember to click with caution.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a staple in our everyday lives, and hackers are always ready to target easy prey. Most IoT devices connect to mobile devices, so if a hacker is able to gain access to your smartphone, they can infiltrate your connected devices as well. Or vice versa.
Moral of the story: mobile threats can give us all a good spook. But you can keep your devices protected from malicious threats by following these tips:
- Be a click-buster: Always be on alert when clicking links, especially when they seem too good to be true.
- Update regularly: Whether you’re updating your devices’ software or just simply getting rid of old apps, this practice helps to ensure your device stays secure.
- Get secure: We can’t stress enough how important is to use comprehensive security software to protect your personal devices.
Following these precautions will help you steer clear of cybercriminals’ tricks this Halloween, and keep you in the clear from a mobile security breach.
"author": "Radhika Sarang",
"category": "Consumer Threat Notices",
"authordetail": "Radhika Sarang currently serves as Director of Global Consumer Product Marketing at McAfee, and has worked in a strategic marketing capacity for top tier high tech companies since 1998. Prior to joining McAfee, Radhika led product marketing for Nokia’s social location consumer division, and also served as the Sr. Product Manager for Palm’s WebOS devices",
"pubDate": "Wed, 24 OCT 2017 12:35:48 +0000"