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Expert Reveals 7 Tips to Protect your Phone from Malware Attacks

July 2023 by Alain Vartnanian, the co-founder and mobile security expert at Customer Service Number

As our usage of smartphones increases, so do the risks and threats with mobile malware attacks as one of the most significant ones.

Mobile malware is a malicious software designed to attack phones specifically with the aim of stealing your private information. Mobile malware attacks rose to a whopping 500% during the first quarter of last year and experts predict this will increase in 2023 as well.

To prevent malware attacks on your phone, here are some great safety precautions to follow from Alain Vartanian, a mobile security expert at Customer Service Number.

Keep Your OS Up to Date
Check regularly for any operating system updates, as they’re essential in keeping your phone secure.

These updates include important maintenance improvements, security fixes and vulnerability patches to keep your device running smoothly and securely.

“Operating system updates are designed to improve the performance and security of your phone.

Keeping your device up to date ensures that your device is protected from current and newly discovered threats.

If you don’t update your device accordingly, attackers can find loopholes and exploit them," Alain warns.

Install a Good Antivirus App
Protecting your phone is as important as protecting your computer. Antivirus apps are not only for computers.

You should install it on your phone, too. A good antivirus keeps your phone protected from malware.

“The apps you install and files you download can contain malware. Having a good antivirus app prevents malicious software from infecting your phone.

Antivirus apps protect your phone from suspicious websites by blocking them and can also wipe your phone in case of theft or loss,” says the expert.

Download Apps from Trusted Sources Only
Download apps only from legitimate sources, such as Apple App Store or Google Play. Unofficial stores contain malicious apps that replicate trusted brands. Once installed, they can steal confidential information.

“Don’t install apps from unofficial or shady third-party websites.

Hackers create fake apps and try to trick you into downloading them through untrusted sites.

Even when you are in official app stores, be careful to look for user reviews and developer information before downloading, as there are cases when apps with malware can be listed on trusted stores,” Alain recommends.

Make Sure to Use Protected Wi-Fi
Using free and public Wi-Fi is tempting, especially when you have limited data. However, these free, unsecured networks come with risks too.

“Public networks are usually not encrypted. This allows hackers to eavesdrop on the traffic of the network and easily access your personal information.

Make sure to use Wi-Fi that is encrypted only. If you have to connect to public Wi-Fi, then use VPN, which encrypts your data, hides your location and protects your information.

Remember to never make transactions using public Wi-Fi,” Alain suggests.

Be Careful of Message Scams

Text messages are a common way to attack mobile users. Hackers send text messages that look to be from a reputable source, such as a company, hoping that you provide personal information.

“One popular method of phishing is to receive texts that report issues with your account and require confidential information to fix them.

If you receive such requests, contact the company channels immediately to confirm the request.

Do not give personal information via text, as hackers will use that information to steal whatever data they can from you,” warns the expert.
Do Not Open Suspicious Emails or Links

You should avoid emails with suspicious links. Hackers use this trick to make you believe that the email is sent to you from a person or entity you know.

“Check the email sender before you click any links. The email addresses they use are not official. The content of the email often contains spelling and grammar mistakes.

If you receive unsolicited attachments and requests, then avoid such links because once you click on the link, malware will be installed on your phone,” Alain says.
Turn Off Your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth if You’re Not Using Them

Hackers know which Wi-Fi you were connected to before, so they can spoof them and trick your phone into connecting to those networks.

Once connected to your phone, hackers can infect it with malware and steal data.

That’s why it’s best to turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in public, especially when you don’t need them.

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