Five se­cu­rity tips to stay safe

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TECHNOLOGY -

In to­day’s world, most things are doc­u­mented, stored and com­mu­ni­cated through our dig­i­tal de­vices, be it a smart­phone or tablet. Keep­ing them safe in­volves more than just pre­vent­ing in­tru­sion by ma­li­cious soft­ware but ac­tu­ally phys­i­cally pro­tect­ing th­ese de­vices.

Here are five tips from se­cu­rity spe­cial­ist F-se­cure on how to keep your per­sonal de­vices safe from harm.

Stay alert.

theft and loss of smart­phones to­day is at an all­time high. to­day, the chances of your smart­phone be­ing stolen or mis­placed are higher than ac­tu­ally get­ting ma­li­cious soft­ware on it. so stay alert and aware of your sur­round­ings while you’re us­ing your de­vice.

No free lunch.

this maxim is es­pe­cially true when it comes to apps. Mal­ware creators can eas­ily repack­age pop­u­lar games such as Candy Crush and An­gry Birds to in­clude mal­ware and put them up on third-party app stores or file­shar­ing ser­vices for un­sus­pect­ing users to down­load. this is cur­rently the pre­ferred way for cy­ber-crim­i­nals to tar­get smart­phones in or­der to col­lect per­sonal de­tails they can sell. F-se­cure Labs de­tected 149 new mo­bile mal­ware fam­i­lies in just the first three months of 2013.

Size mat­ters.

the rel­a­tively small screens on mo­bile de­vices aren’t ideal for spot­ting sus­pi­cious de­tails in an e-mail or web­page, es­pe­cially when you’re us­ing the de­vice in a busy, dis­tract­ing en­vi­ron­ment. this makes it easy for cy­ber-crim­i­nals to get away with mi­nor trick­ery — such as a web­site named in­stead of ama­ — that would be eas­ily spot­ted on a full-sized screen.

Do not jail­break or root your smart­phone.

Jail­break­ing is a tech­ni­cal term for re­mov­ing re­stric­tions set on the op­er­at­ing sys­tem (os) of your de­vice. this is usu­ally done to gain full con­trol of the os or to down­load apps from third-party hosts. Un­for­tu­nately, root­ing also makes your de­vice more sus­cep­ti­ble to mal­ware and in­tru­sion.

Scan your apps.

Use mo­bile se­cu­rity soft­ware to pro­tect your an­droid smart­phone. If you acci- den­tally down­load a tainted app from an un­known source, or click a phish­ing link, mo­bile se­cu­rity apps will pro­tect your de­vice from in­fec­tion. Many also in­clude fea­tures to lock your de­vice, en­crypt data on it, lo­cate it via GPs if you’ve mis­placed it and re­motely wipe data from the de­vice if you’ve ir­re­triev­ably lost it.

Big­ger is bet­ter: a tablet’s large screen makes it eas­ier to spot sus­pi­cious de­tails when nav­i­gat­ing the net.

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