Published On: Tue, Aug 25th, 2020

Securing Your Mobile Devices in 2020

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Top cybersecurity strategies to keep your devices and data safe

Today’s smart devices have given us so much convenience and freedom. From our pockets, we can manage our finances, access a world of information, carry out work activities, and even control the smart devices in our homes.

Mobile phones are just like our desktop computers and laptops in many ways, albeit in a much smaller version. And just like those devices, they are prone to all sorts of digital nasties. To protect our mobile devices (and our sensitive data) we all need to put the same level of attention on cybersecurity as we do with our larger computers.

With the above in mind, here we go over a few top cybersecurity strategies to keep your mobile device secured in 2020 and beyond. But first, let’s take a look at three of the most pressing cybersecurity threats on the horizon this year.

Critical cybersecurity threats to mobile devices in 2020


Although not new this year, malware (malicious software) remains a persistent threat. Not least because the means of delivery to your device and the scope of the malicious programs themselves are constantly in flux.

Did you know that around 350,000 new malware programs are released into the digital wilds every day? Many of these make their mark before antimalware and antivirus software learn how to recognize and treat these threats.

Operating system (OS) vulnerabilities

Are you using an older device that has an outdated OS? If so, you’re unfortunately at a greater risk of cyber attack than your peers with the latest OS installed on their devices. OS vulnerabilities occur when a bug or a “hole” in the system could be exploited by hackers.

Contrary to popular belief, iOS devices are at risk too — although Android users do face a greater battle in this area. For example, in 2019, Apple’s iOS system was faced with the un-patchable exploit Checkm8. Android users meanwhile are faced with the news that operating systems below Android 8 will no longer receive patches and updates, leaving these devices particularly susceptible.

Public wifi networks

Why chew through your device’s data package when there’s free public wifi, right? If you’re anything like the average user, the above statement rings true, but unfortunately, public wifi networks represent a major cybersecurity nightmare.

From man in the middle attacks (MitM) to compromised data transmissions, spyware, and much more, open unsecured wifi networks pose serious risks to both your device and your personal data. This is not to say you should never ever use open networks, rather that you need the right protections in place, which leads up to our first cybersecurity tip…

How to secure your devices against these threats and others

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Virtual Private Network (VPN) encryption

How a VPN works is by rerouting your connection through a private server. So for example, when you connect to a public wifi network with your VPN turned on, your data is encapsulated in a private tunnel that shields your transmissions from any lurking hackers. In the process, all your data in transmission is also encrypted.

This tool removes the vast majority of the threats associated with public wifi networks and makes browsing safe. If you must use open networks, ensure your VPN is switched on at all times but particularly if you’re using banking apps or logging in to sensitive accounts.

Get antimalware

Just like your desktop computer or your laptop, your mobile devices need antimalware and antivirus protection. Don’t forget, new phishing scams are targeting mobile users by sending fraudulent text messages with compromised links, so your handheld devices need protection too.

There’s also a fair chance that you frequently use your phone or other mobile device to check your emails, and email remains the number one threat vector for cybercriminals who want to spread malware in phishing attempts.

An app such as Malwarebytes combs through incoming emails and messages to detect any lurking malicious code. It will also warn you if a website is compromised when you’re browsing. One subscription should cover multiple devices so you can ensure both your PC and phone are covered.

Always accept updates

Both iOS and Android updates are released, in part, to make sure that any known vulnerabilities are patched. If you fail to update your devices when these patches are available, you’re opening your device up to increased risk. Updates might be annoying at times, but they are essential.

If your device is older and no updates are available for your OS, it really is time to look into changing to a newer model.

Check your app permissions

Does that scanner app you downloaded more than three months ago and used once really need access to your location data? Probably not, but you might be surprised to find out just how much data you’re leaking to third-parties through your apps.

Plenty of free apps exist with the sole purpose of gleaning data, which can then be sold on for a profit. Remember, if a service is free, there’s a high chance that you are the product.

To stop leaking data, double-check all of the apps on your device. Ask yourself what data they have access to and why. Remove any apps you don’t need anymore and remove permissions for apps that are covertly collecting data they don’t strictly need to function.

Secure your device against loss or theft

Pay attention to the basics of digital hygiene in case your mobile is lost or stolen:

  • iOS users should set up Find my iPhone
  • Set a passcode to enter the device or opt for biometric log-in processes
  • Always lock the screen if you’re not using the mobile, or set it up so it automatically locks after a period of inactivity
  • Set the phone up so that any data is wiped after a certain number of failed attempts to open the device. Make sure any important stuff is backed up to the cloud!

The cybersecurity threat landscape in 2020 might be riddled with dynamic risks, but taking appropriate steps to secure your mobile devices can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your data and personal info safe.

About the Author

- I am an internet marketing expert with an experience of 8 years.My hobbies are SEO,Content services and reading ebooks.I am founder of SRJ News andTech Preview.

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