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Mobile Security: essential tips for your protection

Paysera shares tips on how to ensure mobile security.
If we told someone 50 years ago that people in the future would have everything – from alarm clocks to all their finances – in a tiny device that fits into a palm, they probably wouldn’t have believed us. But here we are, and with so much sensitive information available on our mobile phones, it’s crucial to ensure its safety. Sit back and relax – we’re about to tell you how.

Why is mobile security important?

It's pretty clear that this is important, but while many people understand it, not everyone takes action. This could leave you exposed to those who might prey on neglect.

Imagine if someone got hold of your phone, they'd have all your personal stuff like photos, videos, private messages, and even bank details. And it's safe to say they didn't hack into your phone for a friendly chat.

Sadly, it's more likely that they'd misuse your personal information to hijack your identity or rob you of your hard-earned money.

Having a lot of sensitive data on the phone, mobile security is extremely important.

The most common threats to mobile security

Before you know how to protect yourself, you need to be aware of what to look out for in the first place. Here are the most common threats to your mobile security.

SMS phishing attacks (smishing)

You’ve probably heard of, or perhaps even received, a text message urging you to tap a link if you want to continue using your bank account. Reasons can vary, but these messages always want you to act quickly. This is done to confuse you and cause panic – due to the sense of urgency, we’re all more likely to not see the situation clearly.

More often than not, this is an attempt to steal your sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card details.

Unsecure (rogue) Wi-Fi networks

Using public Wi-Fi networks can come with a level of risk. Sometimes, these networks may not be as secure as they seem. When you log in to these networks, it could potentially allow cyber thieves to peek into the data exchanged between your device and the Wi-Fi access point. They might even get a hold of your sensitive personal information.

So here's a friendly reminder: always think for a moment before connecting to an open Wi-Fi network. A safer alternative would be to use your local mobile data (4G, 5G). It's a great way to keep your communication away from any prying eyes.

Weak passwords

If your passwords are too simple or easy to guess, it's like rolling out a welcome mat for hackers. Strong passwords keep your accounts safe. We recommend a minimum of 8 to 12 symbols including symbols (!@#$%^&*), numbers (0-9), and capital letters (A-Z).

Mobile malware and viruses

These are harmful pieces of software that can infect your device without you knowing. They can pose as real apps, silently collect your data, mess up or erase your files, and even take control of basic functions on your device.

Jailbreaking (for iPhone) and Rooting (for Android)

These are techniques used to delete unwanted apps that are already installed on your phone when you buy it.

The methods also let you download apps from sources not officially recognised by the phone's manufacturer and adjust how your phone looks. But, jailbreaking or rooting your phone can make it more vulnerable to a hacker, who could easily access your personal data and potentially cause harm.

'Quishing' or QR phishing

There’s an emerging trend of scams that sneakily lure you into scanning a QR code with your smartphone. Once scanned, this code leads you to a webpage that might not be as friendly as it seems.

Sometimes, it can be tough to spot the actual website address on your phone. So, you might not even realise you've landed on a suspicious site. The site might put up a good facade, looking like any regular webpage, but its true intention is to trick you into sharing sensitive details like your business login credentials. This is all possible because the QR code cleverly conceals the odd website address, making it hard for you to tell that you're not on a legitimate site.

'Quishing' (QR phishing) is a common scam tactic that tricks people into visiting suspicious sites.

Best practices for mobile security

It’s true what people say – it really is better to be safe than sorry. You don’t want to get into a situation where your mobile security has been compromised, and that’s why safety measures are key.

Remember – if you want to protect your mobile security and security in general…

Avoid unknown links
Be careful before pressing on any links. Make sure SMS messages are from people or companies you know.

Keep software updated
Always ensure your software is patched and updated. Install regular updates for your security software.

Change passwords regularly
Aim to change your passwords every 90–180 days.

Download from trustworthy sources
Only download apps from reliable platforms like Google Play, App Store and App Gallery.

Use two-factor authentication
Use two-factor authentication methods such as SMS, phone confirmation, or hardware tokens for better security.

Limit personal information on social media
Avoid sharing details like your social security number, birthdate, birth city, favourite sports, and pet names.

Phone security
Secure your phone by setting it to return to factory settings after several incorrect password attempts.

Learn about phishing tactics
Look for any grammatical errors and suspicious details from the sender. Scammers often try to impersonate legitimate organisations by using their names.

Report suspicious messages
If you get an email, SMS, or WhatsApp request asking for private information or sending you suspicious links, don’t respond. Instead, block the sender.

Regularly back up your data
Back up your data at least once a week. This will allow you to restore your data if needed.

Avoid using old passwords
Old passwords can be easy to guess, avoid reusing them.

Use VPN on public Wi-Fi
Always use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi. This masks your location and enhances your security.

Restart your phone daily
Restart your phone every day and leave it off for about 10–15 minutes to keep potential spyware at bay.

Beware of unbelievable offers
If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Bonus Tip
Install a privacy protector screen on your phone to protect your screen from being viewed from certain angles.

A checklist on what should be done to ensure mobile security.

If you think someone has access to your Paysera account

We understand that it can be really unnerving if you think someone has accessed your Paysera account without your permission. Perhaps you've received a suspicious login notification from a country that you don't usually log in from? If that's happened, please get in touch with our client support immediately.

We know this can be stressful, but please remember, we're here to support you. We'll do our very best to help you regain access to your account as quickly as we can.

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