The Smartphone Users Worldwide 2012 – 2017 report by eMarketer has indicated that a by the year 2018 a third of the world’s population will comprise smartphone users. The report also predicts that more than half of all conventional mobile phone users would have switched loyalties to smartphones by 2018.
Based on the current rate, India is set to become the second-largest base of smartphone users, more than 200 million, by 2016. Further, the report has indicated that more than nine out of ten Internet users shall access the web through their mobiles phones by 2017.
As smartphone Internet usage becomes more common, the number of people at risk from online security threats will also increase. Unlike a desktop or laptops, smartphone users face a larger number of security risks as security of the device is not even as secure as your traditional computer security, this must be effectively countered to enjoy a safe and risk-free smartphone experience.
Here is an overview of different types of security apps available for smartphones along with popular apps available in each category.
Even reliable mobile OS like Android and Apple can have security loopholes that may allow malicious elements to gain access to private information and sensitive data like calendars, emails, contact information and passwords in your smartphone. The simplest and most effective way to safeguard your data is to install an anti-virus app on your device.
Apps like avast! SecureLine VPN and 360 Mobile Security provide real-time protection from online risks along with conventional features like firewalls, anti-spyware tools, usage history clearing, and virus scans. These apps also allow you to filter text messages and calls, and enable users to ‘trust’ certain SIM cards, which allows them to execute remote changes even if the phone is in the hands of a third person.
With millions of apps available online, and there being no effective mechanism to assess the safety and reliability of the apps, a functional antivirus app, free or paid, will provide effective protection for your smart device.
While smartphones are as functional and useful as laptops, these mobile devices are a lot easier to steal and almost impossible to trace. You can improve your chances of recovering a lost or stole smartphone by installing apps that allow you to track the phone’s location through its inbuilt GPS mechanism.
Apart from tracking the device, these apps also allow you to backup the phone’s data online before wiping it clean. This feature ensures your private data remains confidential even if you are unable to recover the phone.
Apple was the first to install a kill switch in its iPhones in 2013, which allows owners to remotely ‘kill’ or shutdown a stolen phone. If your phone does not have a kill switch, then you can opt for apps like Lookout, Find My iPhone, or Android Device Manager to wipe the phone if remote tracking fails.
With banks and other service providers offering smartphone apps, users are required to keep track of multiple passwords for email accounts, phone accounts, and a large number of apps. Instead of storing your passwords as a text message in your phone, you can use apps like LastPass that lets you keep a record of all your passwords without any security risks.
Apps like LastPass require you to remember just the app’s password, which, if entered correctly, will help you view all other passwords. This app lets you track your passwords over multiple devices, which is a useful option for this using multiple tablets and smartphones.
With hackers relying on adware apps, Trojan SMS messages, and backdoor programs to gain unauthorized access to smartphones, it is important to combine sensible usage practices with quality security-related apps to secure your smartphone and its data. Be smart, be safe and #ACTNow.