TECHNOLOGY

They Know What You Did Because of Spyware — And 4 Spooky Mobile Threats Start-ups Need To Know

McAfee urges founders to steer clear of cybercriminals’ tricks this Halloween

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BY team-inc - 27 Oct 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Halloween is almost upon us, and while this day is often associated with killer clowns, ghosts, and the undead, there’s something scarier and nastier right around the corner: Mobile threats.

Cybercriminals give new meaning to “trick or treat” by taking advantage of consumers’ risky behavior to steal personal and financial information through malicious, nasty tricks. These mobile threats can be quite the fright, especially with global infections of mobile devices having risen by 8% this year, according to McAfee. Asia leads with 18%.

With the proliferation of connected devices — Gartner predicts there will be 8.4 billion connected devices in use in 2017 — the attack surface area is only going to get wider.

As a lean start-up, how then can you protect yourself?

Awareness is always a good first step. Here, McAfee lists the top five scariest mobile threats you ought to concern yourself about:

  1. They Know What You Did Because of Spyware
    Malware lurks in the shadows of trusted devices, collecting information around browsing habits, personal information, and more. Before you know it, your private information is already unknowingly then sent to third parties.
  2. Dawn of the Dead Apps 
    Old apps lying dormant on mobile devices, especially those no longer supported by Google or Apple, can be infected with malware or could potentially be leaking data to a third party. Time to give your iOs or Android phone a check.
  3. Bone Chilling Botnets 
    Botnets emulate Invasion of the Body Snatcherson mobile devices. How? By turning them into “bots” through malware. This bot or bots then become a part of a collection of infected Internet-connected devices that are used to spread viruses, generate spam, and all sorts of cybercrime.
  4. Malicious Click or Treat 
    Unknowingly clicking a link online via a browser or app can allow hackers to gain access to devices and private information. McAfee urges you to be a click-buster. Meaning: Always be on alert when clicking links, especially those advertising things that are too good to be true.
  5. IoT Follows 
    Most IoT devices are often connected to mobile devices, so if a hacker is able to gain access to a smartphone, they can infiltrate the target’s connected devices as well. Or vice versa.

Now that you’re more aware of these threats, here are some straightforward solutions you can do today: 1) Update regularly to ensure your device stays secure; 2) Look into comprehensive security software to protect your personal devices. Following these precautions will help your start-up steer clear of mobile security breaches.