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Smartphone Security 101

PHOTO: Male student using his smartphone inside Reitz Union.

According to a NY Times article, iPhones and Android devices are more vulnerable than ever. You’ve heard this a million times before, but a few minutes spent updating your devices can save you from an attack.

The article references C.I.A software that damages or disables computers, smartphones and televisions — software commonly known as malware which includes viruses and secret holes that is exploited by cyber-thieves. The holes, referred to by security professionals as “zero day vulnerabilities,” can result in theft of account numbers and payment information methods (i.e., credit card numbers) stored in your phone. However, you significantly reduce the chance of being victimized when you keep your mobile device(s) up-to-date and patched, so “holes” (vulnerabilities) get closed. Having all of your devices run the most recent operating system and software versions not only gives you the latest and greatest available features, but also the newest information security measures as well. Instructions for updating iPhones are on the Apple website. There are many recent articles with easy-to-follow instructions for updating Android-based devices, including this one.

Students, faculty, and staff can get additional tips about smartphone security on the Information Security Office’s Protect Your Mobile Devices! webpage.