From The FIREWALLS and VIRUS PROTECTION
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    Security for your Portable (Mobile) Digital Devices
by Richard Rossbauer



  GOING MOBILE

 

In addition to securing our regular desktop and laptop computers against hackers and malware by keeping their operating systems up to date and employing anti virus protection, we need to take the same precautions for our android and other portable digital devices – smartphones, tablets and laptop computers.

As smartphone and tablet users, we are spending more and more time with our mobile devices every day.

If you have avoided  virus symptoms, adware, or Spyware so far … there’s a VERY Strong chance you could see them soon!

It’s currently estimated that there are over 1,300,000 androids, not counting iPhones, being  activated – every day – worldwide.

Are the hackers and cyber crooks waiting for access to your smartphones? What do you think?

For You and Your Family To be SAFE using the internet today, you Must Use protective tools like anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and download all updates for your smartphone Operating system, even updates for those cool APPs.

You need them to provide virus protection, SpyWare and Adware, Theft of your Identity, and Botnet entrapment.

Smartphones and other portable digital devices are no longer exempt from these threats. They are computers, too.

The point – and I am emphasizing this – All of your digital devices need protection, and we can’t become apathetic especially about our portable ‘computers’.

Think twice before opening up your smartphone or tablet to publc WIFI.

Be sure to Educate your family members on the increased potential for cyber grief – or worse! Be extra cautious using WIFI at home. It's OK if your router is secure and a password is required to enable it on your smart phone or laptop. But, if you are using a free, or unknown  neighbor’s signal, you are opening the way to malicious and unending problems.

Not only are you putting all of your data at risk, stealing those WIFI signals is illegal.

How many new targets were added today? Are you one of them?

It’s estimated that there are over 480 million Android devices. So pick a number in the millions and that’s how many targets are in the cyber criminal’s sights.

And it’s not just Android devices. You may have been told that iPhones and iPads do not get  viruses – but they can, and will probably face more serious cyber threats in the future.

For the time being,  Apple’s rigid app reviewing process and relatively low demand for mobile malware  (when compared to PCs) have helped iOS (Apple operating System) avoid intense scrutiny by cyber attackers.

 Anti-Malware specialists and research scientists are at work devising ways to insert malware into Apple devices so that counter measures can be developed to protect  us.

The Android story is entirely different.

According to the Kaspersky Security Bulletin 2012, 99% of newly discovered mobile malicious programs target the Android platform. The Android platform allows software installation from un-trusted sources, and one of the best ways to guarantee an infection is to install programs (APPS) from suspicious websites.

So how can you tell if your smartphone has a virus?

Viruses leave tell-tale symptoms on smartphones just like they do on computers. A big one for both types of devices is a significant slow-down.

 Smartphones get slower and slower as you add pictures, music, and apps, but a virus will likely be a much more obvious slow-down.

Having a virus on your Android smartphone is dangerous for a number of reasons.

Some Viruses can cripple or completely disable the usability of apps or the phone altogether.

Worse yet, viruses can also be designed to steal your personal information or rack up charges on your cell phone bill, according to an article on AARP.com.
Viruses might record keystrokes, go through your phone and apps for personal information, or buy expensive apps or services that you won’t notice until you get your cell phone bill.

Most viruses get into your mobile device from infected downloads.
Fortunately, there are anti-malware programs for Android phones and other smartphones that can scan your phone for viruses, detect viruses in downloads, and remove viruses.

Trend Micro Company, a provider of anti-virus software, reported that Mobile malware aimed at Android devices increased by over 40 percent in the last few months of 2013.

Seems obvious that you must do something to protect your Android device and yourself.

When selecting from the currently available anti-malware, here are some guidelines for making your choice. Look for products that provide these key features:

Antivirus Protection – Offering real-time protection
Scheduled and on-demand scans, remote backups, activity log,
Anti-Theft (Remote-Lock / Remote-Wipe / Locate)
Call Blocker: Block calls from specific or unknown numbersMessage
Filter: Filter SMS messages and emails for undesirable content
Safe Browsing: Protection against malicious websites and/or phishing
Parental Control: to observe the activity of children using the device
Backup: Personal data can be saved to SD-card or cloud storage
Encryption: Any kind of encryption is supported

You may not find one single program that has all of these features. Complete security isn’t really possible because hackers and cyber-criminals are relentless, smart and sophisticated and seemingly always one step ahead of the Good Guys creating the software to protect us.

The final key is you – us.

Malware can be easily transferred through applications downloaded to your phone, email attachments, text or other media messages and Bluetooth connections.

We must be diligent when Going Mobile using our portable mobile devices for entertainment, communication and business – and companionship.

*Android Image courtesy www.androidicons.com


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You are invited to visit Family Safety online | Internet Security especially for Children for more articles on Family Safety. A few minutes browsing there now might save you many hours of agony and grief later. The "Firewalls and Virus Protection" website, BLOG, and "Security Alert News Reporter"  help everyday Internet users navigate safely through the Cyber Space Jungle loaded with ambushes and booby traps. Help Richard promote his "Computer Security Awareness Campaign" by sharing this article with your friends.
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