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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  19 Mar 2012

MOBILE SECURITY: Better Safe Than Sorry


Recent Gauteng Business News

The more you do on your mobile device, the more you should be concerned about its security. This is especially true if you use it for work.

It is easy enough to lump the evolution of desktop and mobile security into one basket. The reality is, however, that the differences between the two far outweigh the similarities. This isn’t a case of IT trivial pursuit. There is at least one important reason to consider this as desktop security concerns ebb and smartphone worries grow — crackers are putting the lessons learned on the desktop to work in the mobile world.

The Difference Between Mobile and Desktop Security

There are many purely technical differences between the landscapes of mobile and desktop security. But by far the biggest difference is the attitudes of users. That, in turn, can be boiled down to a single basic reality: apathy on the part of mobile users. However, the more people rely on cell phones and tablets, the more attractive these devices become as targets to thieves and other nefarious types.

“Consumers and enterprises have been through the security ringer once, and have both the desire and the knowledge to avoid going through the pain again. But despite the knowledge of the risks out there, mobile users are still more likely to fall victim to e-mail phishing attempts and other malware,” says Bruce Goodwill, Sales Director – EMEA, Australasia, South America and ROW at AVG.

The reasons for this are numerous. Mobile users are 'always on' and are most likely to read e-mail messages as soon as they arrive. This means that mobile users typically arrive first after the phishing e-mails are sent out. And since most mobile device users use large numbers of applications that they download directly on to their device, malware is a particular problem.

“Fortunately, protecting yourself against mobile security risks doesn't require getting paranoid about your phone. Rather, it's about maintaining good habits, watching for red flags and getting effective mobile security tools,” says Goodwill. “AVG Mobilation provides complete protection against viruses and spam, with lock, locate, and wipe features if your smartphone or tablet is ever lost or stolen. The theft protection feature allows users to locate their lost or stolen device via cutting-edge GPS technology. They can also remotely create and display messages onscreen, lock their device, protect their passwords, wipe content, and manage applications.”

AVG Mobilation Blocking Spam at the Source

In addition, AVG Mobilation users receive real-time protection against malicious content and spam sent by SMS by having them blocked at the source. They can also block senders manually to avoid unwanted texts. Other features of the security application include a File Scanner which allows users to scan their entire device (including SD cards) for infections, the Task Killer, which allows users to kill apps in case the device becomes slow or stuck and let’s them close running applications with a single tap, and the App Locker, which allows users to lock one or more apps by selecting a password. Data Backup is available for backing up and restoring the users’ personal data such as contacts, call logs, or sms’, and App Backup allows users to backup files and applications to the SD card.

“These features are all becoming increasingly important as people become aware that their mobile devices are no different to computers,” Goodwill says. “So users have to take steps to secure them, the same way they would their personal computer, before they learn first-hand how much damage can be done on a mobile device.”

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