October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, Lookout Mobile Security reminds us that our smartphones are computers too

by Robert Nazarian on
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Today is the first day of October, which means it’s the beginning of the baseball postseason, but it’s also the start of National Cyber Security Awareness Month. As our smartphones become more important in our daily lives, Lookout Mobile Security is reminding us that our smartphones are computers too. We aren’t using our phones for just calls or snapping a few pictures, we are also using them to bank, shop, and send valuable information. Unfortunately, that means our phones become a target for hackers. In fact, up to one million mobile phone users will be affected by mobile security threats in 2011.

It’s not all doom and gloom because Lookout Mobile Security is here to help and protect us. During National Cyber Security Awareness Month, Lookout will be running an educational series on its blog to help us understand how to protect our phones and personal information.

“We’ve already seen how PC users became a target for attacks, and we don’t want this to be the fate of mobile users.  People can absolutely take steps to keep themselves safe on their mobile device,” said Kevin Mahaffey, co-Founder and CTO of Lookout. “With the proper knowledge people can protect their most personal device before mobile security threats become a larger issue.”

In addition Lookout is going to give Lookout Premium accounts to 5 lucky TalkAndroid readers, so look for our contest posting shortly.

Full Press release after the break:

With Cyber Security Awareness Month Around the Corner, Lookout Reminds Consumers That Smartphones Are Computers Too

Lookout Mobile Security Encourages Smartphone Users to Take the Necessary Steps to Protect Their Smartphones

SAN FRANCISCO – September 30, 2011 – Lookout Mobile Security, a smartphone security company dedicated to making the mobile experience safe for everyone, is joining the National Cyber Security Alliance in support of National Cyber Security Awareness Month this October.  Millions of consumers now regard their smartphone as their most personal computer and use their phone to bank, shop and send valuable information. As mobile devices have become an essential tool for everyday life—they have also become an attractive target for hackers. In fact, according to Lookout’s 2011 Mobile Threat Report, up to one million mobile phone users will be affected by mobile security threats in 2011. During National Cyber Security Awareness Month, Lookout aims to increase consumer awareness about the various cyber threats to smartphones and educate mobile users about the steps they can take to best protect themselves. To this end, Lookout will be running an educational series on its blog, to help smartphone users understand how to best protect their phone and personal information. In addition, Lookout will be giving away Lookout Premium accounts on Twitter and Facebook throughout the month to encourage awareness.

“We’ve already seen how PC users became a target for attacks, and we don’t want this to be the fate of mobile users.  People can absolutely take steps to keep themselves safe on their mobile device,” said Kevin Mahaffey, co-Founder and CTO of Lookout. “With the proper knowledge people can protect their most personal device before mobile security threats become a larger issue.”

Lookout Mobile Security published the 2011 Mobile Threat Report based on analysis of data collected from more than 700 thousand apps and 10 million devices worldwide.  The findings revealed that mobile threats are becoming more prevalent; Android users are two and a half times as likely to encounter malware now compared to only six months ago.  Just as the number of attacks has grown—so too has the level of sophistication.  Bad applications and malicious websites can now access personal data on phones and add fraudulent charges to a phone bill. A recently discovered piece of malware, called GGTracker, signed smartphone owners up for premium rate text messaging services without their knowledge.  It is estimated that mobile malware has already racked up more than a million dollars in fraudulent charges.

Though a significant number of users were affected by mobile threats in the first half of 2011, most consumers have not yet taken steps to secure their smartphones (NPD Group’s “Emerging Technology Trends: Mobile Security” report).

  • Nearly 40 percent of people report concern about threats such as activity monitoring, hacking, credit-card security and viruses
  • 82 percent have no security products installed on their phones
  • 25 percent of people do not know how to acquire security software for their devices

Many consumers admit they may not take action until it is too late—83  percent of smartphone owners who have not installed security would only be motivated to do so if they were to encounter a harmful virus, spam message or other threat.

Steps to Protect Your Smartphone:

1. Set a password. A password is the first line of defense so only you can access the important data on your phone.

2. Download the software updates for your phone. It is important to stay up-to-date with the software on your phone and apps. They can include patches to security flaws that can put your information at risk.

3. Download a security app. Just like your PC, you should download security software like Lookout Mobile Security to stop malware, spyware and malicious apps. With the right app, you can also locate a lost or stolen phone and back up your data.

4. Use discretion when downloading apps. One of the most exciting things to do with a new smartphone is explore all the great applications you can download onto it. But, as you explore, make sure to only download apps from sites you trust, check the app’s rating, and read the reviews to make sure the app is widely used and respected.

5. On public Wi-Fi, limit email, social networking and only window shop. Public Wi-Fi networks are everywhere, but security for these networks is not. Be careful what you do on public Wi-Fi networks, and in particular, use extra caution when shopping and mobile banking unless you’re confident you have a secure connection.

» See more articles by Robert Nazarian


Categorized as Android Applications, Android News, Android Security

  • naba

    Looking forward for a tension free mobile experience with lookout premium protection