How to stop hackers from attacking your mobile phone while online shopping
In new research revealed by Norton’s cyber safety insight report, about 30 per cent of shoppers have fallen victim to cybercrime in the past year at a cost of a shocking $1.3 billion.
The report noted that 21 per cent of smartphone users had no idea that their device was able to be hacked.
Cybercrime expert Julian Plummer agrees that users are laxer about mobile security compared to their laptops.
“As mobile becomes increasingly de rigueur the security risk to consumers will only rise,” said Mr Plummer, who is the managing director of Midwinter Financial Services in Sydney.
There are two ways that your smartphone is able to be hacked, which is phishing and over public wi-fi networks.
As hackers are only getting smarter at duping their victims when it comes to phishing, sophisticated criminals are now impersonating big-name brands, including banks and other institutions.
“It used to be that seeing a padlock in the URL bar meant that the site was safe, but now hackers are ‘securing’ their sites using cheap security certificates to provide a false sense of security,” Mr Plummer warned to The New Daily.
The second way is via public Wi-Fi networks, which is surprisingly sophisticated.
“Hackers use a ‘Wi-Fi pineapple’ to mimic a public wi-fi access point,” he explained.
“Unfortunately, logging on to these malicious wi-fi access points allows hackers to intercept any unencrypted personal data. Always be very wary when connecting to an untrusted wi-fi network – especially overseas.”
It’s easy to protect yourself from hackers though, according to Mr Plummer.
“The crucial thing for mobile phone users is to stop reusing passwords,” Mr Plummer said.
“With a major security breach happening almost on a monthly basis, if hackers were to get your password from one shopping website, they then have access to all your online accounts if you re-use your password.”
The second way to keep your information safe might be tedious, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. It involves keeping your phone’s operating system up to date.
“The main reason manufacturers provide updates is to close off security loopholes within their device,” Mr Plummer said.
“Hackers are well versed in any security bugs in your mobile device, so make sure you have automatic updates turned on for your mobile phone.”