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Cybercrime – The Dangers When Using Mobile Phones

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This has been submitted by CyberLaw

UK residents are being advised to protect their mobile phones against viruses.  This follows a statistic that only 33% of mobile phone owners have downloaded anti-virus software on to hand-held devices.

Statistics are concerning, in particular the recent revelations made by Virgin Mobile who found that almost 24 million Britons use their mobile to shop but only 34% have protected their device with the relevant software.

Even among those who consider themselves to take data security seriously, seven per cent have used public Wi-Fi to send bank details, which is likely to leave individuals prone to a cyber-attack.

What are the viruses?

A virus is simply just one of many types of malware, which is any software that maliciously affects a gadget.

One particular virus named “Judy”, this malware infects phones and automatically opens adverts on the device, often crashing the programme the owner is using.   Directors at Google have since said that they have found and removed all of the apps that are hosting the Judy virus.

Known for their strong security, many owners of iPhones do not expect to have any malware issues, with a report published in 2015 by Pulse Secure claiming that 97 per cent of mobile malware was created for Android.

Despite this, iPhones are not completely protected, for example in 2015 Apple was forced to remove multiple apps from the market as they contained a piece of malware.

How will I know if my phone has got a virus?

Malicious programs that target mobile phones include “worms”, which will transfer into your phone after opening a message, and can then potentially be sent to others phones from yours, infecting more and more devices.

Just like humans, when devices have viruses they will have symptoms, including apps crashing and your battery draining quicker than normal.  This symbolises one reason why you should keep your operating system and apps updated to stop viruses getting through.

How do I remove malware from my device?

If you suspect the malware has been transferred through a website you’ve visited, then clearing your website cache may work, this can be found on most mobile devices under the ‘settings’ facility.

If you suspect the virus is still on your phone then you may need to factory reset your phone, which will set the device back to the state it was in when purchased.

If all else fails, taking the device back to whoever sold it to you and tell them the issues that you are experiencing is always the best course of action.

How can I protect against them?

  • Anti-virus software should be downloaded and used at all times, you wouldn’t leave your computer or laptop without protection, so why would you leave your phone?
  • Any suspicious websites you encounter while browsing the internet should be avoided, as these can infect your phone. Ignore any unexpected emails or text messages with links that you haven’t heard of before. Even if the message comes from a friend or someone you trust, if it’s an odd message – don’t trust it.
  • Only ever connect to secure Wi-Fi locations that you know. Some malware can be transferred through an internet connection, and as tempting it may be to connect to a random, open Wi-Fi to have a flick through Instagram – don’t take the risk.