Can a Phone Get Viruses? – Know the Risks for Remote Workers Using their Own Phone
We are all attached to our smartphones, whether we use them as part of our work or social lives, bringing the world closer together especially during unprecedented times. To some extent we take them for granted, having a personal, handheld computer in our pocket that helps us in many ways. But much like a laptop or personal computer, your smartphone is susceptible to the risks being connected to the internet brings, whether your browsing for information, accessing emails or communicating with colleagues via messaging apps or calls. With many more people using their smartphones for work as well as for social means, the way we use our phones brings with it the potential for malicious viruses, malware, and cyber-attacks. So, how easily can a phone get viruses and what can those using their mobile device for work do to protect themselves?
How Can a Phone Get Viruses?
Many organizations are concerned with mobile data protection and privacy, especially since remote working has seen a huge rise in recent months. Employees are accessing sensitive company data from their personal devices more than ever whether it’s through their laptop, desktop, tablet, or smartphone, however, not everyone will use antivirus software on their mobile devices as they do on their personal computers. According to Kaspersky, since 2017 they have detected over 280,000 malware files per day that target mobile devices, and that’s just those devices using their detection software. Whilst iOS and Android devices may boast having very secure operating systems, this won’t stop someone from inadvertently opening a malicious file via email or downloading an app that infects their device with spyware. Human error is still the biggest threat to mobile security, with 94% of malware delivered via email. Add to this that many people may use unsecured public Wi-Fi on their smartphones to access the internet, allowing those with malicious intent to intercept information, being vigilant is still the biggest deterrent.
There are five main ways a smartphone can become infected if your employees aren’t careful, especially when accessing or communicating sensitive company data on a daily basis:
- Mobile Adware – the prime purpose of ‘Madware’ is to collect data without the user being aware. It can also include spyware that will monitor internet usage and will then send this information to a third party, meaning any sensitive company data could be compromised.
- Viruses & Trojans – generally these can infect a smartphone after a seemingly official app or program is installed on your device.
- Drive-By Downloads – similar to malware, if a user visits a website or opens an email which has been setup for malicious purposes, it can automatically download a file that they have not consented to.
- Phishing – similarly how phishing requires the user to open an email attachment to or click a link to provide personal information, this can come in the form of an app download, asking the user to sign up and register to use it. This can be a huge problem for those not using different passwords as login information.
- Browser Exploits – when browsing online from a smartphone, a browser exploit can make it seem like your default browser when you use to enter information, collecting the data you input.
The Need to Stay Vigilant
Whilst a virus itself is rare on a smartphone, this is only true if users are taking the right precautions, especially when using mobile devices to handle sensitive company data or communications. At Adeya, we have helped organizations across the globe follow compliance with data protection, secure their work processes when communicating and collaborating using the highest levels of encryption technology, providing products and solutions that put cyber-security at the forefront of their priorities. This includes our revolutionary encrypted messenger service and secure video conferencing. When using a secure platform like Adeya, it provides further protection for your organization, especially in a BYOD world.
Staying vigilant to smartphone threats that are out there ensures your employees are taking the necessary steps to protect not just their own personal data, but their employer’s too. Can a phone get viruses? Yes, but by using strong, unique passwords for logins, only downloading apps from official app stores, and keeping smartphone software up to date, they all act as deterrents.
Implementing advanced and highly secure collaboration software will protect them and your company even further. The Adeya solution keeps sensitive files encrypted on its secure container, so even if the phone is compromised, a hacker or cyber-criminal will not be able to read them. Secure, safe, and encrypted – using Adeya products ensures only those authorized can access data.
Contact Adeya today to find out more about our military-grade security solutions and book a demo to see how our platform can work for your organization.