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Mobile device risks and common scams

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Mobile device risks and common scams

Mark James, ESET IT security specialist, looks at the risks of using mobile devices without due care, some common scams, how much they could cost and how to avoid said scams.

How can your mobile, tablet, or laptop leave you at risk?

“Quite often we have this inherent trust of mobile devices: private information is stored on it with no thought of security or concern, this may include private photos, contacts, passwords, emails etc. All this information can paint a very clear picture of how you live your life and could include information about your daily activities or financial habits.”

What are the most common scams?

“One of the biggest scams happens via email or web pages asking for your secure information: having a request to verify information by a fake source manages to fool so many people because of its complexity and similarities to the actual real financial institute.

“For some reason, people will happily fill out all manner or internet requested information that they would clearly not give to someone knocking on their front door even if they were wearing a suit and name badge with “Bank Manager” printed on it!”

What is the true cost of being scammed?

“Some banks will offer protection against fraud or financial loss associated with cybercrime but ONLY if you were not negligent. Not protecting your data and leaving it wide open for prying eyes could leave you with no comeback in case of a claim.

“Even if you do manage to get back any monies lost quite often it’s the down time that’s damaging, having your credit frozen or credit cards cancelled could put a cold freeze on your daily spending but more importantly could force you to miss important repayment deadlines while it’s being sorted.”

How consumers can avoid falling victim to data thieves?

“Ask yourself a number of questions: would you give this information to someone knocking on your door? Would your bank really ask for this information over an unsolicited email? Do you really think Apple cannot sell iPads because the plastic wrapping is torn?”

If you still think it might be legit ask yourself if the information requested is partial or complete: most financial organisations should never require your FULL password to be entered. Check your passwords, never use the same password twice and mix them up, also think about different usernames, if you always use the same email address as your username then if it gets leaked they have 50% of your login.”

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