Is anyone sweating?
Here are also a few steps I recommend for keeping your mobile devices safe from mining malware and other mobile cyber-attacks.
- Lock Your Device (always use your password or PIN or Biometrics).
- Always keep the setting ‘Unknown Sources’ disabled.
- Avoid downloading apps from 3rd party app stores.
- Be extremely wary of texts messages or links within emails.
- Verify app permissions before installing (even from Google Play, App Store).
- Do your research on apps you’re looking to download (check app developer’s name, verify developer’s website, read through reviews, download counts, etc.).
- Keep your device OS up-to-date.
- Limit yourself to only those apps that are really needed.
- Install strong mobile security software.
Failure to take seriously today’s mobile threats seriously can have dire consequences, and that is why understanding these complex and malicious dangers are important for all of us to grasp and to communicate with our children (and even your parents, friends, and neighbors). And the truth is, many of us may not truly understand these things, but we can become vigilant and proactive about them. We can utilize caution, common sense and restraint when using our devices and acquiring new apps. Downloading our next app can be like sin, seemingly quick and painless, but the ramifications can ripple and even create a big negative splash in our lives. I strongly recommend that you take an analysis of the devices in your home, and in light of the information shared here — consider their behavior and assess if they are functioning normally, or if they show signs of distress.
I will take my own advice and make sure to follow-up with my son to see if our initial conversation about safety and limitations is still being applied in his daily mobile activities. I know that we have strayed from the usage parameters that were originally set (he is always on that device!), but I will not waiver on the security guidelines that were established, as the ramifications could cost all of us.
At the risk of sounding like my grandfather, I dare say that mobile devices have become a bit of a necessary evil. Yes, I am a techie and I delight in the latest technologies. And yes, I am a nerd, as I delight in the intricacies of threads of malware/ransomware and in deciphering how to stop them in their tracks. But I also see the technological writing on the wall, and how our devices are often eating us up: devouring our time and energy and draining not only their batteries, but they are draining us.
Be wary, young grasshoppers. As I repeatedly tell my son: Don’t get too engaged in that device. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)