Tech Guides (IT Governance)

Mobile Device Scams & Tips

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Mobile devices are everywhere. People use them for all kinds of things phone calls, texting, email, Web browsing, shopping, and more. Unfortunately, the rise in people using mobile devices for innocent purposes means there are now more people using them for criminal purposes.

Mobile worms

Mobile worms work very similar to computer worms. Rather than being transferred via downloads or infected USB drives, mobile worms spread by “tunneling” from one phone to another using wireless networks. They usually bury themselves within text messages or voicemails. The purpose of these worms is to manipulate your phone in ways that hike up your phone bill. 

With the proper precautions you can protect yourself and your device. These precautions include: 

  • Get mobile antivirus if you are concerned about the security of your phone or tablet.  
  • Turn off your device’s Bluetooth capabilities whenever you are not using them.  
  • Turn off Bluetooth whenever you are traveling through unfamiliar and unsecured areas. 
  • Additionally, for Bluetooth users, put your device in “non-discoverable mode.” This will stop malicious people/viruses from finding you and your device. 

Vulnerable applications

Vulnerable applications are apps which require your personal information to operate, but do not encrypt (secure) that information properly. This leaves a lot of potential for identity theft and other crimes.

Lost or stolen devices

Beside the immediate and obvious frustration of missing an important and expensive electronic, a lost or stolen phone or tablet can cause an enormous security risk. Depending on who falls into possession of the device, your information could be compromised. 

Prevention is better than a cure. Set a passcode on your phone. Locked phones are less attractive to thieves than unlocked ones. If your phone goes missing, the passcode will serve as an extra layer of protection for your information. Make sure your password is somewhat complicated, avoiding common codes like 1234 or 0000. 

If you suspect your phone or tablet has been lost or stolen: 

  • Most modern mobile devices come with built-in tracking capabilities that, when enabled, can show you where your device is. Even if they are not currently enabled, some devices – like Android – allow you to turn on your device’s location settings from a computer. iPads and iPhones can be found using the Cloud. 
  • If you are still unable to find your device after utilizing location services, contact your service provider to suspend service on that device. Visit the website of your individual provider to learn how to contact them. 
  • Contact your bank to ask about changing your bank information, particularly any information you had saved on your phone. Make sure to change your bank login credentials and PIN. 


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