photo showing blue skies and a long endless road
The Digital Highway

Would you drive your smartphone without a seatbelt if your smartphone was a car? Sounds risky, right? Well, not having proper cybersecurity in place is like driving at 100mph with no seatbelt – and that’s a ride none of us want to take!

Our smartphones are our trusty sidekicks, always within reach, helping us run businesses, keep in touch with loved ones, or make that last-minute online purchase. But with more than 60 percent of digital fraud happening through mobile devices, it’s clear we need to buckle up and prioritize our cyber safety.

Living in the Mobile Age

Our world today is connected more than ever, thanks to the rise of mobile devices. These handy gadgets have revolutionized how we communicate, work, and access information. They’re like our digital Swiss Army knives!

But with great power comes great responsibility. As our reliance on these devices grows, so does the need for cyber safety. Mobile cybersecurity has evolved from being a nice-to-have to an absolute must-have. It’s like swapping out a bicycle for a motorbike – you’ll need a helmet now!

The ‘Always On’ Dilemma

One defining characteristic of our mobile devices is their ‘always on, always connected’ nature. It’s like having a shop that never closes. This constant connectivity, while convenient, adds a whole new layer of importance to cyber security.

Why Cyber Security is No Laughing Matter

Cyber threats are like those pesky mosquitoes in the summer – they’re everywhere and can cause some serious harm. Protecting our personal info and securing our digital infrastructure is crucial. It’s like ensuring our homes are locked up tight before we head out for the day. So, ladies, let’s not forget to lock our digital doors too!

The Road Hazards of the Digital Highway

Data Leaks – The Potholes of the Internet

Ever felt like an app knows too much about you? That’s because many smartphone apps collect data from your phone. It’s like giving someone access to your car’s glove box – you never know what they might find. To avoid these potholes, adjust your security controls to limit the data collected by each app.

Open WiFi – The Slippery Slope

Connecting to open WiFi networks can feel like a lifesaver when you’re in a pinch. But it’s akin to leaving your car unlocked in a sketchy neighbourhood – anyone nearby can easily break in. Imagine you’re having a chat and someone is eavesdropping on your convo. Creepy, right? That’s what network threats like man-in-the-middle attacks feel like. So, remember to only connect to WiFi networks that you trust.

Phishing Attacks – The Sudden Stop

Phishing attacks are like those sneaky stop signs you didn’t see coming. Cybercriminals trick you into giving up passwords or downloading malware. To avoid these sudden stops, always double-check who’s asking for your personal information.

Spyware – The Unwanted Passenger

Some apps promise to monitor your loved ones’ activity but end up being unwanted passengers hitching a ride on your smartphone. These sneaky stowaways can read your texts, track your location, and even listen to your conversations.

Malicious Apps – The Oil Slick

Malicious apps are like oil slicks on the road – they seem harmless, but they can cause a major crash. These apps often promise free access to premium content, only to infect your phone with viruses.

Poor Password Security – The Broken Lock

Reusing passwords is like using a broken lock on your car door – it won’t provide much protection. To boost your password security, consider using a password manager app to generate unique passwords for every account.

Aussies and Scams: A Not-So-Love Story

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, two-thirds of Australians were exposed to a scam in 2021-2022. That’s like every second person receiving a dodgy email promising them a share in an unknown inheritance.

The most common scams were phone or text-message-based. It seems scammers have moved on from snail mail to more tech-savvy methods. And sadly, Australians lost a whopping $3.1 billion to scams in 2022. That’s a lot of doughnuts!

The Struggle with Cyber Hygiene

Most mobile users struggle with maintaining good cyber hygiene. It’s like brushing your teeth – we all know it’s important, but sometimes we forget. Many devices either lack the latest security updates or can’t be upgraded due to hardware limitations. Remember, keeping your devices updated is just as important as keeping your business running smoothly.

Your Roadside Assistance Kit for Cyber Safety

Now you know the road hazards, here are some tips to keep your smartphone safe and secure:

  1. Update Your Device: Just like regular car maintenance, keeping your phone updated can protect it against malware and other cyberattacks.
  2. Identity Protection: Identity theft is on the rise, with thieves opening new mobile phone accounts or hijacking existing ones. Protect your identity by creating a password or PIN with your carrier.
  3. Download Anti-virus Programs: Consider these your roadside assistance for the digital highway. Apps like Norton Security and Antivirus, McAfee Mobile Security, and Kaspersky Antivirus and Security can spot malicious apps and keep your phone running smoothly.

So ladies, let’s buckle up and prioritize our mobile cybersecurity. After all, we wouldn’t drive without a seatbelt, so why should our smartphones be any different?

Becky Duncan