Vulnerabilities in mobile device operating systems or apps are popular gateways for criminal attacks. It will help prevent unpleasant surprises if you know what you can do about it.
Is your smartphone or tablet still up-to-date? Many users cannot give a clear reply to this question. Yet a mobile device is only as secure to the extent that is up-to-date: Outdated systems often contain vulnerabilities which can be exploited by online criminals, for instance to plant malware on a device or carry out other kinds of attack.
Some manufacturers, like Apple or Google, fix any vulnerability in their devices promptly by supplying appropriate updates or patches. At least they do for as long as your smartphone or tablet is not that old – or unfortunately, not too cheap either. More expensive models do receive updates for longer, while no updates are provided any longer for older devices at all. Other manufacturers take their time or don’t provide any updates for some of their models at all – the security of your device is then completely the owner’s responsibility.
To protect your mobile device against attack as best as possible, you should consider the following tips:
- Always install any updates promptly once you have been notified one is available.
- Activate the automatic update feature of your operating system and apps.
- Android smartphones and tablets need virus protection, too – you should therefore install an anti-malware app.
- Keep an eye on the end of their support lifecycle especially with older devices – the moment a manufacturer no longer offers any updates for your model, you must be particularly careful. Details can be found on every manufacturer’s website.
You can find further security recommendations for mobile devices under our “5 steps for your digital security” and “How to use a mobile banking app in a secure manner“.