Everyday, mobile communications are impacted by a growing number of cyber threats. And attackers are using specific actions to make us even more vulnerable to these attacks. In this article, we are going to talk about some of the best practical tips for keeping your mobile communications secure and how SKY ECC can help protect you from these common vulnerabilities.
Your data is being leaked by apps
Yes, free aps do purposely “leak” your data so that advertisers and any other app developers can use it. This is done for profit, selling your data that they have collected, as well as analysing the data themselves so they can make changes to their own app. Whilst none of this is done out of evil intentions, (we highly doubt any app developers are doing this to become super villains) but this still leave you vulnerable.
Often apps will require access to numerous features across your phone – such as contacts, camera, GPS, etc. – despite not exactly needing them to function. In doing this they can leave your data exposed, albeit by accident. This is called “riskware”.
Or you could be saddled with a hostile app, which will have malicious code pushed through your device. This can make over apps extremely vulnerable. Despite often seeming like normal apps, these are “malware” and could be potentially on your device from as early as the factory. These can be very damaging, especially in corporate settings, who are often the target of these.
Any of your data being leaked should not be okay, but the truth is free apps survive and thrive of this data. To be protected, you must be alert to these threats.
Protecting yourself from data leaks
When it comes to mitigating the risks of data leakage, the following are very useful:
⦁ Make sure the data apps share is limited as much as possible
⦁ Only give apps access to a minimal amount of the features and other apps on your device.
⦁ Don’t add an app if it asks for permission multiple times, far more then necessary. There are always other options out there.
⦁ Whenever an app ask to access your location, camera, microphone or Bluetooth, don’t just click yes. You can always click no.
Whilst they make communication far easier, specialized apps allow hackers to target specific information.
How app data is secured by SKY ECC
When it comes to SKY ECC, we make sure that our first step to securing your data is to make sure we never collect it in the first place. If it is not all collected up and kept in one place, it can never be taken.
When it comes to our security features, there are two important steps to also know:
⦁ With SKY ECC, only apps that are approved are allowed on to SKY ECC devices. This means that it is impossible for someone to install any apps to their device, meaning that no one could be at potential risk.
⦁ Should the unlikely scenario of the device becoming infected in any way, it would be not be able to harm SKY ECC, as it is installed inside a secure, encrypted container.
So many secure apps choose to harvest user’s data when it is simple to follow the three parts above. They want to make money from adverts, and to do so they need your data. When you choose a free app, you can be sure that they will be trying to collect your data in some form or another. With SKY ECC, our funding comes from our users, so we do not need or ever want to have your data collected.
Free Wi-Fi can be great, but as much as you may enjoy it, hackers do just as much. In the U.S. anywhere between 34% to 44% of Wi-Fi is not encrypting data, with the number standing at 34% in Canada. It is an issue everywhere.
When a Wi-Fi is unsecure, it allows attackers to read anything that you may share over the network. This includes what sites you visit, any images and documents you share and even what you say. Next time you are in a coffeeshop or a bar, remember this.
Staying protected with unsecured Wi-Fi
There are a few different ways that you can stay protected, including:
⦁ Check that you are on the right connection. Free rogue Wi-Fi is often set up by hackers in public areas to catch people out. Talking to a member of staff will help make sure you are connected to the right Wi-Fi.
⦁ If a Wi-Fi connection does not have a password, don’t risk it. If it does not have a closed lock symbol, it is not protected and is not worth the risk.
⦁ Make sure to clear out any Wi-Fi connections you do not need anymore and to have automatic connection for Wi-Fi networks turned off
⦁ Make sure to connect with a VPN as to make sure your traffic encrypted.
⦁ Do not send any sensitive messages or documents through a network you do not trust. Use either your home or work networks.
Be it at an airport, train station or local coffeeshop, hackers are looking to be able to steal your data. Whilst they have to look through hundreds of conversations, one login, bank account sign in or credit card is all they need.
Keeping your Wi-Fi secure with SKY ECC
With SKY ECC, there are two ways in which we make sure you are protected when on Wi-Fi. The first is being sure of how secure the connection is. This is done for you by the app, automatically. Should the connection not be secure enough, it will not let you log into SKY ECC. The second is to create a secure tunnel that utilizes its own encryption (similar to a VPN but far stronger).
Working with our model of zero-trust, we know that to build proper network security practices, you have to start the app from the bottom, building upwards. The app checks each connection, utilizing the secure network protocols. All without you ever needing to think of any of it.
Dealing with fake Wi-Fi attacks
From man-in-the-middle attacks, to network spoofing and fake Wi-Fi, there are plenty of ways for hackers to try and do the same thing: To open up a rogue Wi-Fi connection and have anyone connect to it. From this, they can then monitor and see whatever is being shared, including vital data, and steal it.
You can also be manipulated by hackers into providing a login name, as well as a password. Presenting you with a network connection, they ask for the info, then see if it can match any details you may have for Amazon, apple, eBay or any other online outlets. How many of us use the same password for multiple accounts on different sites? The number is surely quite high. If it is not you, let’s be honest: your parents probably do. So, once they have one password, the rest could potentially fall like dominoes.
How to spot fake Wi-Fi and not get caught out
A lot of the best ways to stay protected are similar to those above with unsecure Wi-Fi:
⦁ Check with employees that you have the right Wi-Fi
⦁ If it is not password protected, do not use that Wi-Fi network
⦁ Make sure that you have automatic connections turned off. Automatically connecting could cause you to connect to a fake network created by a hacker
⦁ Always use a VPN, even if you do all the steps above
⦁ If you do not trust the network, do not send any sensitive data through it
⦁ Make sure that don’t constantly reuse passwords. Using a ⦁ password manager can help you create and unique codes for each account and site
Remember, if you do not control the network, then know that you definitely do not control your data on it. That means that you cannot be guaranteed your security and privacy. The only way you can is if you decide to by following the steps above.
How SKY ECC helps you secure against fake Wi-Fi
Even if you should be unlucky enough o connect to a truly terrible Wi-Fi network, SKY ECC network protections will keep you protected. Because if it is not secure, it will stop you from connecting. SKY ECC checks each and every connection made to make sure it is okay enough to connect. Should it still be unsecure and you still manage to connect, you will be protected by our 521-bit ECC encryption.
Should you connect to an unsecure network, you will remain safe as the fail-safes will kick in, another part of using a zero-trust model. Once joined, all the attacker will be able to see is encrypted data and quickly realise that they picked the wrong target to try and compromise.
Dodging the hook: How to protect against Phishing
Phishing is a type of attack where the target is sent an email or some form of message containing a link. Despite how authentic it looks, it is a trap and will instantly lead to a malicious site that will harvest your data.
Often, large companies will be the target, as someone will be sent an email, maybe posing as a legitimate email from another company. A tactic used by some hackers is to pretend their password needs resetting. Once they have tricked the target into clicking the link and resetting their supposed “password”, the hacker will then use that to gain access to their sign in as them on their own site.
Mobile messages are at a higher risk here, as messages are opened instantly. With desktop emails, they are checked less and so the potential victim has longer to find out before they open their mail.
Protecting yourself against phishing
One of the biggest problem with phishing attacks is that they are often very hard to spot. The best ways you can defend against them is:
⦁ Never trust random links. Always make sure to navigate to the page yourself and see if it asks for the same data
⦁ Contact the app or website through their own contact channels to make sure that the email is from them
⦁ Make sure to manually enter the URL. Many links can look perfectly fine, but can just be a hidden attack from a hacker
Verifying with the sender using a different channel can also help
How you are secured against phishing with SKY ECC
With SKY ECC, there is a few different ways that keeps you protected:
⦁ With SKY ECC, your ID is a six digit hexadecimal code that is not linked to your name, so no attackers can find who you are, so they cannot send the message to begin with
⦁ As only your approved contacts can message you, it is impossible for you to send you spam. Unless your friends decide to.
⦁ Our network makes sure that you can only got to sites that are trusted, so malware links will not work
We have made sure that SKY ECC is always secure against any sort of phishing attack. Remember, it will be human error that causes a user to click on a malicious link, not the fault of the device.
Looking out for spyware
With spyware, a person can track every keystroke, all GPS data as well as use patterns. These apps are deceptive to say the least and are often used employers or private investigators. But these apps become far worse when being controlled by a malicious hacker.
With how much data that can be collected, it is safe to say that spyware is a more worrying threat then a foreign government seeing what you are up to. With all the data, there is plenty of money at risk, which hackers aim to seize. By tracking what you do and what you type, you can unwittingly hand over everything financial from bank account information to credit card numbers. And whilst they do this, they can use GPS to track your exact location at any time.
What to do to protect against spyware
There is only one way to keep yourself protected from spyware and that is to make sure you have malware detection and antivirus tools installed. These will make sure that no matter what, spyware is kept from your phone.
How SKY ECC can help keep spyware from getting to you
With a SKY ECC device, you cannot install spyware as no devices can install an app that we have not approved. To add to this, we use OS-level protections and tamper-resistant software to keep spyware out. This is another reason why the choice of device is essential to your overall security.
Despite it being an impossibility, let’s say spyware managed to get onto a SKY ECC device, what then? Well, it would immediately hit a giant brick wall (metaphorically). SKY ECC us stored within the device in a different container, separate to the rest of the device, meaning no data can get out. Even with a keylogger, it would be impossible, as they would not be able to send any of the data to anywhere, as SKY ECC blocks connections to all sites other then ours.
Cyber threats have a big impact on mobile communications
Hackers are determined and persistent. They know that most people spend little time thinking of the messages and data being sent through their device. They know and will seek to exploit it.
To combat, the first thing that needs to be done is to spread awareness. Take the points from this article and make sure to use them to keep you safe. Make sure you understand it and share it with friends and family, so they know the importance too.
If you want to have all of this done automatically for you, then SKY ECC is what you need. It was built to be up to all of these tasks, to keep your most sensitive and important communications secure. We do not harvest your data to sell to third parties or use half hearted policies and practices. We make sure we can offer you the best, so you can be sure that your privacy is secure. Contact us to start using SKY ECC and help protect your most important and private digital communications.