Wireless Zone® Blog

Your source for mobile technology information and insight.

Don't Become a Victim of Smishing

Posted by Cellular Chloe on Sep 27, 2012 11:28:00 AM

Smartphone Survival Guide

If you own a Smartphone or tablet, you are probably well aware that they are essentially mini, portable computers. Which means, they are susceptible to many of the perils a computer might face.  The most obvious is hacking and theft of identity or personal information. I referred to them as portable to remind you that they are also prone to loss or theft.

As long as there are devices that collect personal information, there will always be thieves inventing new scams to try to separate you from personal information. For example, there is a new threat called smishing. We are going to run out of "ishing" terms to name these scams. This is when you get a text message with an offer to get something free by going to a link. If you go there it is generally a website that asks for information. Just by clicking the link the damage is already done. You'll never get that $1000 gift card and there is now spyware on your phone capturing the keystrokes that you type in,  such as passwords, credit card numbers, etc.. 

 

 

Here are a few apps  to safeguard  your phone against these dangers. Most of these apps  are free.

Smishing/Malicious Attacks

Android

 

It's always easy to say after you have been hacked or lose your data, "I should have installed virus protection" or, "I should have backed up." What's really easy is installing Lookout on your phone. Lookout periodically scans your mobile device specifically looking for phishing, malware and spyware. It also checks any apps you load on your device and any websites you visit.

 

iPhone

Norton Identity Safe prevents dangerous websites from stealing your personal information. It does this by letting you know if a site is dangerous before you visit it. This can be downloaded from the AppStore for free.

 

 

 

Loss/Theft

 

Android 

This is the first and only phone locating app that you download AFTER you've already lost your phone. Having  Lookout on your phone is the best way to protect your phone and find it fast, but use  Plan B if you have already lost your phone and didn't already have Lookout installed. From another device, you can send the app to your phone OTA (over-the-air), as long as the phone is on. It will turn on the GPS and gmail your coordinates on a map back to you. I swear by this app as about a year ago my Droid Bionic was stolen nd using this app and the help of the police, I got it back.
Verizon Mobile Security provides antivirus protection to detect viruses and malware. It will also identify and warn customers of suspicious websites. That tier of the software is free. The next tier, available for $1.99/month per line,  Verizon Mobile Security Premium also provides a recovery feature that allows customers to remotely locate, alarm, lock or wipe data from a lost or misplaced device using their My Verizon accounts.

 

 

iPhone

 

Find My iPhone works on iPhones, iPad, iPod Touch or Mac. This will let you use another device to find and protect your data. Find My iPhone will help you locate your missing device on a map. From there you can choose to display a message, play a sound at full volume for two minutes, remotely lock your device or erase your data from it.  You can even write a message and display it on your screen. Something like, “If found, Please call me at 408-555-0198.” Your message appears, even if the screen is locked.

One thing to be aware of in OS6. if you turn off location services, it will disable Find My iPhone.

 

 

Lookout is an easy way to protect your iOS device from loss. You can use the Internet or another phone to determine the missing device’s location. It will also back up your data and protect your personal information. Then you can send a loud alarm to pinpoint its location, even if it's on silent.

Stay safe out there!

-CC

 

 

 


Read More

Topics: Android Apps, Android, Lookout, cell phone scams, cell phone, iphone, iOS apps, Tablet, Iphone4S, As Read in CONNStep Advantage, iPhone5, iPad, As seen in ConnStep Advantage

Back to School Gadgetista Style

Posted by Cellular Chloe on Aug 23, 2012 12:35:00 PM

If you are like most parents, the family summer vacation is in the rearview and you've heard "Mom, Can I have a snack?" about 50 times a day. This is the time some parents have been anxiously awaiting since the school bell rang back in June, Back to school. If you're diligent, you can be one loose leaf binder away from completing all the BTS purchases. Here are some things to consider gadgetwise:

Read More

Topics: As heard on Damon Scott Show, Android Apps, Lookout, Tablet

Phishing and Smishing? Coming Soon to a Mobile Device Near You

Posted by Cellular Chloe on Aug 21, 2012 12:49:00 PM
Phishing
Have you heard of Phishing? It's like fishing, but the bait is your nievity regarding your cell phone.  It generally happens when you get an email asking for you to update information from a bank or other institution that might already have your information. However, the sender is someone other than a reputable source, hoping you are on your cell phone and hoping you'll sense an urgency to respond instead of worrying about where the message came from. On your computer it is much easier to spot scams and phishing than it is on your cell phone, especially since the link might take you to a sight that looks like your bank. After all, anyone can lift a logo online and build a webpage with a form.

Smishing
Now there is a new scam to keep an eye out for. It's called Smishing. It entails the same bait as before but it uses SMS to get the message to you. It might be in the form of an offer, a coupon or various other offers people fall for. The way it works is you'll get a text message with a call to action usually in the form of a link. Use your common sense. If it looks too good to be true, it most likely is. 
Just between North America and 2 other countries, 30 million such messages are sent daily. In the US alone there are 300 million mobile devices and 72% of then use text messaging.
A study done by Cloudmark shows that SMS offers a better ROI (return on investment) than email spam. So you can expect to see more and more of it. 
Metropolitan areas are more prevalent as spammers tend to gravitate toward living in those areas. One benefit of major metro areas is that long code providers are more prevalent. Short codes need a mobile device to push out the message whereas Long codes are executed from a 10-digit phone number (no mobile device is needed). Those 10-digit virtual numbers enable the sending and receiving of SMS over landlines. Long codes are not only low cost and efficient, the virtual numbers are not tightly regulated as short codes and startup times take days not months.

Safeguards
It's always easy to say after you have been hacked or lose your data, "I should have installed virus protection" or, "I should have backed up." Do you know what's really easy? installing Lookout or another virus protection to your phone. You wouldn't run your computer without Norton or some antivirus software. Your smartphone is a mini computer vulnerable to many of the same hazards as your laptop or desktop. Lookout periodically scans your mobile device specifically looking for phising, malware and spyware. It also checks any apps you load on your device and any websites you visit.

What to do about it
Read More

Topics: Android, Apple, Lookout, Mobile Broadband, cell phone scams

On The LOOKOUT For Sticky Fingers

Posted by Cellular Chloe on Nov 7, 2011 3:46:00 PM

Grab a drink, pop some kernals, make yourself comfortable, this is a good story! Friday night I was out with my cousin Cheri and a bunch of friends.  As it got later in the evening, the people we were sitting with started to filter out.

Read More

Topics: As heard on Damon Scott Show, Android Apps, apps, Motorola, Android, Apple, Lookout, Apps Android Apps Android, 4G LTE

Posts by Topic

see all

Follow Us

Subscribe to get our latest blog post sent to your inbox