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Cyber Fraud? There is an App for That

July 19th, 2013 | by admin admin | in Security Advice |    1   comments

smartphone_virus.jpgWhether you’re playing Candy Crush Saga or messaging your client, apps, MMS and SMS (messaging services) are a great way to share information and add functionality to your smartphone. However, they can also offer opportunities for cyber fraud, malware and predators.

To protect yourself and your data, take some precautions:

1. How much information do you have about the developer? Do they have a physical address, web site or email? Beware unregulated and third-party apps, but even apps that seem legitimate can often contain destructive viruses or be used to collect your personal data.

2. Compare an app and the permissions it requests before installing. Does an iPhone game really need to access your location and contacts list?

3. Only download apps or content, or exchange information, with reputable sites you know and trust. Try to use only the default source of apps, or official website, for your mobile device.

4. Watch what you text. Don't send personal or sensitive information.

5. Never open MMS attachments from unknown or untrusted sources. Never click the links or call phone numbers that are embedded in these suspicious messages, even if they're from your bank or cell provider.

Increasingly, text messages are being used to phish, spread viruses, and link to malicious websites. Mobile viruses and malware won't just compromise your information, OS (operating system), email or Internet connection. They can also destroy contact info and calendar entries, and send infected MMS and SMS messages to your contact list.

Under Canada's anti-spam legislation (CASL), developers and distributors must clearly identify themselves, describe the software, and secure your consent before installing software on your device. If the software collects personal information or performs other restricted functions, you must first give your consent in a form separate from the licence agreement. Find out more at www.fightspam.gc.ca.

As with any potential fraud situation, an ounce of common sense in guarding your personal information goes a long way toward online security.

Source: Get Cyber Safe, “Apps, Content, MMS and SMS

Note: This blog discusses general safety and security topics. It is not intended to provide comprehensive advice or guidance. In all matters of personal safety and security, we encourage readers to research topics in depth and consult a security professional about specific concerns.

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