The 2016 holiday shopping season may be the most dangerous of all – to your smartphone. Cyber criminals are increasing our risk of using mobile devices while shopping, whether it is Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Going to physical stores and connecting to risky Wi-Fi networks, or shopping online both pose increasing risks we should all be aware of.
Mobile devices are making our lives so much easier in many ways – easier to communicate, easier to manage and access information, and easier to shop. Unfortunately, cyber criminals are making all of these activities more risky every year, constantly finding creative ways to steal and expose sensitive data, and exploit that information for their own gain.
According to industry statistics, 90 percent of people admit to using their smartphones while in brick and mortar stores, to check online reviews, compare prices and evaluate competitive products. That means shoppers are also looking for Wi-Fi networks to connect their phones to in order to save on their data plans. While many stores and malls offer Wi-Fi for their customers, so do cyber criminals.
- Fashion Show mall in Las Vegas alone has a whopping 14 risky Wi-Fi networks that should be avoided.
Then comes Cyber Monday. When shopping online, often performed on mobile devices today, shoppers may use store apps or look for online bargains and coupons. Hackers know this and will offer repackaged versions of your favorite store app, or even create new apps that promise deals and rewards. When much of our attention is on the task of shopping, especially during the frantic holiday season, please don’t overlook the risks.
- Apps from your favorite retailers, like Starbucks, may be hiding malicious code if you are not careful about where the app came from.
Read the full report to learn all about the risks shoppers face while shopping, and how to go about protecting mobile devices. Enterprise IT security admins should be aware that all of their may potentially expose their organizations to the prying eyes of hackers, simply by shopping. Leading EMM vendors suggest adding a Mobile Threat Defense solution to protect your mobile enterprise, and the SANS institute recommends a solution with a layered defense strategy and advanced analytics.