It’s easy to forget that the device in your pocket isn’t just a phone. It’s a computer millions of times more powerful than the systems used for the moon landings in 1969.
Yet as of May 2016, 81 percent of the UK population has a smartphone – and we’ve never been more addicted to them. A third of UK adults have reported arguing with their partner about phone overuse.
Mobile phones are now an essential part of business life, with many complaining they never switch off from work as they are constantly accessible through email via their smartphones. Open rates and engagement on mobile devices has increased by 7% between 2015 and 2016, while other device usage has decreased meaning more people are now using mobile devices to view email content.
According to eMailmonday– “the Ultimate mobile email stats” 81% of smartphone users say they regularly check emails on the go using their mobile phones.Android users spend the most time viewing emails with over half spending more than 15 seconds viewing each message.
As email usage on mobile devices grows rapidly, so too does mobile malware. Malware (or ‘malicious software’) is software that’s designed to secretly control a device and steal private information. According to Symantec, the number of mobile malware vulnerabilities (weaknesses in a device’s security system that can be exploited by criminals) has increased every year over the past three years. With the new rules surrounding data protection coming into play this month, mobile device protection is now essential.
Here are some of the symptoms you may experience on your mobile device if you think you have mobile malware:
- Strange charges on your phone bill – Unexpected charges may be symptomatic of a virus. Malicious applications can make money by using your phone to send premium text messages or phone calls. Always make sure to keep an eye on your phone bill so you can catch out anything that might be dangerous to your device.
- Invasive adverts – Overbearing adverts are a sign that you may have adware on your phone. Adware can infect your device with malicious code. Be aware of links in emails that may be form a strange email address that you do not recognise. Only click on links that you are sure are meant for you.
- Contacts receiving strange messages – Malware can use your device to send spam texts, which can result in your contacts’ devices becoming infected too.
- Poor performance – Like a computer, a slowdown in performance is a sure sign of infection.
- New applications – If new apps appear unexpectedly on your device, a malicious app could be downloading them onto your device. They may contain malware too. Always check you are downloading verified applications onto your device, especially downloads you may receive through emails. Be careful of what permissions you grant to these apps when you download them.
- Abnormal data consumption – Malicious applications need to send and receive information from their creators via the internet. Your phone lets you see how much data you are consuming. Be aware of your normal data usage and if there has been a spike in recent times. Applications can be downloaded unknowingly through links clicked in emails or attachments.
- Noticeable reduction in battery life – Once a virus has been planted onto your device it can sometimes substantially drain your mobile battery. Although smartphone batteries are known for their less than ideal lifespan, you will notice a difference if a virus is draining your device battery.
How to prevent receiving mobile malware through email platforms:
Be aware of strange looking emails from people you do not know. Email address can be disguised by a well-known brands such as iTunes, PayPal or HMRC. These are known as “phishing emails” and they are designed to steal personal information about you or your company and customer base. By clicking links or attachments in these emails you may be downloading mobile malware. You may receive an email asking you to confirm or request a refund for a product you have supposedly purchased by clicking on a link in the email body. If you do not believe you have made such purchases do not click on the link and report the email immediately.
Another way to tell if the email has come from a malicious account is to click on the name in the “from:” section. This will reveal the actual email address of the sender. If it is not someone you recognised or a legitimate address, delete the email and report.
By downloading an email antivirus software such as Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, you can significantly reduce the risk of a virus getting onto your device via your emails.
Advanced Threat protection will protect the user from unsafe attachments by monitoring all content through real-time behavioural malware analysis before the recipient receives the email. In the unlikely case that a malware email does reach a recipient and a user clicks on a malicious link the URL is scanned in real-time and the user is advised that the site could be dangerous.
You can gain critical insight reports into who is being targeted within your company. Reporting and message trace allows you to investigate messages that have been blocked due to unknown viruses or malware. Advanced Threat Protection can be added to a number of packages.
Contact our team to find out about options and pricing that best suits your business needs.