It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to love,romance and cupid firing his arrows at unsuspecting victims. (That may have come out wrong) It is also the time of year when the volume of threats to the security of computers and mobile devices rapidly increases, as we are offered new and exciting e-methods of wooing a would-be mate.
Malware and privacy violations are rife in these Valentine or romance styled apps and though many people are familiar with the old phishing emails that purported to show you who was in love with you if you would just click the link or open the file, it still goes on and some people are still caught out.
Nowadays mobile app stores are awash with apps that will frame your photos in a suitably cupid-ey frame, or offer your lover romance-filled quotes. We need to be hyper-vigilant when downloading any apps of course, but with the misty eyed romance comes additional danger. Some apps demand access to your email, texts, location, calendar and even phone calls. So the best outcome might be unwanted advertising the worst outcome could mean it basically taking control of your device. Always check the permissions, even on paid for apps. If you think it seems reasonable for a wallpaper app to need to know your location and have access to your contacts then go ahead, if you don’t, then maybe you should reconsider if this is what you want on our phone or device. Some apps that do these things are also available from Google Play, so you really need to keep your wits about you. Of course this advice applies to any time of of year, not specifically Valentine’s Day.
According to Bitdefender researchers, Valentine related scams are growing and a 10% rise on a single day was recorded in January. Of course, singling out one day from a period can make a trend look more volatile, but even if the overall trend for the period is half this, it is still a worrying uplift. If you BYOD or the device you use to e-woo is ever connected to your employers network (with or without their permission, we know what you are like…) then this has the potential to cause a lot of trouble.
Online scams are still alive and well as we mentioned earlier. Be wary of sites offering roses, designer jewelry and other wooing weapons at massively discounted prices. If it feels too good to be true, then it probably is. Apart from your loved one of course…
Happy Valentines Day, Security Lovers
images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net