Is your smartphone safe from scammers? Why you could be at risk

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Cybercriminals are targeting cell phones this holiday season. (Photo: Getty Images)
Cybercriminals are targeting cell phones this holiday season. (Photo: Getty Images)

Call 2020 the Year of the Phish. “Phishing” is when cyber criminals try to extract your confidential information by sending a phony email or SMS text (in which case it’s called “smishing”) that appears to be from a trusted source. It has long been their most successful “threat action,” and now the bad guys are targeting your mobile devices.

According to a new report by Lookout, a mobile security platform, 88 percent of US consumer phishing attacks in 2020 have targeted mobile devices.

Why the uptick? The COVID-19 pandemic has more of us are working at home, using our phones and tablets to keep in touch and attending virtual meetings.

Also, as Threatpost editor-in-chief Tom Spring explains, manufacturers’ safeguards are not quite where they need to be. “The type of protections that exist on Mac and Windows operating systems aren’t as mature in the mobile space,” he tells Yahoo Life. “They’re getting there but criminals are taking advantage of new opportunities as they crop up.”

If your internet connection suddenly gets slower, if you’re data consumption spikes, or if your battery life starts to sag, you may have been infected with a malicious app. So say the good folks at Norton Security Online, which offers an array of rock-solid protections against phishing, smishing, viruses, and malware.

Norton Security Online provides state-of-the-art encryption and real-time protection from viruses, spyware, malware and scammers across 5 of your devices and will alert you to security and privacy risks when you’re talking, texting or typing away at home or at a public Wi-Fi hotspot.

Small screen, big danger: Be sure to scrutinize URLs that arrive via text. (Photo: Getty Images)
Small screen, big danger: Be sure to scrutinize URLs that arrive via text. (Photo: Getty Images)

It isn’t just the lack of built-in software protection that makes your cellphone so vulnerable. It’s also the small screen that makes it harder for you to…

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