In terms of mobile security, most good practices are easy to apply by everyone: only install applications from official stores (Google Play Store for Android, App Store for iOS), use a password manager and make sure to always put quickly updates its applications and operating system.
But other practices are more difficult to follow. And one threat has haunted IT departments for years: administrators have to constantly remind users not to do certain things. Yet they keep coming.
If it’s your personal device, you won’t even be able to turn to your IT department if something goes wrong. You will then have to go to your carrier and pay a fee to restore your device, which can be expensive, or restore your device to factory settings – which does not always solve the problem. But if you are a victim of ransomware, restoring to factory settings will strip you of your data. Unless you are ready to pay the ransom.
How can this catastrophic scenario be avoided? I give you my most valuable advice: if you have any doubts, do nothing.
Curiosity is a bad thing
Regularly, I am asked: “I received an SMS but I do not know its sender. Can I click on the link? »
The answer, unequivocally, is always a resounding “NO”!.
If you do not know the sender of an email, SMS, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger message, or a message received on any other communication channel, do not open it, click don’t click on the links, don’t copy it, don’t reply, don’t call the sender… in short, don’t interact in any way with this stranger.
And this is the heart of the problem.
Many users, and even some journalists, blame it on the companies that provide operating systems and mobile apps. Not only does this not seem right to me, but it is also particularly unnecessary. In the same way as on the computer, the user has his share of responsibility. To my knowledge, Google has never asked you to click on the link to unknown sources that you received, and Apple is not threatening you to reply to this strange SMS.
And yet, despite repeated warnings, users still click on suspicious links, and still respond to messages sent by strangers.
As a reminder, the result can be catastrophic for your data, your privacy and your identity.
Tons of messages every day
According to Avast, ransomware attacks have increased by 32% for enterprises, and 38% for individuals this year.
These attacks can take different forms: false delivery of packages, fraudulent technical assistance, sexual exploitation scams, or even phishing (harvesting of personal information with a view to an attack or a scam).
Messages of this type, you have already received. I receive them every day. The time of writing this article, I received no less than five scams of this kind.
This type of attack is so common that I have come to the point of automatically blocking (or marking as spam) any email containing certain phrases or companies commonly used in phishing scams.
Caution is the mother of safety
On my phone, I also get about 10 text messages a day that go like, “Hi, I tried to call you but you’re not answering. What is happening ? » The sender of this message is not in my contact list, which means that I do not know him.
For several years, I have developed a simple rule: I do not know the sender, I do not answer the phone or messages. I no longer hesitate to block and report these messages as spam. The sender may be legitimate, but I’m not taking any chances.
And that’s the attitude every user should have with their phone. Use caution and you’ll avoid many of the common attacks on your privacy and data.