Mobile device usage
The way in which we use computing devices has changed significantly over the years. In the very early days, computers were as big as a room, incredibly expensive, and so slow that processing jobs had to be booked days in advance – which is why only very large businesses and universities owned them.
Today, however, the enormous processing power and impressive portability of mobile devices allow us to do more with our cell phones and tablets than computers could do just a few years ago. So much so that some people have managed to completely replace their notebook and desktop PCs with tablets and smartphones.
In the crosshairs of cybercriminals
Because we use our smartphones so much, they are natural targets for hackers. Breaking into someone’s phone could reveal user names, passwords, bank account details and much more. Which is why incidences of smartphone spyware continue to rise.
Even if your smartphone is not your primary computing device, you must protect it properly. Regularly downloading updates to the operating system and installing an anti-malware package are the least you can do to keep hackers away from your personal data. In the same way that installing anti-malware on your PC has become an essential part of the setup process, we should begin adopting a similar approach to our phones.
More power, more possibilities
Most studies agree that users spend more time on their phones for research, social networking and messaging than on their computers. But they also indicate that when there is a 'serious' task to be done, they go back to their desktop PC – usually because they feel a full-size keyboard and mouse allow them to be more productive.
Additionally, the smart speaker market is experiencing explosive growth as people fall in love with Google Now, Alexa, Cortana and Siri. And because these systems are voice-enabled, we don’t even need a screen to see what is being done. It is highly likely that voice control will replace the need for a keyboard in the future – which is one of the main factors that prevent us from making smartphones our main computing devices.
Smartphones and IoT
The market is getting filled with Internet-connected, smart home devices, and with that come concerns about the possibility that they may become a point of entry for cyberattackers. If a voice-enabled device, security camera, smart lock, smart thermostat or even a smart TV fell into the hands of a hacker, it could be used to spy on private conversations or bypass home security systems.
Statistics show that malware for mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) is on the rise compared to other types of threats. In general, IoT devices are not the final target of cybercriminals, but they increase the attack surface and are used as an entry point into corporate networks. We use our smartphones to bank online, take and save photos, store addresses, etc., that is, they have become containers of highly personal and valuable information that could be exploited by hackers for malicious purposes.