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Beware! Apps on Your Smartphones are Highly Prone to Threats




Although, economists and policy makers have mixed opinions about the recent move of the Centre Government, but there is no doubt that Demonetization has caused the biggest cash crunch in India. To fight with this crisis, people have no other option except e-wallet; the gift of Cashless or better to say Digital Economy. Once again people are divided over the sudden introduction of the cashless monetary concept and both groups have logical assertions. Forecasting the long-term repercussions is not a point of discussion, what relevant here is making people aware of security challenges of e-wallets in the Cashless Economy. Because evil eyes are constantly stalking and prying on people’s computers and smartphones, Application-Specific Attacks records for 19% of cyber attacks in the year 2016 and mobile threats are all time high. With the shortage of cash and promotion of a cashless economy in the country, it is obvious that IT miscreants will look towards a way of breaking cyber security for their interest. 


An Alarming Situation


Today, a large number of people are using the online platform in the country for payments and money transactions either through online banking or e-wallets available on their smartphones. But, did you know that less than 5% of the mobile phone companies are using software which can detect potential security threats? Viruses, Trojans, Ransomware, Spyware and Malware are the potent weapons of hackers that they deploy to steal the data stored in internet phone and they also try to intercept a transaction process. Whatever be the value of a transaction, they make rigorous efforts to plunder the digital currency of individuals and businesses. World’s most tech-savvy country, the US lost $5.4 million to Bitcoin data breach in 2015. In contrast, when a majority of Indian population is not well versed with digital transactions and e-wallets, mobile security is a big challenge. 


After the implementation of demonetization policy in the country, a number of e-wallet transactions jumped up by 271 percent, the point of sale terminals have increased by 95 percent, a hike of 316 percent is noted in RuPay transactions whereas a growth of 119 percent was noticed in the unified payment interface. These threats come from the apps that customers download on a regular basis. Ironically, when we talk about cyber security, we seldom include mobile security. In fact, mobile data theft poses a bigger risk of leaking your information as your emails, contacts and other social networking sites are already installed in it. All our private and official information is at high risk while it is stored on our personal mobile phone.


Treat Symptoms that Should Never Be Ignored


If your smartphone’s battery has suddenly frustrated you with poor backup and you are frequently facing call drop problems, be alert, it could be a potential threat. Besides these two issues, if you are receiving large mobile bills without any visible change in your consumption pattern and you often face problems while downloading or uploading a document using the mobile data. Then beware! Your phone is either infected or hacked. So, be smart to intercept a data breach before it harms your personal and valuable information because mobile threats are on the rise.


Precaution, Prevention, and Protection


As we all know that precaution is better than cure, delete all the redundant apps from your phone and avoid downloading the apps which are not very useful to you. Don’t ignore any invasive permission, scrutinise it and block it. Before clicking “accept” for an update, make sure it is not a hacking attempt. In the case of suspicious performance of a particular app, delete it and go for “factory reset”. Despite making all such efforts, if your smartphone is still making trouble then purchase a highly rated security app from Google Play Store, install it and run it to protect your phone from the virus, malware and other threats. 


Mr. Sanjay Sharma
MD, Cloudatix