It is becoming more important than ever to think about security when it comes to mobile devices and do you know that most mobile friendly websites still opt to have non-ssl versions of their mobile site instead of SSL.  They do this because a non-SSL or encrypted website serves traffic faster and on a mobile device speed is even more important to get to the information you want as mobile devices unless you are 4G LTE typically have slower speeds than home broadband desktops so need that extra optimization for speed, but it is a shame it comes at the cost of security.

In the Philippines for example, a study from Nielsen Philippines found 3 out of 4 Filipinos use smart phones to access the Internet, spending an average of 3 hours a day online. The study also notes an increase in usage of those under the age of 24 years old, but the results are still staggering. If we apply this across the world – that’s a lot of people accessing the Internet through the use of their phone.  Imagine if just 50% of those websites were non-ssl or insecure allowing all that transmission of data to be freely sniffed from Wi-Fi sniffers or those sitting between the networks looking to capture sensitive data.

Certificates are one of the most trusted and true methods for securing mobile devices and will be also useful for security for other personal gadgets as well, think about your Internet connected thermostat or other devices do you really want them to be publicly sharing data insecurely?

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How can CA certificates help?

Certificate Authority’s specialize in providing various security certificates. These CA Certificates by Thawte represent a high level of safety that has been achieved by that particular website. SSL, for example, stands for Secure Sockets Layer and represents an efficient encryption protocol. If you see a padlock symbol online – that’s SSL. If it’s green, that’s the better SSL EV (extended validation) certificate.  Certificates can be used for things like Encryption (making sure the data can only be decrypted by parties who have the matching key) or Digital Signing which means that the sites will only accept the certificate if they have the matching key-pair and accept requests from only the authorized source.

When browsing online from any device but especially mobile devices, you should always look for these websites that have SSL enabled or opt to have SSL enabled, sometimes this requires you to visit the “Desktop version” of a website instead of the Mobile Friendly version.  This is especially when you’re giving out financial data, never enter any personal or financial data on any site form unless it is SSL protected and you see there is an SSL certificate in place. It doesn’t matter what device you’re using, if you’re sending data to and from a website, there is always a chance that someone might try and hack in. Encryption is a translation protocol that ensures the message isn’t readable during this process – therefore keeping your information safe.

Without it, you’re simply at risk of someone stealing your data. This is especially true with mobile gadgets. If you sign into public Wi-Fi and other networks, you never know who may be listening in.

Security

Is mobile security available?

Fortunately, as we increase an age ever-dominated by the smart device, help is available. As the likes of BYOD (bring your own device) become popular in offices, companies are making smart phone firewalls and anti-viral software.  There are corporate solutions that involve security containers for your device like GOOD MDM for example, but also proxies and firewalls to help filter traffic and restrict sites but these all serve to potentially interrupt the user experience when it comes to BYOD.

For consumer protection there are several mobile security apps including Lookout Security & Antivirus, 360 Mobile Security, Avast Free Mobile Security, NQ Mobile Security & Antivirus and some of these applications not only have trojan, malware and malicious app detection but also have browsing protection to detect if you are visiting a known malicious or suspected malicious site, but they also have detection to see if your phone was altered, tampered or rooted so as to make it more susceptible to trojans or malicious attacks as well.

Bottom Line:

Whether its use is for authentication, application management, browser protection or simply setting an effective firewall to screen your device, there are options out there and you should be thinking about how you will be protecting mobile devices and other gadgets that access the Internet. If you consider how often your phone is used, or if you synchronize and link it to other devices and networks the need for protection becomes quite apparent.  The need also exists to make sure all data is backed up and synchronized as well

 

 

 

 

Justin Germino
Working in the IT Industry for over 17 years starting with OS, Networking and then moving into web based technologies including authentication and online security. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.
Justin Germino

@dragonblogger

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Justin Germino