Mobile devices have been under the security microscope in recent years, as flaw after flaw emerges in operating systems, applications and even hardware.
From treating desktop as default, the security discussion has moved more and more to mobile as users have migrated and security threats have followed them.
The majority user base for mobile devices is Android, so that’s where the majority of threats is concentrated; along with the advantages of a more open platform comes a range of security flaws that goes right down to the bare metal and includes firmware, apps and exploits.
However, as iOS’s user base has grown, attacks on iOS devices have also become more common.
Unfortunately, our actual behavior has lagged behind the security conversation: we might be reading about mobile security, but we’re not doing enough about it. Even if you’re the kind of security-forward person who already has a desktop VPN, a firewall, reputable anti-virus and anti-malware and maybe even ad blockers and other tools in place, the chances are that you’re neglecting the mobile portion of your online life, making your mobile devices routes through which you can be attacked.
And our mobile devices are juicy targets. Perpetually logged into social networks, filled with pictures of our personal, family and professional lives, and used all day every day to communicate, we rely on them too much not to protect them.
And consider: do you use your mobile for online banking? Buy stuff on PayPal?
Now there’s a target worth attacking.
What’s worse is, we still pay for mobile internet by the data unit — the way we used to pay for desktop internet access back in the days when our dial-up modems sounded like the theme music to sci-fi shows and the best you could hope for was ‘communicating at an unknown rate.’ hat creates an incentive to use wifi every chance we get, and if you don’t think criminals know and exploit that fact, you’re not paying attention.
Dodgy public wifi that can be spoofed or hacked with trivial ease; man-in-the-middle attacks that steal email and communications on the fly; phony networks in hotels, bars, coffee shops and airports; wifi’s a minefield. Sooner than exercise the kind of caution required to make it halfway safe, the best choices are to either not use it, at least outside you own home and business, or to use a VPN at all times.
Which VPN should you use with your mobile device? The good news is, choosing a VPN for your mobile device is pretty simple. Most really good VPNs also have a solid mobile application that should fit your operating system, though if you’re a Windows Phone user you might find your options are more limited.
So, it makes sense to select the VPN you use for your desktop with mobile in mind, and test drive a few before you commit. The norm is for a top-tier VPN to offer between three and six simultaneous connections, so you should be able to VPN up all your devices for the price of one. That way, you can keep on using your mobile to run your life, knowing that at least your traffic’s safe!