- This data is taken from the survey conducted by S2 Grupo, through its Hijosdigitales.es blog, which also shows that more than 39.5% know someone who has been the victim of the theft of private information.
- Almost 34% of people who use a smartphone or tablet are unaware that the permissions they give to Apps can pose risks for their privacy.
- The team of experts of S2 Grupo has highlighted that some applications, which do not need it for their functionality, can have access to photos, videos, contacts, etc., contained on the mobile that can be used by cybercriminals to extort, harass or other intentions for profit.
- The company has developed a decalogue with recommendations for the safe use of the Apps.
Valencia, February 4, 2019.- On the occasion of the celebration on Tuesday, February 5 of the International Day of Secure Internet, S2 Grupo warned that mobile applications have become one of the main ways for cybercriminals to obtain sensitive information from people who put their privacy at risk.
The company, through its Hijosdigitales.es blog, has prepared a survey which shows that 50.7% of users acknowledge not using any measures to protect their privacy in the use of technological devices. Only 17.9% say they review the permissions requested by Apps and only 8.6% cover the webcam when not using it.
“These figures show that we still have a lot of awareness work to do among society for the safe use of the Internet, key in a day like the one that will be commemorated tomorrow at the International level. It is essential to be aware that cybercriminals exist in the online environment, just as there are criminals in the ordinary environment, and it is very important to know when we are at risk and how to protect ourselves“, said José Rosell, managing-partner of S2 Grupo.
The main intention of criminals is usually to obtain money through extortion, harassment, theft of data or even its illicit use. In addition, their way of working is increasingly stealthy and they can access our webcam and record us in situations of privacy, without us knowing, because they can activate it without the indicative light being activated. And this is just one example of the multitude of occasions in which we put ourselves at risk against cybercriminals without knowing it“, said Miguel A. Juan, managing-partner S2 Grupo.
The team of experts of S2 Grupo has highlighted that some applications, which do not need it for their functionality, can have access to photos, videos, contacts, etc., contained in the mobile that can be used by cybercriminals to extort, harass or other intentions for profit, mainly.
The survey carried out in Hijosdigitales.es also concludes that 33.8% of people who use a smartphone or tablet do not know that the permissions they give to Apps can entail risks for their privacy and 16.6% acknowledge that, although they know the dangers to which they may be exposed, they assume them.
In addition, 39.5% know someone who has been a victim of theft of private information such as photos, videos or credit card data and 17.9% know people who have been blackmailed through the use of connected devices.
Decalogue to use apps in a safe way
The team of experts of S2 Grupo has drawn up a set of fundamental recommendations for downloading and using applications in a secure way to protect both the privacy of users and to prevent the devices from being infected by viruses:
- Adjust the devices in their configuration to not allow the installation of applications of unknown origin. – This measure will only allow the installation of apps from the official store, which provides greater security because non-official apps may contain hidden functions, such as viruses.
- Application updates. – Updates of the apps usually respond to improvements in their security system, for this reason it is recommended to adjust the device so that they are done automatically. In order to avoid exaggerated data consumption, it is possible to indicate that these updates are carried out only when the mobile is connected to a Wi-Fi network.
- Periodically review the permits granted to social networks. – They can make concessions for specific needs and forget it. This can allow their developers to read information silently for years.
- Preserving our privacy .- The most common permissions are to read our files (photos and videos), know our location, access our messages and emails, read our contacts and write and publish on our behalf in a social network. To preserve our privacy, it is advisable to access the phone settings area and eliminate those apps and permissions that we deem inappropriate.
- Consistent permissions with the function that the application will perform.- For example, normally allow Whatsapp to access the camera or the SD card because it is a messaging tool. However, if we install a flashlight application, it is not “normal” to request permission to send SMS or make calls, as these could be done in a hidden way and considerably raise the telephone bill.
- Before installing the app, read the list of requested permissions.
- Once installed, check in “settings” the permissions that have actually been granted. It is interesting to carry out this check to make sure that it matches the information provided before the download.
- Install an antivirus.- Every year new virus variants appear destined to directly attack mobile phones, for this reason it is essential to have an antivirus that analyzes the suitability of the apps every time we download them.
This blog developed by S2 Grupo has more than 10,000 daily visits from all over the world and has become a meeting point for parents and children to promote the safe use of technology.
A group of professionals specialized in security, social networks and technology with the aim of offering information of interest that is helpful for groups that may be unprotected if they make inappropriate use of these types of devices and tools.