Holiday security tips: ‘Mobile devices are often less secure than traditional computers’

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It no longer takes physical theft to get your money. There are some dangers lurking especially during the holidays. Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts is now raising awareness of the importance of paying more attention to digital security and providing advice.

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If you go on vacation, you must protect your smartphone and tablet from the attacks of criminals.

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You can start with this before you leave.  According to cyber security expert Oliver Hershey of Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, it makes sense to update the operating system and applications.

You can start with this before you leave. According to cyber security expert Oliver Hershey of Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, it makes sense to update the operating system and applications.

20 minutes / Tadao Cerletti

Even if mobile phone theft is always risky,

Even if mobile phone theft is always risky, “criminals don’t have to steal the device to cause damage; you can also hack it over poorly secured public WiFi networks — for example at a beach bar or on the subway,” says the expert.

20 minutes / community

  • After the restrictions imposed due to the Corona pandemic, more people are now going on vacation again.

  • Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) warns that smartphones and tablets can easily become targets for criminals.

  • On the information platform EBAS, HSLU offers travel enthusiasts tips to protect their mobile devices and the data stored on them.

luxury vacation In trend this year after travel has been difficult due to the Corona pandemic. Now the desire to travel is growing again – and with it, so are the risks. With them Through the EBAS information platform, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts wants to make travelers aware that they are protecting their data. The focus here: smartphones and tablets. “Electronic banking – but safe!” says Oliver Hershey, Head of Information Platform. at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

Even if mobile phone theft is always risky, “criminals don’t have to steal the device to cause damage; you can also hack it over poorly secured public WiFi networks — for example at a beach bar or on the subway,” says the cybersecurity expert. Mobile devices are often less protected than traditional computers.” Many people realize that when it comes to computers, you have to take care of their security. “With mobile devices, this is often overlooked. People react quickly to notifications from messengers, but many have been ignoring update notifications for weeks.”

The fewer applications, the smaller the attack surface

Criminals target electronic banking, credit card data, and personal data, for example. To fill security holes in outdated operating systems and applications, they must be constantly updated. In addition, the fewer applications you have installed, the smaller the attack surface will be. If you want to use electronic banking during the holidays, it makes sense to monitor any movements in the account by means of notifications.

WLANs should only be used if they are trustworthy and encrypted. It is also based on the encryption standard, with WPA, WPA2 or WPA3 available. WPA3 provides the highest level of security, the deepest WPA. “If the network is encrypted, in most cases you can assume that the encryption method is WPA2 or WPA3,” says Hershey. “WPA2 and WPA3 are considered sufficiently secure, provided the password is sufficiently long and secure.” For example, if a restaurant is offered free WiFi and the password is “123456”, then according to Hirschi, you should keep your hands off it.

With smartphones that are used for contactless payments using NFC technology, “there is a basic risk, but it is small and manageable. Money is deducted from the smartphone only if it is also opened.” If the smartphone is locked in a trouser pocket, for example, no Criminals with a similar reader can steal money.This is different with contactless credit cards.The best way to protect them from criminals is to use a wallet with integrated RFID protection.

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