These days, it is almost impossible to meet someone who doesn't own a cell phone. More specifically, smart phones, whether it be the trendy iPhone, corporate favored Blackberry or modern Windows Mobile, almost everyone has joined the smart phone frenzy -- and with good reason. A smart phone offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary phone.
Just like a handheld computer, most of the population relies on their operating system to multitask the demands of work, personal life and finances. However, many smartphone users forget about the risks of malware on these crucial devices. In fact, a study from Rutgers University disclosed that malicious software for cell phones could pose a greater risk for consumer's personal and financial well-being than computer viruses.
[ Also on InfoWorld: Android's big security flaw, and why only Google can fix it. | iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android? Whatever handheld you use or manage, turn to InfoWorld for the latest developments. Subscribe to InfoWorld's Mobilize newsletter today. ]
[Find out how criminals snare mobile users in Social engineering: 3 mobile malware techniques ]
Clearly, there is a need for greater protection of cell phone software and greater awareness of cell phone vulnerabilities from owners, especially when it comes to what kind of operating system you are using. There are unique differences and threats specific to each Smartphone. Here are some important key points that consumers should consider to protect their mobile-operating systems.
There is a lot to be found regarding this popular device, half of our research findings surrounded the iPhone. Malware for this device took a different approach with the release of IOS 4. The multitasking that users take part in on their systems easily goes unnoticed, allowing the presence of malware to be easier to miss and less intrusive. Malware is more commonly found on iPhones that have been jail broken.
"Jail breaking" means freeing a phone from the limitations imposed by the wireless provider and in this case, Apple. Users install a software application on their computer, and then transfer it to their iPhone, where it "breaks open" the iPhone's file system, allowing you to modify it; however, this also opens it up to malware. By jail breaking a phone, users are possibly allowing malicious applications into their device which has access to their personal information including their bank account. These applications are not subjected to the same limitations as Apple and therefore are easier to get from a rogue reference and infect cell phone.