April 7, 2016

Security, misconceptions, and you

Rick Segal

We live in a world where your privacy and personal data are constantly under attack. Now, more than ever, knowing and taking steps to protect yourself can mean the difference between a safe mobile experience, and not.

At Samsung, we’ve always had privacy and security as our top goal.  We are committed to offer the latest versions of the Android operating system hardened by our award-winning Knox security platform to our consumers on Galaxy devices.  Samsung has provided  more to secure mobile devices than any other Android manufacturer.

In addition to using a secure device from Samsung, there are misconceptions that everyone should be aware of, along with some best practices to make part of your daily routine.


Link sources

A common misconception about infected mobile websites is they are the known sites that have bad links leading to malware and problems.  Actually, the number one action that compromises a user’s device is clicking on unknown links which lead to malware-infested websites that ordinarily wouldn’t be used.  Those websites then deliver malware or other harmful payloads to your device that can lead to identity theft, loss or personal data, and other actions that will compromise your privacy, or worse.

To combat this, you should always follow a simple rule: Don’t click it if you don’t know and trust the source.


Trusted attachments

Another misconception is believing that if an email attachment comes from a friend, it will be okay, when in fact you should always beware of attachments that don’t fit the person who sent them.  Often, a friend can have their email compromised by malware that sends infected attachments to everyone on their contact list.  So when an email comes in from a friend with “check this out” or a similar subject line, ask yourself if this ‘sounds’ like your friend.  When in doubt, simply respond (without opening the attachment) with “did you mean to send this.”  A little extra personal communication can go a long way towards protecting your mobile device.


Any password will do

There is a misconception by many that so long as you have any password, you’ll be okay.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  A password, ironically, can end up being the weakest part of your security.  Here are some simple password practices you should consider:

  • Long passwords. 10 or more characters is a good starting length.  Remember that the longer your password is, the harder it becomes to crack it.
  • No common words. Don’t use your name, your birthdate, your email address, the word “password” or other single common words found in the dictionary. Instead combine words and numbers into phrases you’ll remember, then add pound signs and other non-alphanumeric characters.

There is a temptation to use shorter passwords on your device because of the smaller size, but that’s what the bad guys hope you’ll think.  Of course, you have the option on some Samsung devices to use the fingerprint reader plus a password to create what’s known as “two-factor authentication”. This builds in another layer of security into your device.


Known good state

Imagine you leave your device on a restaurant table and then come back and ask for it, say twenty minutes later.  The restaurant has your phone at the front desk. Most people say thank you and go on their way.  You assume it was put in a drawer until you returned for it.  But do you really know?  A good practice if you leave your phone unattended for some time is to check the phone, message, email logs along with the browser history to make sure somebody didn’t either send something or click on a link that put malware on your device.  It is always a good idea to check your phone when it is out of your possession even if it was only for a few minutes.


My Knox can help

Samsung devices come with the Knox security platform built in. Just turn the device on and you can be assured of defense-grade protection immediately. For even more protection of your applications and data, Samsung offers My Knox free of cost.  My Knox is a personal container that can be used to secure your apps and sensitive personal data.  Storing your data and apps in My Knox gives you an extra layer of security and protection, protecting you in the event your device is lost, hacked, or otherwise compromised. Please visit samsung.com/business/knox for more information


Security starts with a great Samsung device loaded with Knox.