Mobile security: Protecting yourself while on the go

At the tail end of 2016, we crossed an internet usage threshold to little fanfare: Worldwide, more people used phones and tablets to access the web than conventional computers like desktops and laptops. Mobile use is averaging more than three hours a day or email usage, texting, engaging with apps and social media and surfing the web.

Here’s one big problem: As more people move to mobile, so do the bad guys who want to exploit this boom. And while most desktop users have some form of security on their computers, the same is not true for mobile device users. While this security report is from a year ago, things haven’t changed much and the statistics are grim:

The report found that only 32 percent of iPad users had security software installed on their devices, and 26 percent of iPhone users said the same. For those owning Android tablets, 65 percent said they had security software installed, while 60 percent of Android smartphone owners have security software installed. 83 percent of Windows-based tablet owners and 44 percent Windows Phone owners reported having security software installed.

If you think about the threat, it’s pretty scary. Most of us carry an enormous amount of personal information on our phones – just think about what you do on your phone: banking, bill paying, shopping, texting, searching, emailing, using apps. And it’s not just hackers we have to worry about accessing this private data – millions of phones are lost or stolen every year.

This short video from Kaspersky Lab, one of the largest global cybersecurity and anti-virus providers, shows the evolving threat.

Kaspersky talks about the Top 7 Mobile Security Threats: Smart Phones, Tablets, & Mobile Internet Devices – What the Future has in Store. The article identifies and describes the most serious threats, which include data leakage, unsecured WI-fi, network spoofing, phishing attacks, spyware, broken cryptography, and improper session handling.

To combat these threat, see 8 Ways to Increase Your Mobile Security Without Slowing It Down, which outlines 8 excellent best practice security tips. Malwarebytes, an excellent anti-malware software provider offers advice on the Top 10 ways to secure your mobile phone. The article notes that third party apps and lack of timely operating system updates are serious threats.

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Last minute Halloween tips

Looking for some last minute Halloween costume ideas? PropertyCasualty 360 offers 8 insurance-inspired costume ideas. Whatever your disguise or your way of celebrating, we remind you to make it a safe weekend … we offer a helpful animated message from Ma.Gov.Com  along with Halloween Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treaters and Adults.

ma-gov-halloweenBelow we have more tips from experts and from our archives on keeping kids safe as well as advice for keeping your property safe and reducing your own liability. Plus, a few posts just for fun!

Halloween tips from our archives

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Everything you need to celebrate Bike Month

May is National Bike Month, time to dust off your bicycle and pull it out of the garage if you haven’t already. Get it out now – we’re getting close to National Bike to Work Week from May 16-20 and Bike to Work Day on May 20!

Here are a few local bike sites that have coordinated activities

We have a checklist of resources to help you get ready for the season:

First, brush up on your state’s bike laws

Next, the League of American bicyclists offers a short video on a Basic Bike Check

Be sure your bike helmet fits right

And don’t forget to make sure you have sufficient insurance for your bike and protect your bicycle from bike thieves

Halloween history and tips to keep the monsters at bay

Ever wonder about how Halloween first started? This interesting video guide gives you a historical look at how the holiday evolved. It’s a fun overview from FastCompany’s Brand Evolution series.

Pop Quiz: What’s the scariest place to be on Halloween?

If that is not scary enough, please note that the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America says that Halloween sparks more vandalism claims than any other day of the year: “The average cost per claim on Halloween was $1,660, which is approximately 9 percent higher than the annual daily average cost per claim.” Vandalism isn’t the only seasonal peril – here’s a witches’ brew of liability issues for homeowners.

Here’s a roundup of some other handy links to help ensure that you have a safe and fun weekend:

Oh! And don’t forget to get your zombie insurance!

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Don’t wait: communicate – National Preparedness Month

preparathonSeptember is National Preparedness Month and this year, the theme focuses on ensuring that you have an emergency plan in place – waiting until a disaster happens is too late. Could your household pass the 10 Minute Challenge? And in a disaster, you might not even have 10 minutes to plan!

Here are just a few of the things you should do in advance:

  • Find out about community resources and emergency services and keep on your smart phone
  • Have a plan with your family for what to do and where to meet if disaster strikes
  • Build an emergency kit and a car kit
  • Store copies of all emergency documents in a safe alternate location in case you can’t access them in your home or office
  • Have contingency plans for your pets.

September 30 is National Prepareathon Day – this site offers info on how to prepare for an earthquake, flood, tornado, winter storm, wildfire or hurricane. Find tips for creating an emergency plan and a family communication plan and get access to tools and resources to help in the planning.

Here are a few useful resources we’ve posted in the past:

How to build a survival kit

Apps that could help save your life in an emergency

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