Mobile Device Security Troubleshooting – CompTIA A+ 220-902 – 4.4

| February 21, 2016

Our mobile devices contain a wealth of important data, making them an obvious target for malware and security breaches. In this video, you’ll learn about some of the most common tools to use for mobile device security troubleshooting.

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On our mobile devices, signal strength is everything. We are not connecting to a wired network, so we rely on the signal of a wireless network to give us our access to the internet. If you’re connecting to a Wi-Fi network, make sure it’s one that’s trusted. If you’re on a public Wi-Fi network, you may want to consider using a VPN so that all of your traffic is encrypted. You should never trust a public Wi-Fi where information is sent in the clear. Anyone with an analysis tool will be able to see anything that you’re sending that’s not encrypted.

One way to check your connectivity would be to run a speed test. There are many third party apps that you can load on your mobile device to see just how much of a signal strength you’re getting and how much bandwidth you’re able to push through that network. If you find the power on your mobile device is draining faster than normal, you might want to check to see what applications might be in use. You might be using the network more than you might expect, and there might be high resource utilization. This may be due to normal application usage, but you might be concerned that there are other malicious software on the device that’s being used as well.

One thing you can do is to check applications before you install them. There are a number of third party applications scanners that can give you an idea of whether an application is safe or not. If you do have applications running that you need to stop, you can force stop those and then check the power utilization features in your operating system to see what applications are using the most CPU. It might be worthwhile to run an anti-malware application on your mobile device to check for any malicious software. And if you’re concerned about things that could have been installed on your system, you might want to perform a factory reset and a clean installation of all the applications.

If you’re noticing unusual network activity, especially unintended connections over your Wi-Fi network or maybe it seems that you’re using more data than what you should, then there are a number of things you can do to investigate. One thing you can do is check your network connection. You might want to use a third party network analyzer to see just how much traffic is going between your mobile device and the rest of the network. And of course, it’s always useful if you’re on a trusted Wi-Fi network so that you know exactly what traffic should be going over those connections.

It might also be worthwhile to run a network test to see what your theoretical maximum speed might be. There are a number of third party speed checks and cell tower analyzers that can give you an idea of how much speed you should be getting through this network. And of course, you can examine what applications may be running on your device that might be performing large file transfers or performing constant activity to the network. If you’re able to minimize those, then you’ll have more network bandwidth available for other applications.

One of the reasons that the Bluetooth pairing process requires an identification number is so that you can always be assured of what devices you’re connecting to. You should never connect with a device that’s not yours or one that you don’t have direct control of. If you want to remove the Bluetooth device, you could always do that from your mobile phone or your tablet. You would only need to re-pair if you wanted to access those two devices again. Another thing you could do temporarily is to disable the Bluetooth radio completely and then you would not connect to any Bluetooth devices that are out there. And if you’re very concerned that this might be caused by malware, it might be worthwhile to run an anti-malware scan on your mobile device.

The malicious software that’s out there is getting very good at gaining access to all of our devices, including our mobile phones and our tablets. Once they’re on our devices, they gain unauthorized access to our personal information and the files that we might have on that device. One of the things we should do then is to determine how this data breach occurred. It might be worthwhile to perform an application scan or an anti-malware scan on our mobile device.

You want to be sure to remove any malicious data that might be causing a data breach. And with a problem like this, it makes a lot of sense to perform a complete factory reset and reload everything fresh. You also want to make sure that your online data sources aren’t breached either. Make sure that the passwords that you’re using for your cloud-based services have been reset along with those on your phone.

As we carry our mobile devices with us, they’re tracking everywhere we go in real time. And as we go different places, this information is stored, and you can historically go back and see everywhere you’ve been. This is obviously very sensitive data, and it should be protected exactly the same as all of the other personal information on our device.

There’s certainly malware out there that can take advantage of this information, so we want to be sure that we can run an anti-malware scan and keep that malicious software off of our mobile device. Before you install an application, you may want to check it with an offline application scanner just to see if it’s something that’s well known and that other people have checked to make sure that it is legitimate. And if you are concerned that something might be on your mobile device, always consider performing a factory reset and restoring everything from a backup.

Our mobile devices of course include a camera and a microphone. So it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that a piece of malware would take advantage of this. If you’re concerned that a piece of software is using a camera or microphone without your permission, you certainly want to perform an anti-malware scan on that device and see if you can discover where that breach might have occurred.

It’s worthwhile as well to confirm that the applications you’re installing on your mobile device are completely legitimate. There are a number of malware applications out there that have already been discovered, and you may be able to identify it before you install it onto your device. And of course, a factory refresh can clean everything off of your phone, and you can restore from a known good backup to make sure that no third party application is using your microphone or your camera without your permission.

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Category: CompTIA A+ 220-902

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