Hackers can hold your computer for ransom, but did you know that thieves can use this same technology to gain access to your mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) and hold its contents for ransom?

Called Mobile Ransomware, this type of threat is less common (and can be less damaging) than desktop ransomware. Here’s what you need to know to protect your devices.

  • Make sure your mobile device has regularly-scheduled back-ups to the cloud for everything from your photos and contacts to the any notes you have recorded. This way, if you are compromised and have to do a factory reset on your device, you can quickly restore your files from the cloud.

  • Only install mobile apps from trusted places like Apple’s App Store and Google Play. If you need to reset your device, you will have quick access to the apps you have already downloaded. Plus, most apps will keep a record of your activity based on a username, etc., so you can pick up where you left off.

  • Don’t get baited by phishing attempts. This means not clicking on suspicious links in your email because unknown links can take you to a site where malicious software, like ransomware, is installed on your device. If the email is from someone you know, but the message seems out of character, you should consider calling that person to confirm the message is indeed from them and not a scammer.