ANYONE with a smartphone needs to be on high-alert for "malware" – or risk devastating cyberattacks.
Cyber-experts have revealed five common mistakes you might be making.
Even a simple error can lead to major consequences.
With a clever cyberattack, criminals could steal your money in a matter of seconds – or take the private info needed to defraud or extort you.
"Most malware is designed to have some financial gain for the cybercriminal," McAfee cyber-experts warned.
"As crooks typically use it to extract data that they can leverage over victims.
"That information can range anywhere from financial data, to healthcare records, to personal emails and passwords.
"The possibilities of what sort of information can be compromised have become endless."
The first tip is to keep your iPhone or Android software updated.
That includes not just the operating system (like iOS or Android) but also the apps you've installed too.
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"Cybercriminals look for vulnerabilities in old or outdated software to capitalize on,"
"So make sure you install updates as soon as they become available since they can close security holes that may have been exposed."
Secondly, you need to avoid clicking on unknown links.
This is one of the most common routes for infecting someone's device.
"Whether it comes via email, a social networking site, or a text message, if a link seems unfamiliar, keep away from it,"
"This especially goes for links that come from someone you don’t know."
Third on the list is being selective about the sites that you visit.
If you regularly visit suspicious websites – especially for illicit activities like piracy – then you're at greater risk of being hacked.
Try to stick to popular and trusted websites to stay safe.
The fourth tip is similar: try to only download well-known and highly rated apps.
"When looking for your next favorite app, make sure you only download something that checks out,"
"Read app reviews, utilize only official app stores, and if something comes off as remotely fishy, steer clear."
Fifth and finally, McAfee cyber-experts urged users to simply "be alert".
Taking your time to think about suspicious messages, emails, websites and apps can give you a major advantage.
By being cautious, you can avoid some of the most common cyberattacks.
"Cybercriminals depend on laziness and inattentiveness–so prove them wrong,"
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"Don’t believe manipulative emails, don’t leave your computer unattended.
"And most importantly, stay educated on the kinds of malware that could come your way."
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