Tag Archives: Tips

The worst passwords ever created

For many online services, the only thing keeping your personal data safe from hackers is a password. If a hacker can get hold of that password, they immediately gain access to the account.

Your choice of password is absolutely vital

Your choice of password is absolutely vital which is why most services force you to use a combination of letters and numbers to make it harder to guess. Despite this, many people continue to choose the same, easily-guessed passwords year after year.

Every year mobile app developer SplashData publishes a list of the 25 most common passwords worldwide. Not only are these passwords extremely simple to hack using automated cracking tools, but the fact they are so popular means that cybercriminals will try this list first.

The top 5 passwords

According to SplashData the top 5 passwords are:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345
  4. 12345678
  5. qwerty

If any of these passwords look familiar, you could be in trouble.

Most people choose passwords very easy to remember

Most people choose these passwords because they are very easy to remember, and only take a second to type in. The fact that they are all letters or numbers, and all in lower case means that they require the minimum number of keypresses to enter – perfect for the small keyboards on smartphones.

Ignoring password best practice

When you first set up a new account online, you will be encouraged to choose a memorable word of phrase – preferably one that contains upper and lower case letters and numbers to make it harder to guess. But as we discussed on the Panda Security blog previously, these measures are not enough to fully protect yourself.

To increase security, upper and lower case letters need to be used in the middle of the password. They should also include special characters, like !?*(), making them almost impossible to guess. Not unbreakable, but certainly much more difficult.

Reusing passwords

The other major problem with SplashData’s list of most common passwords is that people tend to reuse them for all their accounts. So if cybercriminals gain access to your Facebook account using an easily-guessed password, they can then log into your email, online bank account, and virtually any other system.

More worrying still, if you use these same passwords at work, you place their systems and data at risk too. If the breach is significant, you could even lose your job.

Get creative with your passwords

Although you must include specific characters in your password, you can choose any word you like. Better still, you can string several words together to make very long, very complex password that is almost impossible to guess.

And if you must use the top 25 most popular passwords, try stringing several of them together instead. It’s not a perfect solution, but your password will be more secure.

Use a Password Manager

There are great security solutions that offer a larger degree of protection and include a password manager… all you need is a master password to access all of your favourite internet services. This way, you will only have to remember one password and, as you don’t have to memorize all of them, you can set different, more complex passwords for each service. It maintains your online privacy… at all times!

The post The worst passwords ever created appeared first on Panda Security Mediacenter.

The best ways to speed up your android device

Six top tips for speeding up a sluggish Android device

It’s soul-destroying and one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to deal with. No, not Sunday lunch with your mother-in-law. We’re talking about Android devices operating at frustratingly slow speeds. It wasn’t like that when you bought it of course. So what’s going on? Why is speed such a big issue half a year down the line? “Is my service provider at fault?” we hear you ask.

It probably isn’t. 88% of all US connections are 3G or 4G, so there should be enough juice available for everyone. Sorry to disappoint you but in all likelihood, your problem is closer to home. Like, with the device itself and the way you are using it. But the good news is that help is available. It’s a fact of life; Android devices will stop performing at top condition after any prolonged period of use. Nobody said you have got to settle for that.

You’ll find below six useful tips to speed up your sluggish Android device.

  1. Back things up. All those photos & videos from that last holiday are so last year anyway… export, weed out, or cull them – whatever you want to call it: it’s time to backup your device. That should be the first step you take. Doing it will free up some space on your phone, and this eventually creates a better working device.
  2. Reboot. When was last time you switched it off? You can’t remember, can you? Well, maybe it’s time to switch it off and restart the device. Your mom will be proud of you!
  3. Clear up that cached data. Cached data will build up in your applications over time. This affects the performance of your device – you’ll find it hard shifting the blame on this one… To delete individual caches simply open up the settings on your phone and go to Storage and press the Cached Data button. It will delete all this useless data choking your beloved cell phone.
  4. Be realistic about your device’s capabilities. Did you overburden your phone with resource-hungry apps gnawing away relentlessly? They’re degrading your phone’s performance, so weed out or cull those apps – whatever you want to call it: it’s time to make some space. Do you really need everything you’ve installed anyway?
  5. Make sure your OS is fully up to date. You should always keep your OS up to date. Yes it’s time-consuming, yes it’s annoying, but just like visiting your mother-in-law it’s got to be done. There are good reasons why Google releases improvements to the Android operating system: those updates deliver stability, higher performance and plenty of benefits. It’s not worth missing out, and they are for free.
  6. Disable unnecessary animations. No matter how great they look, animations and special effects are known to slow things down. Boost performance by taking a closer look at your launcher’s settings.

Panda Mobile Security

If after following all these tips your Android device is still not working at an optimal speed, keep in mind that Panda Mobile Security maximizes the performance and battery life of your smartphone by analyzing in real time the activity of the apps installed on it.

These are just a few tips

There are plenty of other things to consider too. For example, why not use a high-speed memory card to your device? Not only you will increase your storage space (up to 2TB depending on your phone’s capabilities), but your device will start working faster. Also, if you’re are a gamer, check out one of the RAM memory optimizers.
Obviously, we’re all for cleaning things up… but make sure you don’t disable your Panda Security anti-virus software by mistake.

Stay safe!

The post The best ways to speed up your android device appeared first on Panda Security Mediacenter.

Spring Cleaning: Get Rid of Those Cookies from Your Browser!

Pretty much every day, you accept a few new cookie warnings without actually reading them. Websites are required to inform you that they’re storing cookie files that gather data about your preferences on your own computer. The European Commission has just proposed to simplify these warnings. In addition to cookies that websites create, the memory cached on your browser stores temporary files so that pages load more quickly.

All those cookies start to pile up, believe it or not. Your computer can actually end up getting sluggish after gorging on all those digital cookies. Now that I’ve put it into perspective for you, you can appreciate the seriousness of the situation.

Sometimes what we chalk up to possible malware is actually just an information overload slowing down your browser. That’s why it is recommendable that you do a little bit of tidying up every now and again and clean out the cookie cache. And if you use a shared computer, this could have the additional benefit of protecting your privacy.

Chrome, Firefox, Edge… How Do I Clear Out the Cookies?


In the case of Chrome, the most popular browser, you have the option in the icon of the three vertical points located at the top right of the window. Just click the icon and go to More tools and Clear browsing data. Chrome allows you to select the exact information you want to delete: you can delete cookies, files and cached images, browsing history or passwords, and specify a date range. It also offers an alternative path from Settings, Show Advanced Settings and Privacy.


To remove your little trail of crumbs in Mozilla Firefox, click on the icon of the three horizontal stripes and select History and Clear recent history. You’ll see a window that allows you to decide the time period for which you’d like to do the cleaning. From the Details tab, you can choose the information you want to delete. And from the same menu, you can access Options, Privacy and History. There you will find the option “Use a custom configuration” for the history, which allows you to decide which browsing data will be cleared when Firefox closes.


For their part, users of Apple computers can clean out the Safari browser from the Preferences and Privacy menus. Among the available options are to change the configuration of cookies and accepted data from certain websites, delete information of specific pages individually or all at the same time, and see which sites store that data in Details.


If you’ve already installed Windows 10 on your computer, you’re sure to have saved personal information on Microsoft Edge. To clean it, select More, Settings (the little gear), Clear scan data and check the boxes of the data you want to delete in Choose what to delete. From Advanced Settings you can tell Edge to stop collecting or storing certain information.


Finally, Opera users remove cookies and clear the cache much like users of Chrome. By clicking on the icon at the top right of the window, you can click Delete browsing data and select the items you want to delete and from when you want to delete them.

Now you know where to find the virtual duster on your personal or corporate computer, so go and do some spring cleaning!

The post Spring Cleaning: Get Rid of Those Cookies from Your Browser! appeared first on Panda Security Mediacenter.

Should You Share Your Netflix Password?

What you need to know before sharing your Netflix account details

Is it illegal to share your Netflix password? As of July last year, a court ruling in the US asserted that it is, in fact, a federal crime to share passwords for online streaming services.

If you share your Netflix password with people you trust though, the truth is that there’s no real need to stress out. It is very unlikely that Netflix are actively coming after password sharers.

Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO, spoke on the subject at CES last year:

We love people sharing Netflix whether they’re two people on a couch or 10 people on a couch. That’s a positive thing, not a negative thing.

The new court ruling was part of the 30 year old Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). For obvious reasons, it’s difficult to legislate for online activity, and the CFAA is known for its uncertain, ambiguous and sometimes murky rulings.

Whilst password sharing may be a contentious subject, drawing widely differing opinions from legislators and the CEOs of streaming services, it’s important to look at the impact that account sharing could have on a user.

Reed Hastings recently told Business Insider that, “as long as they aren’t selling them, members can use their passwords however they please.”

Is this advisable though? Probably not.

The first question on your mind when someone asks if they can use your Netflix account, is do you trust that person? Even if they pinky promise they’ll stop using it after that House of Cards binge. This may seem obvious, but bad things can happen if your Netflix password is passed on enough times that it falls into the wrong hands.

Without you knowing, it’s possible, for example, that your account details could be sold on the black market. It could become part of a Netflix scam that sees your account being used a lure to infect people’s systems with ransomware. If you’re “recently watched” section is coming up with shows you’ve never seen, it may be that your account is being used by strangers.

Or the friend who promised to stop after House of Cards simply couldn’t resist.

It’s Safe To Share, If You Trust The Other Person

The truth is that Netflix also have their own way of dealing with over sharing of passwords. Their basic account setting allows for one stream at a time. The standard account allows for two. It’s a simple way of stopping one password being shared with hundreds of people.

Netflix is famous for having encouraged binge watching of shows, and it simply wouldn’t be possible if users had to co-ordinate and share out the use of one account. Hastings relies on the concurrent streaming limit, as well as their relatively inexpensive service being enough of a draw to stop people sharing passwords. It is very unlikely that they would ever try to prosecute users.

“Password sharing is something you have to learn to live with”

Hastings has emphasized as well that there’s no plan to add any other type of restriction to account sharing. “Password sharing is something you have to learn to live with, because there’s so much legitimate password sharing, like you sharing with your spouse, with your kids… so there’s no bright line, and we’re doing fine as is,” he said.

Anyone remember, the early days of online sharing when Metallica received a mighty backlash for having called out thousands of their own fans -who had shared their music online- as criminals? Maybe Hastings knows this type of stance would be bad press, especially for a company whose modus operandi, after all, is online sharing.

There is talk of what’s appropriate ethically though. Something that seems completely fair, considering Hasting’s and Netflix’s relaxed stance towards their service’s members.

We usually like to think that a husband and wife can share an account and that’s perfectly appropriate and acceptable,” said Hastings during a 2013 earnings call. “If you mean, ‘Hey, I got my password from my boyfriend’s uncle,’ then that’s not what we would consider appropriate.

The post Should You Share Your Netflix Password? appeared first on Panda Security Mediacenter.

Cellphone Usage Increases by 20% since 2015

Cellphone Usage Goes Up to 5 hours a Day! Stay Safe While Out & About with Security Tips from Panda

An interesting piece of news came out recently. According to analytics firm Flurry, US consumers spend up to 5 hours each day on their mobile devices. That’s right: 300 minutes per day. Or to put it differently, a whopping 35 hours every week. It’s a lot more than television by the way. The research firm claims this level of usage is a 20 percent increase compared with the fourth quarter of 2015. If keep on the same growth in percentage, very soon we will be spending more time staring at the little screen rather than sleeping.

That’s what we call real news. But is that surprising? Well, not really.

The uptake of mobile devices has been phenomenal, experiencing eye-watering high year-on-year growth. No wonder all big industry players have launched mobile phones with ever larger screens, not to mention a broad range of tablets to suit all budgets. In the US alone, mobile connections now exceed the actual population of the country; and over half the population access social media from mobile devices – a six percent growth since last year.

So it’s fair to say mobile devices have become a hub for everyday activities, from banking to shopping. Of course, we still make phone calls with our devices… though less and less, with free texting having cannibalized our communication habits.

We’ve moved into an era where phones would be totally unrecognizable to Alexander Graham Bell, the man credited with having invented the telephone (though, perhaps more accurately, he was the first to obtain a patent for his invention, back in in 1876).

So what does it mean when it comes to security?

Are your mobile habits putting your safety at risk?

Hackers can nowadays use malicious apps or unsecured networks to access vital pieces of information sitting on your mobile device. According to software experts Panda Security, there are some simple steps you can take to stay safe:

  • Phones have become increasingly loaded with sensitive data so being hacked is more of a risk. Set a secure password from the outset and combine it with biometric protection, if the device enables it.
  • Android or iOS operating systems can be vulnerable to hacks. Installing regular updates and patches will help ensure your software is providing the best level of protection available.
  • Clean-up and backup your phone regularly, by exporting your data for safe storage. And while you’re at it delete any old apps you’re not using anymore – don’t let them access your user data such as your location!
  • Always access the Internet via secure Wi-Fi networks. Unsecured networks may allow nearby hackers to intercept your data – do not let them get you! In addition, please do not do any shopping or banking on a public Wi-Fi network, that’s a recipe for disaster.
  • If you get text messages from unknown senders asking for personal information, just delete them. If you click on links in those messages, you hackers take advantage of you and install malware on your device phone. Don’t download apps by text message as this is a popular way for criminals to infect your mobile phone.

Having in mind, some people spend a total of 35 hours a week on their phones, it is safe to say, some of the digital print they leave may contain sensitive information. If you are one of those people, keep doing what you are doing as here at Panda we are making sure you are protected!

The post Cellphone Usage Increases by 20% since 2015 appeared first on Panda Security Mediacenter.

The Dark Side of Shopping Apps

Are shopping apps safe?

As we shoppers get better at identifying scams, cybercriminals are having to create new ways to try and steal our money. Effective PC security tools like Panda Safe Web can identify and block fake websites before scammers have a chance to trick us.

But increasingly we are shopping from our smartphones and tablets instead of desktop PCs. Realising this, cybercriminals have begun to develop a range of mobile-focused attacks designed to steal personal data and money.

So when you do fire up a shopping app on your mobile phone, how do you know it can be trusted?
Here are some tips.

1. Only download apps from official sources

Both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store use a very strict approval process to protect their customers. Whenever an app is submitted to one of these official stores, it is checked to ensure that it is not infected with malware, and doesn’t take personal data without your permission.

For iPhone users this is great news – every app they can download has been checked to ensure it is safe. Especially as Apple devices cannot install apps from anywhere else but the App Store.

Android users on the other hand are not limited to the Google Play store – they can download and install apps from virtually anywhere. Although this is much more flexible, not all app stores or websites apply the same security checks. Cybercriminals exploit this weakness by tricking Android users into downloading infected apps from email attachments or fake app stores. Once installed, this malware allows scammers to steal credit card details, or to encrypt your files so you cannot access them without paying a ransom.

When it comes to downloading shopping apps you must ensure they come from the official app store – otherwise you could be inviting cybercriminals onto your phone.

2. Install a mobile Security tool

You wouldn’t dream of leaving your PC unprotected against malware – so why ignore your mobile phone? Just this week mobile hacking hit the headlines again as government officials tried to highlight the risks.

It is absolutely essential that Android owners install a mobile security tool to protect themselves against fake shopping apps. Panda Mobile Security scans installed apps to detect malware and alert you to potential problems before your data can be stolen.

Using Panda Mobile Security you can also control what each app does, preventing them from accessing your data, or from triggering your camera or microphone. You can also prevent apps – good or bad – from uploading your information to the cloud, adding an additional layer of protection.

Stay alert

As well as installing security software on your mobile phone, you need to treat apps, web downloads and email attachments with caution. In the same way that you don’t open attachments from people you don’t know on your PC, you shouldn’t download unknown apps from untrusted websites.

As our phones become an important part of our shopping habits, criminals will devote more of their time and effort to attacking them. So it pays to protect yourself now before they attack you.

The post The Dark Side of Shopping Apps appeared first on Panda Security Mediacenter.

Protect your social media account in these 5 simple steps

It’s pervasive; it’s everywhere. It can even rig national elections according to some well-known experts and academics. No, we’re not talking about Vladimir Putin’s team of world-class cyber spies. We’re talking about the medium of social media.

Hate it or love it, social media is here to stay. It’s bringing us closer to one another, and it’s helping us keep in touch across vast distances. Hey, it’s even helping us reconnect with these long-lost, faraway people we thought we’d never hear from again. Like, ever. And on the other hand, it’s hard to remain anonymous these days.

There are many people who decide not to store and share information on their social networks in order to avoid risks

It is smarter to share content on social networks from a cyber-secure point of view than to try to do not to exist digitally

The kind of information we share on social media is very personal and everyone posts what they concon disider necessary. However, we live in a hyper-connected society and there’s a lot of effort to be made to avoid leaving our mark on the Internet. Sooner or later, somebody ends up doing it for us. It is smarter to share content on social networks from a cyber-secure point of view than to try to do not to exist digitally. At least in the first case, what you have on the Internet is protected, “says Hervé Lambert, Global Consumer Operations Manager at Panda Security.

We are not saying we ought to pull the plug on this social media thing altogether. It has too many advantages to give up… But with the rise of fake news and cyber insecurity, we need to be protected.

Malware programs

As an example malware, short for malicious software, are computer programs that get installed on your device – often inadvertently. It may just be a brief moment of inattention, one rapid click, and boom! A malware installs itself on your hard drive if you are not protected.

Malware programs will then disrupt normal operations, and they might collect personal data like bank details, credit card information, and passwords. Briefly, anything valuable to any mildly talented crook. And let’s face it, by listening to the news, it’s seems that there are many of them out there.

Nothing is more important than the safety of the people who use Facebook, and the security of their data.

According to Facebook, “nothing is more important than the safety of the people who use Facebook, and the security of their data.” That’s re-assuring. The company has a Security Team dedicated to keeping you safe. Apparently, they’ve pioneered multiple defense systems against spam, viruses and phishing attacks. And even though Facebook has some automated enforcement mechanisms that are meant to shut down malicious apps, pages or accounts quickly, sometimes troubles makers manage to people like you.

Prevention is the best cure, therefore, why not implement these easy steps to protect your social media accounts?

  • Step 1: Choose a secure password. The bottom line is you need a more robust password. Sorry to disappoint, but if you think pa55word is a safe option then think again. Someone figured that one out a long time ago.
  • Step 2: Don’t put sensitive information in your profile. Why would anyone want to do this anyway? Like your mother would say: “if in doubt, leave it out.”
  • Step 3: Refuse to let ANY application access your profile. That’s right, and we mean it: deny access to all of them. They promise to make your life easier, but they might end up making your life a nightmare instead!
  • Step 4: Don’t click on suspicious links, however tempting they may look. It’s not worth it! Think before you take action.
  • Step 5: adjust your privacy settings. There’s a reason why these settings exist, familiarize yourself with them and review them regularly. You’ll thank us later!

And remember that if you think your device may have been infected with malware, fear not: help is available. Anti-virus specialists like us propose an advanced, dynamic, ever-evolving cyber-security model based on the principles of artificial intelligence. In short: we’ve got your back.

We developed, patented sets of proactive technologies aimed at blocking unknown viruses, along with the Collective Intelligence model. This system is the first to automatically detect, analyze, and classify malware in real time. We are very proud of our product and remember, your safety is our priority!

The post Protect your social media account in these 5 simple steps appeared first on Panda Security Mediacenter.

Security tips to avoid becoming a victim of revenge porn


Relationship break-ups have always been difficult, sometimes even acrimonious. Unfortunately a distressing new trend has emerged that can make the process even more hurtful.

Revenge porn – the process of sharing intimate, naked photos of an ex-lover online without permission – is being used by some jilted partners. By sharing these pictures on social media and other public websites, the person hopes to hurt and humiliate their victim, who they often blame for the collapse of the relationship.

Obviously revenge porn is illegal – but once those photos are ‘in the wild’, there is almost nothing the victim can do to prevent their spread. The only way to stop yourself from becoming a victim is to put protections in place in advance.

Here are 4 ways to help yourself:

1. Don’t take naked photos

By far the safest way to prevent intimate photos from being leaked online is not to take them in the first place. As soon as those images exist, even if you don’t share them, they are at risk of loss, theft or leakage.

The minute you take a photo on your phone, it is copied to the Cloud for instance – so now you need to protect two copies. And if you sync your phone with your computer, that then creates a third; three copies that provide points of vulnerability.

2. Don’t share naked photos

The second rule of protecting yourself against revenge porn is to ensure you never send naked pictures to anyone. No matter how much you love and trust your partner, you give up all control over that image the minute you pass it on.

Should your relationship hit the rocks, you will find it even harder to regain any control over those pictures.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to delete pictures

If you go ahead and send an intimate picture to someone, you should always be ready to ask them to delete it – for any reason at all. You should also watch as the image is deleted to make sure it really is gone.

4. Protect your devices

Sometimes technology lets us down, and sensitive data is stolen or leaked directly from our computers and phones. Modern malware and computer viruses are exceptionally good at stealing our information.

This is just one of many reasons why you must install security software on your phone and PC to protect against hackers. Using an application like Panda Security prevents cybercriminals from accessing your pictures, protecting you against revenge porn leaks or blackmail attempts.

Use your head

Like most cybersecurity problems, applying your common sense could save you a great deal of embarrassment later. There is nothing “prudish” about refusing to take or share naked photos – in fact, protecting yourself in this way is extremely mature. So you should never feel pressured into sharing something you don’t want to.

And if you so choose to share an intimate image, make sure that your phone and PC are secured to minimise the risk of your selfie being leaked. You can download a free trial of Panda Security to get started.

The post Security tips to avoid becoming a victim of revenge porn appeared first on Panda Security Mediacenter.

The technical support scam and how to avoid it

When talking about cybersecurity, we instantly think of viruses and malware. But advances in personal computer security have made it much harder for hackers to infect your PC through traditional channels like email.

As a result, they have developed new attack methods to get around your defences using a range of techniques, on and off-line. One of the most used and also successful is the “Technical Support Scam” that combines social engineering and technology to empty a victim’s bank account.

What is the Technical Support Scam?

Social engineering relies on building trust with a victim, before tricking them into doing something that gets around their security defences. In the case of the Support Scam, criminals telephone their victims pretending to be from a reputable business, like Microsoft or your security or telephone provider – a company name you recognize.

Posing as an engineer, the hacker informs their target that they have already fallen victim to criminals, and they must take urgent action to plug the security gap. The victim is asked to visit a webpage from their computer, and to download a remote control tool that will allow the engineer to access their system to perform “repair work”.

Once in control of the computer, the “engineer” may call up the computer’s event log and show a number of scary looking (but completely harmless) alerts. They will then suggest downloading further tools that allow them to fix these errors.

Unfortunately these tools are actually malware that will steal valuable information from the victim’s computer – particularly online banking details and passwords. The victim may feel that the engineer has done them a favor, but the reality is that they have invited the hacker to steal from them.

Avoiding the Technical Support Scam

There are several ways you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of this scam. These four tips will help keep you safe:

1. Use your common sense

Microsoft or Panda (for example) never ring customers to inform them of security problems. These companies may provide assistance by telephone, but they never call you first. In fact, unless you pay for a third party technical support service, no one should call you about problems with your computer or router.

No matter how urgent the issue sounds, anyone claiming to be calling about PC security problems is lying.

2.Protect your personal and sensitive information

Never give your account numbers or passwords to anyone over the phone or the Internet unless you are 100% sure who they are. If you are in any doubt at all, hang up. Keep in mind that fraudulent activities are profitable for the bad guys.
A good rule to follow for any incoming call: never hand over your credit card or bank details. Just don’t do it!

3. If you have a doubt: tell everyone about it

The Telephone Support Scam preys on people’s insecurity about their lack of tech knowledge. It is very easy to be a victim, and the best defence is sharing knowledge – telling other people about this scam, and what the criminals are doing. It is much easier to put the phone down if you know that the call is a scam.

You should also consider reporting the scam to the company being investigated. If you do, make sure you find the right details though.

4. Protect your PC in advance

Do not forget to use antivirus protection for all your devices. If your device is protected by an anti-malware toolkit, it will not be generating security errors online or anywhere else. So you know that someone claiming you have a problem is also lying.

If your computer does not have an up-to-date security toolkit installed, you must act now – download a free trial of Panda Security to get started.

Most social engineering attacks can be avoided by taking a second to think through the implications of what you are being told. You must not allow yourself to be bullied into making what could be a very costly mistake.

For more useful tips and advice about staying safe online, please check out the Panda Security knowledge base.

The post The technical support scam and how to avoid it appeared first on Panda Security Mediacenter.

Online gaming safety tips

Mobile gaming is changing the shape of online gaming but how safe is it?

Mobile gaming is huge! According to a report recently released by market research firm SuperData, the global mobile gaming sales revenue in 2016 was over $40 billion. The mobile gaming market is now bigger than the global tea market and the global naval market. According to SuperData, the trend will only increase as mobile gaming is getting the support of the emerging multi-billion VR industry.

In 2016 more than 97% of VR headsets sold were for mobile devices. Having in mind the price Oculus, Sony and HTC are offering for their flag products; it is not a surprise that budget solutions such as Google cardboard and Samsung Gear VR ended up accounting for almost all VR headsets sold last year.

While maritime safety and tea are losing the battle against Candy Crush Saga and Pokemon GO, the security of the people enjoying the perks of their ultra-powerful mobile handsets might be compromised.

Here’s a top 5 list for mobile gaming dangers

Virtual and Augmented Reality

It may sound tempting to be able to teleport yourself onto a roller coaster while sitting on the couch at home, but games which break the perception of the presence could be dangerous. Similar to motion sickness, some VR players tend to experience virtual reality sickness. Stop gaming immediately should you start feeling disoriented or you have symptoms such as a headache or nausea. There are reported cases of people who lost their lives while hunting Pokémons so augmented reality could be dangerous too. Keep your eyes open for the surrounding area!

Hidden Fees

You’ve finally found the most amazing mobile game in the world – it has amazing graphics, it is real time, and the game is endorsed by your favourite celebrity! What could go wrong? A lot of things, such as the status of your bank account. Mobile games sometimes have in-app purchases, make sure you check before getting an additional weapon or skipping an advert that is currently playing it may end up costing you real money. Unfortunately, they do not accept doubloons in the real world, so the more prepared you are, the better.

It is a well-known fact that 90% of the children, aged 12 years or less, are mobile gamers (using their cell phone or a borrow from a family member) and these phones need to be protected to avoid the potentials risks of uncontrolled purchases.

Approved Apps

Make sure to always download applications from the Play Store or the App Store. Sometimes apps connect to your social media profiles, and they can see personal information such as your full name, date of birth, location and even your home address.

If the app you have on your phone is not approved, you may end up not only sharing all this valuable information with the wrong people, but you may install a virus on your phone that can lurk around your mobile handset and steal your passwords. Stay alerted and stick to the approved apps on the Play Store and the App Store, and even then, use services that allow you to scan the applications that you are installing on your phone.

To use this feature, you must set an unlock PIN and select the apps you want to lock. Should you forget your PIN, you’ll be able to reset it through your Panda Security account.

Maturity filters

Children already spend more time on the Internet than watching TV. Their favourite content is on emerging video platforms such as YouTube. A huge percentage of children nowadays have smartphones, and even though regulations tend to be strict, you don’t want your kid to be able to access chat rooms and content that is not monitored by you. Predators thrive on new ways of getting in touch with vulnerable people, and mobile gaming is one of those places.

Some games have chat rooms where people can socialize. Relying on admins may not be a full solution so make sure you know where you and your kids go while taking a breath before launching the next game on your cell phone. Always check out the PEGI ratings of an app before you let your child access it unless you want your 13-year-old son to get better than you on Texas hold ’em poker. Kids need restriction so don’t forget to use a PIN-protect access to the apps you want to control.

Panda’s Mobile Security for Android has a feature that allows you to PIN-protect access to your apps. The feature comes with privacy protection that prevents from unauthorized access to messaging apps and social media sites. The feature also comes with parental control functions that help you restrict the little ones from accessing certain apps, games, etc.

Expect the unexpected

Hackers are cruel and unfortunately technology savvy. They are always finding new ways of approaching you and your loved ones. Innovation is what they do best, and even though antivirus companies tend to be a step ahead of them, not everyone has protection. As mobile phones and mobile gaming are taking an increasingly bigger part of our lives, we firmly advise you to keep your eyes open and always bear in mind that sometimes even the App Store and the Play Store might miss something and let you install an infected app.

Good news is Panda allows you to scan applications before installing or updating an app.

While hackers keep finding new ways to get your money, we are solely focused on preventing them from being successful by constantly adapting to their new habits.

Luckily, Panda Security offers the best mobile security protection for all your devices including cell phones and tablets. Check out our security service solution here and be protected while gaming on your mobile device.

The post Online gaming safety tips appeared first on Panda Security Mediacenter.