Coming to You in 2012: New Mobile, Social Network and Email Threats

What do we have to look forward to in the coming year—besides the London Olympics, the United States presidential election and (if the Mayan calendar is to be believed) the end of the world? New security threats coming to a smartphone or browser near you.

Mobile threats. You might have noticed you're using your phone almost as much as your computer these days—and cybercriminals have noticed, too. As the open-source Android™ mobile operating system grows in popularity, so will the ways in which hackers will try to modify it. This is doubly concerning because so many people are using their phones not just for personal business but for business business, syncing their personal phones with their work devices. What's a convenience for you could be a gold mine for hackers.

Social networking threats. If you're on a social network, chances are you've been sent a wacky quiz or a shortened link to a "must-see" video. These might be legitimate forwards from friends, or they might be clever feats of social engineering masquerading as good clean fun. Instead of filling out the survey or clicking through to a legitimate destination, you may end up downloading malware directly to your machine, or navigating to a site that downloads the malware for you.

Email threats. Let's assume that the apocalypse doesn't actually arrive in 2012. That won't stop spammers from sending messages about it. And as surely as the Japanese tsunami spawned millions of "charity" solicitations from cyberscammers, world events next year will provide similar opportunities for criminals to try to make a buck.

This all sounds pretty grim, but take heart: with a little common sense and some security software, you can insulate yourself against many of the threats that come your way. Trend Micro offers mobile security solutions for Android devices and iPhones, as well as Macs and desktop PCs. Next year probably won't be the end of the world—and it certainly doesn't have to be the end of the world for your computer.

Protect your online health. Just like picking up certain habits can help you to stay physically fit, you can also pick up habits to help ensure your online health—even as new mobile, social networking, and email threats emerge. Our 2012 Online Health Watch is a fun, visual fact sheet that provides great reminders for staying safe when you're online.

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