Mobile Phone Acting Funny? It Could be Malware.

The growing mobile malware scourge makes news every month. Perhaps you’re one of the lucky folks who’s never had an experience with fraud or malware, but fraudsters who make a living with it are reaching new lows these days. If your data’s being siphoned off, your privacy invaded or your money being swallowed up,  how would you know?  Here are a few things to keep an eye on.

  • Has your phone’s behavior become slow or erratic?  Does it act sluggish when performing the same functions it did rapidly in the past? Is its battery draining at a more rapid pace than usual?

If malware has entered your phone’s system, it could be performing activities in the background, such as placing unauthorized text messages to premium numbers, sending out bots that gather and transmit your contact information, or other mischief.

  • Do you notice when you’re talking on your phone that your calls get disturbed, or even dropped completely, for no apparent reason?

girlscoolclimateberkeley3Same answer.  Each form of malware has a specific task, whether it’s a bot that collects and sends out your data to a remote location, or a Trojan that opens up and releases viruses, or bots that have other specific jobs. Bad code is programmed to go to work once it’s downloaded and receives a pre-determined signal to wake up. What you could be noticing is background activities that are interfering with your phone’s normal functions.

  • Check your phone bill carefully. Are there charges for SMS messages you know you didn’t send, or are small charges appearing that you can’t explain?

Some malware has the ability to dial out text messages from your phone to “premium” numbers, which automatically charge you for the call. This can be happening repeatedly without your knowledge. This happens in the background – you don’t see or hear it happening, but you’ll see the charges on your bill – they can become very expensive if they aren’t caught early.  Small charges on your bill might indicate that your account’s being tested for viability.

As a matter of course, always check your credit card and bank statements. If you’ve downloaded malware that might have stolen your passwords or financial data, you could see your credit being used for things you never dreamed of buying.

  • Are you receiving odd SMS or voice mail messages, or have your friends asked why you’re sending them strange messages?

Some malware is designed to steal your contacts, as well as spreading spam or phishing ploys to everyone on your contact list. If someone mentions a weird email from you, get your phone scanned and protected immediately.

Before you download apps, take a moment to look up reviews, and make sure you get all your apps from reliable sources, such as Google Play. Never, ever accept a free app, and try to avoid clicking on spammy ads and offers. Educate yourself about URLs, and how to spot one that doesn’t look right. Change your password frequently and keep your geo-location features turned off when they’re not in use. Finally, don’t respond to any SMS messages, voice messages or emails from a sender with whom you’re not familiar.

Strong mobile security protection can detect and prevent any form of nasty malware that threatens your phone. With just a single download you can cross malware concerns off your list. Do it today, and relax about malware.

The Worst Passwords Ever – Are Yours Here?

In honor of Password Day, we decided to revisit our popular blog post from last year about passwords. As relevant today as it was then, this list of hackers’ favorite passwords may surprise you.

25 mobile passwords hackers love

We’ve all read hundreds of password-setting tips. Most of us know the rules and we’re pretty savvy about using clever combinations to safeguard our mobile privacy. However, Splash-Data, a password management company, published a list of the worst passwords ever and, astonishingly, some of them look all too familiar!

The list came from files posted online by hackers listing passwords theyd stolen in 2011. These words are considered easy targets and, while some of them might seem obscure enough, they’re  well-known to cyber criminals, and are a breeze to hack.

Introducing, the worst passwords ever

·      password

·      123456

·      12345678

·      qwerty

·      abc123

·      monkey

·      1234567

·      letmein

·      trustno1

·      dragon

·      baseball

·      111111

·      iloveyou

·      master

·      sunshine

·      ashley

·      bailey

·      passw0rd

·      shadow

·      123123

·      654321

·      superman

·      qazwsx

·      michael

·      football

If you’re wondering about qwerty and qazwsx, take a good look at your computer’s keyboard.

We can only guess why certain names come up often enough to be on this list, but if you have a family member named AshleyBailey or Michael, this is fair warning.

In fact, avoiding every word on this list is a good start toward true mobile protection. Make your passwords long, strange, mixed up with symbols, and meaningful to no one but yourself.

Keep Learning

Awareness of mobile security practices is evolving in our communities, but each of us can take individual steps toward our own safety and privacy. Information like this list needs to be shared so we can stop cyber-crime in its tracks.

We at NQ Mobile can’t help you choose a password, but we can protect you from hacking, viruses and all forms of malware. One easy download will go a long distance in protecting your family’s mobile devices as well as your peace of mind. Award-winning NQ Mobile Security is still the best on the market – and it’s free.  Visit us today.

Family Guardian Honored by Parent Pub, NAPPA

Since its launch in September of 2012, our award-winning Family Guardian security app has been honored with its fifth distinguished award.

NQ Family Guardian won the National Parenting Publication’s Seal of Approval this week in the “Gadgets ‘n’ Gear” category. NAPPA’s panel of independent, expert judges and parent testers evaluated hundreds of submissions looking for innovation, safety, quality, and the value they offer to parents.

NQ Family Guardian helps parents keep kids safe

Once Family Guardian is downloaded and installed on a child’s smartphone, its  web-based control center is accessible by a parent or guardian from any desktop or mobile browser. The app gives parents a wide range of choices about the latitude they want to allow for their mobile kids, and it’s easily adjusted for changing age and maturity. The app allows parents to decide how much time their child spends on a mobile device, what content the child can view online, and allows parents to monitor their kids’  mobile activities. In addition, kids can press a button for immediate contact should an emergency arise. With its user-friendly interface, parents and children can work together to set “blocks” and “allows.” Family Guardian keeps mobile kids safe, and provides parents with peace of mind.


For more than 20 years, the National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) has been the go-to resource for the best products for families. Decisions are made by their team of independent, expert judges, along with family and child testers.  Julie Kertes, NAPPA’s General Manager, tells us,

Parents look to NAPPA for the best products available for their families, and for that reason, we don’t take the task of vetting each submission lightly. NQ Family Guardian provides peace of mind for parents as they teach their children phone responsibility and safety, and through our judging process, we are proud to announce it as a superior, reliable and innovative product worthy of the NAPPA seal of approval.”

We can’t ask for much higher praise than that.

 A consistent award-winner

We’re proud that NQ Family Guardian continues to receive awards that acknowledge its unique and outstanding features. In addition to this week’s NAPPA honors, Family Guardian has earned:

  • Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA) seal of approval.
  • Top 25 app at the CES Mobile Apps Showdown
  • Semi-finalist in the 2013 Edison Awards
  • Finalist in the “Mobile Apps- Productivity, Utility & Public Safety” category of CTIA’s annual Emerging
  • Technology (E-Tech) Awards competition. (Winners to be announced May 22, 2013)

NQ Family Guardian is available for download on Google Play and at select wireless retail dealers nationwide. For a complete list of all 2013 NAPPA Parenting Resources winners and more information about the competition, visit

Family Guardian Chosen as Finalist for CTIA Award


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NQ Mobile’s proud to announce that our popular app, Family Guardian, was chosen asEmerging Technology (E-Tech) Awards competition. CTIA–The Wireless Association® is an international organization representing the wireless communications industry. Why are we excited? Each year, CTIA E-Tech Awards honors the most innovative … Continue reading

Catch Up With the Latest News from NQ Mobile’s Research Team

Around the globe, NQ Mobile’s team of security professionals are taking the pulse of the mobile landscape every day. They report back all the good news – like, about how we consumers are doing better at protecting our mobile devices – and sometimes they have some less-than-pleasant news to report. Unfortunately, that’s the kind of news they have for us this week.Malware discoveries by year

Our researchers are noticing an increase in skilled hackers partnering up with criminals by selling them data that they’ve stolen. In turn, cybercriminals are using the info they purchase to get access to the finances of consumers like you and me. They use tricky methods that, in the mobile business, are called “social engineering.” In simple terms, they manipulate unwitting consumers into giving up their valuable confidential information.

Tremendous growth, worldwide

Our professionals estimate that more than 10 million devices have already been infected in the first quarter of this year!  Here are some of their key findings:

  • Over 32.8 million Android devices were infected in 2012 vs. 10.8 million in 2011 – a whopping increase of over 200 percent
  • The top five markets for infected mobile devices were China (25.5%), India (19.4%), Russia (17.9%), United States (9.8%) and Saudi Arabia (9.6%)
  • 65% of malware discovered in 2012 falls into a broader category of Potentially Unwanted Programs (or PUPs). PUPs include root exploits, spyware, pervasive adware and Trojans (surveillance hacks)
  • 28% of mobile malware discovered in 2012 was designed to collect and profit from a user’s personal data
  • 7% of malware was simply designed to make a user’s device stop working (i.e., “bricking” their phones)

Our Co-CEO, Omar Khan, said “The security industry’s ‘discover-first-and-inoculate-second’ strategy is no longer enough,” said Omar Khan , Co-CEO, NQ Mobile. “We need smarter systems that can discover threats before they infect consumers as well as more education so consumers can better spot and avoid these new mobile scams.”

What we can do as consumers

The very first step we can take is to make sure we have the strongest mobile security Global infection ratesproduct available on our mobile devices. When purchasing a new phone or tablet, make this your first priority. If you already own mobile devices, take a moment to get them protected from all the viruses, scams and malware that have the potential to invade your privacy and steal your assets.

Cyber criminals get trickier every day. As consumers, we need to get ahead of them and become a cohesive force to thwart their illegal activities. Cyber crime is no joke. Don’t wait until it happens to you. No one’s exempt. Protect the privacy and well-being of your family and business as a first priority.

Read our news release for more information.

Kids & Mobile Devices: Biggest Parental Concerns


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This is our second blog post about the recent consumer survey our researchers at NQ Mobile conducted, to find out how people view safety threats associated with their mobile devices. Parental Concerns Not surprisingly, 44% of our survey respondents with kids 17 and under … Continue reading