Tuesday, July 23, 2024
Smartphone news

Ways to protect your mobile device – The Herald

 Fraud Insight

From phishing to fake mobile applications, criminals have many techniques to hack mobile devices. 

So it is crucial to be proactive about your smartphone security to protect your mobile phone from hackers.

How can your mobile device be hacked, and what can you do about it? 

Criminals use many tricks to hack smartphones. Here are different ways they could hack your mobile device.

Phishing attacks

 In a phishing attack, a hacker sends you a familiar-looking email or text, hoping you will click the link inside. The link will download malware onto your phone or take you to a spoof website to steal your credentials or other personal details.

Social engineering

Hackers can send you deceptive text messages (smishing), call you impersonating legitimate organisations (vishing), entice you with free mobile apps (baiting), or pretend to be someone you know on social media (impersonation).

You never know what social engineering technique they will try. The goal is usually to convince you to disclose personal information, download malicious apps, or grant remote access to your device.

Unsecured Wi-Fi networks

Public Wi-Fi networks are often accessible without any password and do not have any network encryption. Hackers can intercept the data exposed on the network and steal payment information or other sensitive data you transmit.

Operating system and software vulnerabilities

Operating systems and apps have updates for a reason. Hackers can discover vulnerabilities in the system or software and exploit them to hack your device. System updates and security patches are released to close those vulnerabilities, but your device stays exposed if you don’t install those updates.

Bluetooth security threats

Hackers can exploit Bluetooth vulnerabilities to discover your location, infect your smartphone with malware, or access your device.

How to secure your mobile device from hackers

Set a strong password

Security of any device and account starts with a strong password. Your smartphone is no exception.

Set a robust combination of letters, numbers, and characters as your password to protect your mobile phone. Do not use that combination anywhere else because data breaches often expose online accounts and could put your smartphone at risk.

This step is essential because the password on the newer Android smartphones and the passcode on iPhones serves as the basis for generating your phone’s encryption key. It makes the data on the smartphone unreadable to anyone trying to access it without the password.

Enable biometric authentication

While a strong password is a must, using it whenever you want to unlock your phone would be tiring. You can usually use facial recognition or fingerprint for that.

Keep your operating system and software updated

Continually update your smartphone’s operating system and apps to fix dangerous security flaws. You can enable automatic updates, but don’t press “Ignore” or “Postpone” when a system update requires your attention.

Be mindful of app permissions

Apps on your device can request access to your location, camera, microphone, files, or special rights, such as to install unknown apps. Always be careful when agreeing to such requests.

Be careful on public Wi-Fi

Hackers abuse public Wi-Fi networks to intercept your connection or distribute malware. So you should use additional protection when browsing on such networks or avoid them altogether.

Double-check links and downloads

Recognising suspicious links, fake apps, and scam websites can significantly impact your mobile device security.

Scammers try to make the emails, websites, and calls look and sound as legitimate as possible, but some clues can give them away:

Look for spelling mistakes, small changes to a familiar URL or sender ID, and unusual formatting.

Verify with the company or sender. If you get an unexpected message from a bank or company, contact its helpline directly and ask if the text or email is genuine.

Never give callers your passwords, online banking details, or personal information. If you already have, change your passwords and inform the institution being impersonated.– nordvpn.com


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