If you want to know how concerned you need be for your phone data and how anxious hackers are to either steal your vital information or to just install a virus on your phone for “kicks,” look no further than the Los Angeles County’s District Attorney’s office.
The DA’s office warned last month that merely by using public phone chargers in airports or hotels, phone owners run the risk of, at the very least, having malware installed on their phone, and at the very worst, have data stolen that could lead to drained bank accounts, access to your credit cards, access to your social security numbers, and much more.
tips to protect yourself
With cell phones getting hacked more often, what can you do to protect yourself and your information? Take a look at the tips below to see some of the top recommendations.
- Keep Your Device Up to Date
In the same article mentioned above it’s pointed out that 42 percent of Android users don’t have the latest version of their software installed. Many of the hacks and malware vulnerabilities have already been resolved through updates, but your phone won’t be protected if you don’t install the latest updates as soon as they’re available.
- Be Careful What You Install
When you install a new app you assume it is safe to share your information with. However, you should always be cautious of what you install, and ensure you are installing from a trusted source, such as Google’s Play Store for Android users or the Apple store for iPhone users. These sources regularly scan the apps they offer to ensure they are safe for users to install. If you install something from outside of a trusted source, you may unknowingly be inviting malware into your phone and exposing your data.
- Always Log Out
When you use a service that requires a login, such as your email or even social media, and stay logged in then all of that information is available on your phone at all times. This is a great convenience for many users, but it can also be a quick way for hackers to steal information you want to keep private. Logging out of every service after use ensures you information will remain password protected if your phone is hacked.
- Know Your Device
Installing a safe app can turn sinister if an unexpected update changes the settings and permissions you originally saved. Many of us don’t double check app permissions after seeing an update notification, but it’s a good idea to take some time to do so. Also check up on your phone’s settings every now and then to ensure you know what it’s using.
- Always Lock Your Phone
Locking your phone can seem like a pain, but it can save you a lot of trouble if your phone is lost or stolen. Make sure your lock is strong and keep it private. Just having the lock in place can deter some potential hackers or thieves from targeting your information.
- Avoid Using Public WiFi
Connecting your phone to a free WiFi network at a restaurant or coffee shop can leave your phone open to potential threats. Avoid connecting to unfamiliar networks when you don’t have to, and if you use a business phone be sure to back it up with a VPN.
- Consider Two Phones
If you are in business, it is strongly recommended that you have two phones, one for persona use and one used strictly for business. On your business phone, keep it as app free as possible to eliminated problems.
Still concerned about your phone’s security? Contact tekRESCUE, a San Marcos managed IT company, to learn more about protecting your data.