Phone hacking is evil yet we need to live with it.
According to an article by Mashable, “It’s still fairly easy to hack into your phone. But, unless you’re a celebrity, you’re unlikely to be a target.”
The reality is that smartphones are progressively taking on the roles of computers and wallets.
Credit card companies like American Express, Discover, MasterCard and VISA allow their customers to upload their credit cards details to their smartphones. to use their mobile phones as credit cards.
Consumers then can purchase items by waving their phones over scanners.
With the rise of mobile phone banking and more users implementing it, smartphone security practices are of the utmost importance.
Jeff Paradise, executive director of IdentityHawk, a leading online identity protection service, has five key tips for consumers with smartphones:
1. To prevent Phone Hacking, start with a STRONG password / complex PIN…
…to lock and secure your phone should you lose it.
Strong = Long Password (i.e. more than 10 letters)
A survey by Consumer Reports in 2013 found 34% of US smartphone owners do not even to lock their phone screen with a simple code.
Don’t trust your fingerprint either, it can be copied and used to login to your mobile under 5 minutes. (Source)
2. Change your password(s) frequently…
…to ensure better protection of the secure information accessible via their phones.
It’s a constant nightmare.
No argument there.
After sometime, you start to forget those amazing passwords you thought you will never fail to remember.
Even websites offering “secure” passwords vault got hacked.
Writing those passwords in a notebook and hiding it for keeps is maybe a safer bet.
At least, if that got stolen, a single thief will get hold of it, hopefully.
Compare that to online stolen / leaked passwords depositories.
There, anyone can get your personal info to learn how to hack your life.
3. Watch the incoming phone calls and emails
.. you receive asking for personal information.
They call it phishing.
When some claims to be something they aren’t.
Someone can copy the same email your bank sends out.
Create a website with a url very close to your bank’s.
Send you an email leading you to that link.
There, they will come up with this story to convince you to enter your password.
This is just a simple example of phone hacking techniques.
Don’t fall for that. Always remember the url for your bank website.
Look for that https in before the url of your bank / online store.
Don’t trust those shady free Apps on any store, Google or Apple.
Read the users reviews and inspect the history of each developer.
4. Have a backup
…of all the information on your phone.
If not hacked / stolen, they just can stop functioning out of the blues.
Phones are not forever.
There will be a day when your trusted beloved rugged phone die on you.
Better be prepared for that departure.
Have your important data mirrored into other storage solutions.
5. Leave no phone behind
Put it inside your pocket (in spite of that being a health hazard) or bag.
Do whatever is needed to make it less likely to be left behind.
Even when your phone dies on you, smash it to bits and pieces.
No matter what you do, your data may just live on that old phone by some technical way.
Do you have important data on your phone?
Consider smashing it yourself and have some piece of mind…
…instead of later regrets.
[Photo credit: Thomas Hawk / Flickr]