Cell phones have become extensions of ourselves. For many of us, they house more personal information then our home computers. Hackers and ne’er-do-wells have become a real concern as they are now targeting cell phones and farming our most personal devices and invading our personal lives and information. Every major internet provider and telecommunication company has updated and embedded new kinds of security encryption to its services and devices, yet tracking your online activity is much more simplistic then you know. What was once a task only accomplished by the most tech savvy hacker, holes in your mobile security are leaving many American vulnerable. If you are like most Americans, you are using some type of Wi-Fi network. Many of these networks or unsecured and open to invasion.
The Dangers of Unsecured Networks
One of the biggest factors which may be leaving you unwittingly vulnerable is your cell phone’s ability to self connect to open networks. You cell phone is constantly searching for places to connect. As we traverse our contemporary landscape, we inevitably cross paths with broadcasting public or open networks. Your cell phone may automatically connect to these open networks, many of which are unsecured. As soon as your cell phone makes this connection your phone and all of its data and traffic habits can be open to invasion. Because this connection happens automatically, you may not even be aware that you have joined a unsecured network.
It is possible to encrypt your data by installing one of the many consumer security apps carried by your service provider or created by third parties designed to add extra protection. The issue is most of these apps are not offered free of charge and need to be installed. The reality is most people either don’t want to pay for the app or don’t know the risks associated with not running one.
Hackers And Their Ploys
There are a few other ways in which phones like the Android and others may be open to hacking. Any time your are in the process of data transfer or your data is in transit hackers are able to utilize what is known as a man-in the middle attack. The man-in-the-middle attack occurs when a hacker breaks into the device through an unsecured network and redirects your data to steal or utilize said data before it reaches the intended destination. This means a hacker may see any internet browsing activity or steal valuable private information like, recording keystrokes, access saved passwords, identify the users location, listen in on calls, or intercept texts. Third party apps can have embedded viruses or malware designed to expose your phone.
Hackers are also using a technology referred to as SMS Trojans. These Trojan apps are equipped with a dialing functionality permitting hackers access the user’s phone bill and personal data. From there hackers are able to access the user’s contacts at which time they are capable of sending a text message and link to all of your contacts, which if clicked installs a worm into multiple devices proliferating their unfettered access. There are some great ways to protect you cell phone from unwanted attacks.
Simple Tips and Tricks to Secure Your Cell Phone
1. First and foremost don’t save your passwords on your cell phone. Hackers can’t steal what you don’t have.
2. Utilize your phones built in security settings. Setting a screen lock and password protection can add a layer of protection.
3. Lock your apps. There are settings for each new app you have downloaded onto your phone. Be sure any app which uses personal data is locked from outside intrusion.
4. Secure your personal network and be sure you limit your phone’s access to approved or secure networks only. Remember public networks can be dangerous, avoid using them all together.
5. Use a mobile solution like Android antivirus software, or another phone device app. There are quite a few really good options on the market that add a high level of protection.
6. Enable a remote wipe. In the event that your phone is lost or stolen these types of programs allow you to wipe all data from the device. This will ensure that your data is lost to any hackers or criminals.
7. If you have a shared device create multiple user accounts. That way if your kids are using you phone or tablet they will only have access to their profile and information. This also gives you the peace of mind that if they are not as security savvy or concerned they do not unwittingly allow access to your information.
8. Lastly back up your data. If you have to wipe all of your data it is extremely helpful to have a copy of all your phone’s information backed-up on a home computer or external hard drive.