Hacked like Jack? Nine ways to se­cure your smart­phone

Avoid jail­break­ing and charg­ing in public places to pro­tect your phone against threats

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Sunday Special - Busi­nessin­sider.in

Smart­phone users rely on their de­vices for just about every­thing. But de­spite our re­liance on smart­phones, many of us are not us­ing them safely. Lapses can make users prey to cy­ber­se­cu­rity breaches. To avoid hav­ing per­sonal in­for­ma­tion and pass­words stolen, take these safety pre­cau­tions to make your mo­bile de­vice more se­cure. Lock­ing your home screen is an ob­vi­ous so­lu­tion to keep­ing your pri­vate in­for­ma­tion pri­vate and can pro­tect you from un­wanted eyes skim­ming through your phone. Ad­di­tion­ally, con­sider go­ing into your set­tings and in­creas­ing your pass­word length to the max­i­mum al­lowed. This will make your phone hard to hack. Ex­tra steps can seem te­dious, but this is not the case for two-fac­tor au­then­ti­ca­tion. This se­cu­rity step dou­ble-checks your iden­tity is le­git­i­mate be­fore let­ting you use a par­tic­u­lar ac­count, like your email. It’s a lit­tle ex­tra work for you, but it makes it much harder for a bad ac­tor to breach your ac­count.

You may avoid ac­cept­ing those no­ti­fi­ca­tions for phone up­dates like the plague but do­ing so can re­duce the chances of your phone be­ing hacked. Ex­perts say, the longer you go with­out up­dat­ing your phone and soft­ware, the longer your data is at risk for any mal­ware mal­func­tion.

Hack­ing Blue­tooth chan­nels is a com­mon form of in­va­sion hack­ers use to in­vade your pri­vacy. Of­ten, iPhones’ and An­droids’ Blue­tooth is on by de­fault and, although that may save you a tap of the finger, it can also be a safety is­sue.

Jail­break­ing your iPhone or root­ing your An­droid has a num­ber of ben­e­fits, like al­low­ing you to cus­tomise your phone, im­prove bat­tery life, or down­load un­ap­proved apps. But think twice be­fore you do it — the prac­tice can also make your de­vices vul­ner­a­ble. Hotspots make your life eas­ier, giv­ing you WiFi at your fin­ger­tips wher­ever you go. But they can also spell trou­ble if they are not pro­tected. That’s be­cause hotspots could al­low strangers to ac­cess data and files on your phone, tablet, and lap­top with­out your knowl­edge.

Try apps t hat pro­tect your hand­set against hack­ers, pesky sales­peo­ple, and un­wanted call­ers from hav­ing ac­cess to your phone.

Vir­tual Pri­vate Net­works, or VPNs, al­low users to make a se­cure con­nec­tion t hrough a pri­vate net­work over t he i nter­net. They en­able users to send and re­ceive data over public or shared net­works with­out unau­tho­rised users be­ing able to see it.

Hack­ers re­cently broke into Twit­ter CEO Jack Dorsey’s ac­count and posted a se­ries of tweets, in­clud­ing racial slurs

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