The smarter our phones become, the more susceptible they are to hackers. With a bit of knowledge, however, you can make sure the private data on your phone stays safe and secure. Whether you’re under attack by a prankster coworker or threatened by a ring of identity thieves, there are steps you can take to protect your data.
The most common cell phone hacks are those that access another user’s voicemail and it’s done with a few different methods. ’Double screwing’ is an easy technique that involves two people simultaneously calling the same number. The second caller goes directly to voicemail. If a hacker can crack the password, the owner’s messages are all theirs. Hackers can also access voice mailboxes from the voicemail of another contact within the same network or by making a ‘spoof’ call. This technique confuses the network into thinking the call originated from your cell phone.
How to Prevent It
More often than not, a person’s voicemail gets hacked simply because they never set up a password to protect their messages or because they simply failed to change the carrier password set by default. It may seem troublesome to enter a password each time you check your voicemail, but it’s the best way to keep your private messages away from nosy ears. Individuals who use visual, text, or email voicemail services should still safeguard their mailbox with a strong password.
Malware and Spyware Hacks
Your smartphone operates in much the same way as your computer at home so picking up Trojan viruses or downloading harmful software is always a possibility. These hazards come in many forms. Your phone might be compromised through:
- Text messages
- Web browsing
- Spam notifications
How to Protect Yourself
Take the same precautions with your phone that you would with your computer:
- Don’t open messages from unknown senders
- Avoid websites that are harmful
- Only download apps from trusted sources
- Check an app’s permissions requests before installing it
- Refrain from clicking unsolicited offers that arrive in your phone’s notification bar
- Install antivirus software
Whether you own iPhones and iPads or smartphones and tablets, you’re probably using some sort of cloud storage to keep all of your files secure and easily accessible. The only downfall to the cloud is that even the best servers aren’t completely secure from hackers. Wired writer, Mat Honan is living proof.
Keeping Cloud Data Secure
Do not rely solely on cloud storage to safeguard important files, photos, and other digital data. Copy everything to a physical storage device or hard drive as well. Enabling two-user authentication for your Google and Facebook accounts can cut the amount of vulnerable data by requiring a password along with log in from a recognized device. It’s also a good idea not to connect the log in details for too many accounts.
Other Cell Phone Hacks
More advanced hackers can dig deeper into your phone’s private information, even going as far as turning your handset into a remote listening device that records everything you say. Sophisticated hackers can get access to a phone’s baseband processor with a bit of code and an open source program that helps users create their own cell tower. Once inside, the hacker has complete access to send and receive data via your network connection. Another common tactic is to gain access through an official looking text message requesting permission to reconfigure your phone.
Mobile phone carriers and manufacturers are always upgrading their security features. However, hackers continue to improve their techniques as well. Keep yourself protected by changing your passwords regularly, keeping your software up-to-date, and switching out your SIM card periodically.
As technology progresses so will the ways and techniques of hackers. With that being said, advancement in technology also brings us more options for safeguarding our vital information and privacy. If we don’t know how to protect our investment in the latest gadgets and mobile phones, then our investment is easy prey to the ever prowling hackers. The only way to protect our interests is by education ourselves on the means to protect us from these hackers. Ultimately, it all depends on who is one step ahead of the other.