Friday, May 24, 2013

Secure your smartphone now

Summer is a great time to get in shape, make new friends, or just relax.
It's also a great time to make sure your smartphone is safe.

With many different smartphones on the market, and new releases such as the iPhone
5 and Samsung Galaxy S III, everyone is walking around with a computer in their pocket.
There are also apps for email, social media, and banking, so these computers are loaded
with personal information as well. In a world of portable information, hackers have
moved from the desktop and laptop to the smartphone.

According to PBS, it did not take much for News of the World reporters to hack into
voicemails back in 2011. If trying a simple code (such as 1111) didn’t work, they could call the service provider and reset the password, or use a separate voicemail to hack into the desired
account. While no one smartphone platform is any safer than another, here are ways to
protect your phone from smartphone hackers.

Photo from Wikimedia.

1) Lock your car, Lock your house, Lock your phone
It is a simple fix, but locking your phone is the first step to phone security. This
will stop, or at least slow down, many potential phone hackers.

2) Don’t open SMS from unknown numbers
Just like it is with fishy emails, these can unleash spyware or malware into your
phone. The malware can then access your call logs, emails, texts, or any bank
information you may access from your phone.

3) Keep it Current
Don’t neglect phone or app updates – these usually include fixes for holes that
hackers could get through.

4) Shut down Bluetooth
According to Computer How-To Guide, whenever you aren’t using Bluetooth, it
is best to just turn it off. This can be used as an avenue for hackers to get inside
your phone.

If your phone is stolen or missing, you may need to consider a remote wipe,
which restores your phone to factory settings. You can learn how to do this for iOS, Android,
and Windows phone here.

Melissa Smithey is a TSMRI intern and Communications Major at Tarleton State University.

Dachis, Adam. "How to Secure Your SmartPhone." Lifehacker.com blog. Retrieved April 20, 2013 from http://lifehacker.com/5724683/how-to-secure-your-smartphone

"How to Prevent Cell Phone Hacking." (n.d.). ComputerHowToGuide.com. Retrieved April 30, 2013,  from http://www.computerhowtoguide.com/2012/01/how-to-prevent-cell-phone-hacking.html

"Just how easy is phone hacking?" Need to Know, PBS. (n.d.). Retrieved April 30, 2013, from http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/culture/just-how-easy-is-phone-hacking/10407/

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