Take A Minute To Protect Your Privacy

23

JULY 2019

By: Reut Hackman, Chief Security Advisor at Cybrella, Tel Aviv

Over the past few years, there is a common and growing concern about smartphone hacks of random individuals or targeted personalities.

Hacking of personal phones can be implemented by very simple techniques targeted at wide audiences, like using a “fish net.” For example, hackers can compromise a public Wi-Fi network and wait for someone to be fooled. You could be that fish if your phone automatically hooks up to surrounding Wi-Fi networks and you rush to click the “OK” button.

There are many other ways to hack personal phones and we all should be aware of them. For example, clicking fake links received over SMS, emails or web banners can direct your phone into dark places that execute malicious code. As a result, your information can be exposed entirely, and your phone can be forced to perform unwanted actions on your behalf.

Most common attacks today focus on breaking into your accounts in general since phones today are configured to back up the content automatically to your cloud. This exposes your passwords and allows others to log into your cloud accounts and download your personal information, videos, and images captured by your phone. Accessing your cloud also exposes your location if enabled by your phone, and might allow the execution of some other undesirable actions.

Smart password management is my first recommendation. Choose different passwords for each service for which you register. Also, make them highly complicated, so that bots won’t be able to guess them. If possible, also enable two-factor authentication.

Going into the phone’s settings and exploring them is a simple and necessary thing to do, and is recommended for everyone in order to protect their privacy. These are some of the things you can do in your phone settings: limit Wi-Fi connections; limit data sharing behavior; go through permissions of each application; control camera and mic access; enable browser protections; avoid auto script executions; limit history saving; enable remote wipe to protect data from physical theft; enable data encryption; and implement hard-to-guess passwords. Take a minute to explore your settings and protect yourself.

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