Hacking (Part 2) – Look after your smartphone

 

The two most common types of phone hacking are voicemail hacking and data hacking. Data hacking has increased due to the growing use of smartphones, where hackers can access emails, bank accounts etc. Here we give you some advice to prevent both types.

 

Change the default voicemail pin code

 

Most mobile phone networks offer a generic remote access telephone number that you can call from a landline telephone to hear your own mobile’s voicemail. For security you need to enter a pin code before being able to listen to your voicemails, but the default code is often the same across all phones – often 1234 or 0000. It is therefore important that you change your voicemail pin code, mostly by calling voicemail from your phone and selecting the “voicemail security” setting.

 

Install security software

 

By installing an efficient antivirus app on your phone you will increase the general security level on your phone which will make it harder for hackers to access it. We have a special offer on MYMobileProtection, an application that protects your mobile against viruses, theft or accidental loss, credit card and identity theft, unwanted calls and SMS spam messages. It also provides privacy control to keep SMS and other services secret. Do you have an Android handset (Google Nexus, Samsung Galaxy)? Try our MYAndroidProtection suite

 

Be careful using public Wi-Fi

 

Be careful when checking emails, logging into mobile banking sites and accessing private information when your phone is connected to public wi-fi such as those in coffee shops – as these are often unsecure. An unsecure network will allow other users to access your device and potentially steal information or even insert malware allowing them to control your smartphone.

 

Turn off auto-complete

 

Some phones save usernames and passwords automatically to help you log-in faster next time, but this makes life easier for hackers. Check your phone’s “Settings” menu to see if it is automatically storing information.

 

Set a phone password

 

If your phone’s lost or stolen, a password could stop a data hacker in their tracks. Most handsets allow you to set both a user password and a power-on password. For safety, always set both of these when you get a new handset. Passwords using a combination of letters (upper and lowercase), numbers and symbols are most effective.

 

Turn off Bluetooth

 

Hackers could use the wireless connection provided by Bluetooth to gain remote access to your phone and alter settings, steal files or even insert software able to take control of your phone. Always leave Bluetooth disabled when you are not actually utilising the feature. For headset use you can usually make your Bluetooth connection private (not discoverable) to limit abuse.

 

Delete your browsing history

 

Deleting your mobile phone’s internet browser history, cookies and cache will make it more difficult for hackers to access your data. Many people do not realise just how much personal information can be gleaned from looking through the sites you have visited.

 

Remember that your smartphone is expensive

 

Many people, especially those used to owning and using modern smartphones, forget how much these devices are worth. Mobile devices are the most stolen personal property in the world!
Don’t leave your phone where a passer-by can simply grab it. Avoid leaving your phone in plain site within your car. Don’t let strangers “just make a quick call” from your phone.
If the worst does happen you should be able to claim on your insurance BUT this will not return to you your snaphots and music, your files and notes or protect your account passwords and logins. By installing MYMobile TheftProtection you know that you can control your phone even if it gets stolen and protect your information against theft or misuse.

 

The third and final part of this article will be posted tomorrow

 

Tips & Tricks for your Smartphone

Avoid malware on your smartphone!

• Do some research before downloading
Before you install an app, do some research on it. Check the reviews on Android Market and the other app stores. Are they positive? If there are no reviews and the app is not brand new, you should get suspicious. Also check to see what acknowledged websites such as PCWorld, ComputerWorld, AppBrain, AppCircus etc. say about it. You can also check who the developers behind the app are. If they do not even have a website, you should probably stay away.

• Check the permission on personal data collect
A good idea is to always check what kind of data your app has access to before you download it. For instance, there is no need for a bar code scanner-app to have permission to look through your contacts or localize you via GPS. If an app is asking for too much unnecessary information you should reconsider the download.

• Don’t use automatic logins
Don’t set an app that has access to your bank account to log in automatically. Set your phone to lock after it has been on for a certain period of time. That will make it more difficult for others to access your data.

• Make sure your phone has an antivirus scanner installed
With antivirus applications you can scan your phone and avoid installing files with known malware and viruses. Most programs allow you to track and lock your phone down remotely if you lose it, and to back up your personal data. All features that our antivirus apps MYAndroidProtection and MYMobileProtection have.

• Watch also out for scams on your phone
Just as it happens on your PC, your phone is also a target for scammers. Fake websites try to trick people into entering personal data and some sites also make you download malware on your phone just by entering it.

• Be aware of fake QR-codes
Look carefully at the link that pops up when you scan a QR-barcode with the camera on your smartphone. If it contains many numbers and symbols and it does not match the ad or text that you scanned, stay away from it.