Smartphones are everywhere, and the number is growing by leaps and bound. More than a quarter of the total population in 2016 has a smartphone. The growth in popularity is often attributed to its functionality both as a cell phone as well as a computer. It’s not an exaggeration to call smartphones a handheld computer. All the functions of a computer can be performed on a smartphone these days.
Cyber security concerns for the smartphone users must be a primary issue since users store all their personal data personal data on their phones. You credit card number, the private pic that you took with your SO, and even you company’s sensitive data might be present on your phones. One intrusion from a hacker and your entire life can turn upside down. So, what’s the solution? Keep reading to find out:
What is handheld hacking?
As discussed above, all your personal as well professional data may be stored on your phones. This makes it a prime target for the hackers for gaining sensitive information about anyone. Thus, hackers use the mobile network as a path to access contents of the handheld device. This concept is known as handheld hacking. Hackers may employ methods like bluejacking, bluesnarfing, bluebugging, phising to gain access to the information stored on your smartphone.
How do I prevent handheld hacking?
The simple answer is “awareness”. Awareness regarding the threats present in the contemporary cyber-world will help users to prepare themselves better against such attacks. Thus, in this article we have compiled a list of to do’s and don’ts to prevent any incidence of handheld hacking:
· Regular updates
This is the most basic tool against any cyber-attack. Keeping your system updated will automatically patch any vulnerabilities in the phone. Regularly updating your phone’s OS will reduce the chances of any attempts at hacking.
· Set passwords
Setting passwords is a strong measure against your data falling into the wrong hands. Not only the home screen but every app/services containing sensitive information must be password protected. Passwords for all the services must not be the same. Keep separate passwords and create strong passwords to avoid any chances of unauthorized access.
· Install apps from authorized sites only
Never install files from a third party website or portal which isn’t authorized. For Android phones always download from the Play Store and Apple users must download from iTunes only. Chances of any malware infecting the system are dramatically decreased if you download apps from an authorized website only.
· Install an anti-malware
Keep your phone equipped with an anti-malware to remove the possibility of any malware getting into your phone. Keep such anti-malware updated to avoid intrusion of any latest malware. The database of such anti-malware must be updated on a regular basis.
· Switch off your Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Always switch off your Wi-Fi as well as your Bluetooth when not in use. An open Wi-Fi invites a hacker to get access to your personal files over such network. Also, connect only to a Wi-Fi network you trust. Avoid connecting to a public Wi-Fi.
· Precautions while disposing of your phone
While disposing of your phone, make sure to wipe out all your personal data and information. Reset your factory setting to ensure deletion of every file on the phone. Remove the SIM cards and the SD cards before throwing your phone in the bin (metaphorically).
· Keep track of the access permission to various apps
Keep a track of the accessibility permission that all your apps have on your phone. Make sure that only trustworthy apps have the permission to access your sensitive data. Disable/Enable the permissions accordingly.
· Enable Remote Wipe
Enable Remote wipe on your smartphone if your phone and network provider provides you the option. It is a handy backup plan in case of theft or loss.
Dont't be a victum
Handheld hacking is a serious issue since all your personal information is stored on your handheld devices these days. Do not think that you cannot be a victim of such attacks. Keep the above tips in mind if you wish that your data is secure on your smartphone. Also, look for other tips available online as this is not a comprehensive list.