Your phone is more than a tool to communicate, store photos and contacts, schedule your life, and access apps. It’s also a threat to your personal data. In fact, more and more cybercriminals are looking to mobile devices as a way target people’s lives, from finances to sensitive information and more.
Whatever type of phone you use, you are at risk due to the ever-evolving tactics of hackers, from spam and malicious links to data breaches, spying and more. Yet, protecting your phone isn’t always simple. The first step is to know what makes you vulnerable. Here’s a look at the top threats and how to prevent them.
Lack of login credentials.
It’s hard to believe, but one of the simplest ways fraudsters can access your phone is if you lose it and it’s not locked with facial recognition, biometrics, or a pin code. This is a quick, easy way to protect your phone and all the information stored in it.
This is an oldie but still a goodie for those who want your personal information. They will text you a link that attempts to lure you into clicking on it or sharing personal information, unwittingly opening yourself up to a breach or exposing your phone to malware. The best defense? The delete button. Don’t click on any links and delete these messages when you get them.
Open, unsecured Wi-Fi.
There are many places you can access Wi-Fi, but that doesn’t always mean you should, especially if it’s not secure. Free, open Wi-Fi is meant to be a courtesy; however, it can open your phone up to a cyber-attack. Instead, wait until you know you can access a secure Wi-Fi source
If a hacker has access to your personal data, they can call your telecom provider and impersonate you with personal details they’ve uncovered. They can then gain control over your number, which means calls and texts are redirected to their phone. Two-factor authentication codes are also sent to their phones, putting your bank account, social media accounts, email, and more at risk.
If you suspect this has happened, call your telecom provider immediately to get services restored back to your phone. Then change the login credentials for all your accounts.
Cyber attackers can also use spyware to gain access to your private information. Likewise, individuals can use stalker-ware or surveillance-ware to monitor your calls, texts, emails and more. To prevent this, use an antivirus scan in your phone and monitor it for suspicious behavior.
There are a range of other threats, like ransomware and nuisance-ware. The best general defense against these and other risks is to keep your phone updated with the security protections always on. Also, don’t download apps from sources you’re unsure about or click on links when you don’t know the contact they came from.
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