A smart thief will go after smartphones: a portal through which to gain access to your money, accounts, data and social. Few people think they’re not smart enough to prevent a crime involving their precious mobile phone, but it happens to even the highly educated who think they can’t be outwitted. mCrime is big business and knowing how to protect yourself is a big deal.
Texts, e-mails, social media and so much more contain enormous amounts of private information. And crooks know how to get this information. One trick is to send a phishing e-mail: a scam that’s designed to sucker the recipient into giving away personal information or money. In one study, 100,000 phishing e-mails were sent out. Three thousand people responded, and of those, almost three quarters came from smartphones.
People are sloppy with guarding their smartphone, and this is how criminals infiltrate. But it doesn’t take a high IQ to beat the bad guys at their game.
- It’s only a matter of time before you misplace your smartphone, giving the wrong hands a chance to grab it. So protect it with a password (and a tough one to crack, like 47%R$PUy rather than 789hot). Even a great password should be changed every so often.
- And the greatest password on earth still shouldn’t be used for more than one account; use a different one for every single account.
- And speaking of misplacing it, make sure it has a locator. Add a layer of protection by having a remote-wipe capability in case the device vanishes.
- Regularly back up the data that’s on your smartphone.
- Did you know a hacker can find out where you live or work simply from the photos you’ve put up in cyberspace? They are geo-tagged, but you can disable this feature.
- When you’re not using the device, keep it disconnected from cyberland.
- When you are connected, don’t visit your bank or other places that have sensitive personal data. But ig you just have to, run a program called Hotspot Shield. This way all your data is encrypted on the wireless wild wild web.
- Think twice before clicking on the photo of that busty babe or chiseled stud; the image link might take you to a malicious website that will download a virus to your phone.
- Never open a link inside an e-mail, even if the sender seems to come from your bank or Uncle Sam. Use a password manager or manually type the url in your browser.
- Last but not least, regularly update your device! As cyber attacks evolve, security must keep up to patch up these new holes. Leave a hole open, and a hacker could get in and steal the information you have stored in your phone, like addresses, account numbers, anything he wants.
Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. Disclosures.