Security Check by Del Peñano Feb 7, 2018 Cell Phone Hacking: Best Practices to Keep Your Data Secure Mobile device hijacking is when a third-party takes over your device and steals your data stored on the device such as email, payment apps, banking information and photographs. When this occurs, the hackers basically have everything that is contained on your device, which is a scary thought. How do hackers gain access to your cell phone? Some of the ways hackers gain access to your mobile device are: Bluetooth - Hackers can access your device(s) when Bluetooth is discoverable. Unattended Mobile Devices - I know this may seem obvious, but how often have seen individuals leave an unlocked phone unattended? Malware Apps - Apps that install malicious software Account Resets - This can happen when criminals have known information such as social security number, date of birth etc. and then gain access to the device. If the perpetrator is successful, they can port the number to a new device, reset password and steal confidential information, such as the case with Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint & AT&T. Phishing - Hackers acquire personal information such as passwords and details by pretending to be a trusted entity in an electronic communication such as text message and email. What are some security tips? Here are some tips and best practices to consider to ensure your data is protected. Be sure to set a customer pin number that is required when contacting the providers customer service department. Periodically check your bank statements, credit card bills, etc. to make sure that account has not been compromised. Also, set an alert with your bank for any charges that are above say a specific dollar amount. This helps flag unusual activity. Avoid using the same usernames and passwords on websites. Use long and complicated passwords. I suggest using a password management tool such as LastPass. Keep your operating system up-to-date. Hackers know when there are vulnerabilities, so best to get the update so the holes can be patched. Don’t just download any app, make sure to investigate the legitimacy of the app first. Protect your personal and business information and know there are criminals out there that will always go in the “door” that is wide open. So, be sure to consider some of the above tips to always keep your mobile devices secure.