7 Ways to Keep Hackers and Spies Out of Your Smartphone



Identity theft


Do you realize your cellphone can be "hacked," in some cases more easily than your home computer? It's true. Here's how to protect your privacy, your security, even your bank account from malicious phone pirates.


1.  Lock the door. You wouldn't leave your house or car unlocked. Don't leave your phone unlocked either. That could make it easier to hack than your home computer.

Always put a password, pin, or passcode on your lock screen, so no one can look up personal information on your phone when your back is turned.


2.  Avoid the threats of public Wi-Fi. If you must use public wireless networks in places like airports and coffee shops, avoid using email, making online purchases, or handling anything financial. These unprotected networks are easy for hackers to hijack.

Sometimes, hackers even trick you into logging in to their network by making it look just like the network you thought you were using.


3.  Protect your password security. Don't save the password for any apps or Web services you use on your phone, especially if you use a banking app or other app with financial information.


4.  Keep malware and spyware out. Only download apps from Google Play, iTunes, and other official app stores. Unofficial app stores are more likely to carry apps with malware hidden inside.

Read app permissions before you accept them and install the app. If you see a permission you don't immediately understand, don't download the app until you can get more information.

Also, hold off on downloading an app if you have any concerns about the information it collects. Spyware can be hidden on some phone apps.


5.  Frustrate hackers regularly. Install security updates and patches as soon as they're available.


6.  Thwart phone thieves from accessing data. Set up Find my iPhone on your iPhone or Android Device Manager on your Android phone. These apps can help you find a lost phone or erase your data from a stolen phone.


7.  Install a security app. Shield your phone with free security software from companies like Avast.


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  • FC&A Staff Writer