Why you should protect your smartphone

There is more than one way to protect your smartphone and many more reasons why. You can protect it by using technology to fitting a physical exterior. For now, we will concentrate on protecting it by using technology.

Our smartphones are part of the fabric of our everyday life:

  • We store our personal data on them
  • We use them for social media
  • We check our emails
  • Our banking is done online
  • We store others’ names and numbers
  • We have photos and videos on them
  • We watch films and TV programs

You have a significant amount of sensitive information stored on your mobile phone. What if someone is able to hack into that and take everything? If your phone were to fall into the wrong hands, it could cause a lot of trouble.

How can hackers get my information?

It’s not that difficult if you don’t have any security measures or those that are not adequate enough.

Phishing is an easy way to garner someone’s details. Phishing involves sending a fake email or text message that looks like a legitimate company. It could even be a link asking you to click onto Twitter. You are then asked to click the link to confirm your details on the false, yet official-looking website, and hey presto! They have your login details and password. This can happen with banking, emails and even big companies such as Paypal and HMRC.

Hackers also assume most of us have a Google account. They can enter a random phone number into Google to say they have forgotten their password. Google then sends an SMS with a verification code. How do the criminals get the verification code off a phone they don’t have? Simple! They send a text to the phone number in question. It would tell the customer that there has been unauthorised activity on their account and to forward the verification code that they have just been sent (to the hacker!). Some people will reply to this, fooled and unaware that it is not remotely official. The hackers now change the password to that account and have access to almost everything- emails, activity log, social media and lots more!

If you are browsing using an open network, also known as public wi-fi, such as in a coffee shop or airport, hackers can quickly gather unencrypted information and use it to their advantage.

The consequences of this could be that your emails, passwords and other personal information end up on the dark web. There are many people more than happy to buy this information.

This information can be used for a multitude of things, such as:

  • Setting up false banking accounts and credit cards
  • Asking for credit in your name
  • Fake passports
  • Deepfakes using your photos
  • Fake social media accounts

How do I prevent this from happening?

Download the Cybercare that is only £19.50 for 12 months with your Notty Account. This includes:

  • McAfee
  • CyberDNA
  • Password protection
  • Scans and checks on your devices
  • Use on PC, tablet or your smartphone
  • A password manager to help generate and store complex passwords
  • £500 Warranty

When downloading an app, always use the official app stores, such as the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Don’t click any links that are asking you to re-enter login and password details. Instead, go straight to the official website. Try to clarify if there has been any misunderstanding, such as your account being frozen. If possible, inform the company too so that they are aware and can put plans into action.

There are other signs to look out for too. These include excessive battery consumption that starts suddenly, your data being used up very quickly when your personal habits haven’t changed, mystery pop-ups, and unusual activity on any of your accounts.

Create strong passwords. It is believed that every password with 8 letters or fewer has now been cracked. Aim for a long password, 10-12 letters but combine numbers and special characters such as ! *_+ etc. A password manager can help here by creating such passwords and storing them for you.

Always keep your mobile security up to date. software updates almost always include extra security updates for your phone.