August 1, 2016

DTCI Tips** has tipped you off to malware and hacking as a threat to computers and their networks.   Now you're getting the tip about malware and hacking as a threat to smartphones.  


The majority of us enjoying the high tech capabilities of cell phones to send emails, browse the internet, sign into online accounts, as well as upload & download information don’t think of the ease at which hackers can access valuable personal information.  We’ve got a minicomputer in our hands! 


It is important to keep your phone close and secure, in your pocket or purse, but that doesn’t ensure protection.  Your device is still at risk for leaking data to thieves or picking up a virus.  Make sure you’ve got the upper hand by taking steps to secure your smartphone:


Step 1 – Lock your phone when it’s not in use.  Password protect – change it often and don’t share it; face or voice recognition lock is a good option as well.  Just lock it.


Step 2 –   Turn off Bluetooth when not in use and access the Internet through secure Wi-Fi networks only.  Nearby hackers can intercept your data through Bluetooth and when you log-on to the Internet via an unsecure network.  Don’t shop (open access to credit card info) or on line bank on a public Wi-Fi!  Use a cellular network instead of public Wi-Fi.  Note:  Internet log-on to secure Wi-Fi is for computers as well.


Step 3 – If you can track your phone, do it.  If it’s stolen, remotely lock it and report the theft to officials and to your service provider right away. 


Step 4 – If you turned off an option for auto updates to your phone’s firmware, update your firmware.


Step 5 – App install from a trusted source only (manufacturer’s app store).  Read the app description and reviews – know what you’re getting.  If the app asks for access to your personal information, don’t install it or deny the request.  Don’t install apps via text messages – infection waiting to happen.


Step 6 – Delete texts from unknown senders that ask for your info and don’t click on their link.  Clicking on the link may give the hacker the ability to steal your info or install malware on the phone.


Step 7 – Regularly delete your browsing history, cookies and cache to erase your virtual footprint to prying eyes.


Step 8 – Install an anti-virus app – check your phone’s app store.


Have you been hacked?  How do you know?  Here are some signs:

  • Your phone and battery are excessively hot.
  • Cell phone lights up all by itself even when you’re not using it.
  • Charges double or triple with every call or text – watch your bill for charges.
  • During calls you hear strange, unfamiliar clicking sounds.

If your phone is hacked get in touch with your service provider.


Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about this or any of the other DTCI Tips**.   If you would like to have DTCI Tips come right to your mailbox please use this link - DTCI Tips Sign Up.


BONUS!!!  As I just received yet another unwanted telemarketing call I am reminded of signing up on the National DO NOT CALL Registry.  Have at it.  


Return to DTCI Tips Main Page