Cell Phone Security
According to an alarming report by the Associated Press, hackers have recently breached the security of millions of cell phones around the world. If you own an Android phone or tablet, the odds are good that your device was one of them. This should be very concerning to you as this could be yet another reason not to use your cell phone as a means of storing any private information. Read more to find out if your cell phone was one of those affected and what you can do about it.
Your Cell Phone Security May Have Been Breached- Here’s What You Need to Know
- How the Breach Happened
2. What Information Was Leaked
3. What You Can Do to Protect Yourself
4. What Companies Are Doing in Response to the Breach
5. How This Will Impact the Future of Cell Phone Security
How the Breach Happened
You may not be at risk of an immediate breach, but it can’t hurt to take a few precautions. First, pay attention when you’re using public Wi-Fi connections as these are often easier for cybercriminals to access than the ones in your home. Second, make sure you use a strong password and two-factor authentication whenever possible. If you want more information about how to protect yourself against breaches like this one, contact us today!
What Information Was Leaked
A hacker has allegedly leaked the personal data of 2.2 million cell phones, including names, addresses, and social security numbers. The leak is said to be from telco TalkTalk, which was breached by a group called The Impact Team. The hackers allegedly stole the personal data in October 2015 but didn’t publish it until October 21st.
This breach is worrisome because many people use their phone numbers as their primary form of identification.
Who Is Affected by the Breach
The reported breach affects the personal information of around three hundred million people. If you are one of these people, your name, cell phone number, address, and other personal information may have been leaked.
If your phone was on the list of models that were affected by the breach, it means that there is a chance someone has gained access to sensitive information about you. Your name, cell phone number, address, and other personal information could be in the hands of hackers and criminals who want to steal your identity.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself
1) Check your phone for an update. 2) Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when not in use. 3) Avoid downloading apps or opening messages from people you don’t know. 4) Use a password/fingerprint lock for your phone. 5) Be cautious about what you upload to social media sites that have location settings enabled. 6) Make sure your data is encrypted. 7) Consider installing a VPN app, which will allow you to browse anonymously on the internet. 8) Put a sticker over the camera lens on the back of your phone so prying eyes can’t see through it into your life.
What Companies Are Doing in Response to the Breach
Companies are still working to determine the extent of the breach, but they have responded in a few ways. The three major cell carriers (AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon) all state that they were not impacted by this breach. They also say that their customers will not be responsible for any fraudulent charges resulting from this breach. In addition, Facebook has reset the passwords of affected users as a precautionary measure.
All affected users should change their passwords immediately, especially if they use the same password on other sites like Gmail or LinkedIn. It is also recommended that you update your settings on social media accounts so that it sends notifications when someone tries to log into your account. If you notice suspicious activity on your account, such as someone trying to log in with a new device or location, call your carrier and report it right away.
How This Will Impact the Future of Cell Phone Security
Many of the vulnerabilities in today’s smartphones have been patched by carriers, but there is no way to know for sure if your cell phone has been compromised. If you can’t wait for a software update, or if you’re paranoid about your phone, take these steps:
1. Change your password and PIN code from the default settings. 2. Turn off the auto sync features that send your messages and other data to the cloud. 3. Keep your phone updated with all patches and updates. 4. Use apps such as WOT (Web of Trust) which warns you when an app could be malicious. 5. When using public Wi-Fi networks make sure to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service on your smartphone so it encrypts all of your communications before they reach the Wi-Fi hotspot. 6. Lock down the permissions of apps. Make sure they only access the functions they need to work properly. 7. Install anti-malware programs like Lookout or Bitdefender Mobile Security to scan your device and report back any threats found. 8. Remember not every app has malicious intent, so keep up with what is trending on social media sites like Twitter where users are giving feedback about new releases. And never click on links from people you don’t trust, this includes attachments from people who email them.
Once again we want to remind our readers to always do their research and check reviews before downloading an app. We hope this blog post was helpful!