25 Jun Protect Yourself From Cell Phone Hackers
Wireless technology has changed the way we communicate. In business, we use our cell phones frequently to stay in touch and keep us up to date with what’s happening around us. But this 21st century revolution also poses a serious threat – to our wallets and our peace of mind.
With the advancements that cell phone technology has made in the past few years, so too have the skills of hackers seeking ways of breaking into our wire-free worlds. Yet a handful of simple safety precautions can largely stop most of these crooks in their tracks. That tiny little communication device you call a cell phone is a piece of dynamite in the wrong hands. Crooks aren’t so much interested in your phone as in stealing your call minutes or personal data.
Let’s take a look at the most important things you can do to protect yourself right now:
- Always password protect it, preferably with an auto switch-on that kicks in after a few minutes of non-use.
- Write down the device’s serial number, SIM number and other relevant unique information about the device; if you don’t know them, ask your provider.
- Keep a note of the 1-800 number of your provider and contact them immediately with the info from the point above, if your device is lost or stolen, so they can switch it off or even clear data.
- If your phone has Bluetooth (most do) switch it off when not in use; hackers have software that enables them to use Bluetooth to download data from your phone and even to ‘clone’ the device.
- Beware of ringtone and ‘free’ cellphone game downloads. Sometimes these carry a deadly payload, like software that secretly makes premium line calls charged to your phone bill. In other cases, downloading certain games signs you up for a monthly ‘club’ membership that costs around $10 a month, without you realizing, or it installs software that steals and transmits confidential information from your phone.
- Carefully scan your bills every month for tell-tale signs if someone has hooked you for extra fees.
- Watch what you say! No cell phone is 100% secure. Eavesdropping software is widely available and hackers can use the information they pick up for identity theft or even blackmail.
We live in a digital world, and most of us just couldn’t imaging life without our cell phones. It can be quite expensive. But, in addition to that monthly bill, make sure you don’t become one of the users who have to pay a much higher price at the hands of hackers.