Our modern phones aren’t just phones anymore. They are small, portable computers. Today’s phones are more powerful than computers from just a few years ago. Because of that we use them for so many other things than just as a phone. For example, because of the cameras included, we take pictures of so many things that we wouldn’t have before. For many people this means having very private pictures on their phones. In addition to that, our phones contain all of our private text messages, instant messages like from Viber, Whatsapp, Messenger, etc. Most phones have email accounts as well. So in short, our phones contain a treasure trove of personal data about us.

Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that since you aren’t (probably) a celebrity, that you wouldn’t be a target. That just isn’t how hackers work. Each device or computer that a hacker takes over can be used for increased credibility in the hacking community. It can also be sold to others. This can allow hackers to make long distance calls from your phone, send emails or messages, and other nefarious tactics. But the most basic reason they would target any of us is the desire to see just what people have on their phones. Like when you found your little sister’s diary when you were younger and you were tempted to read it. Except this diary contains far more detail and can be even more personal than a written diary.

So enough about how dangerous our phones cane be. How about some ways to protect yourself? We have some quick tips for both iPhones and Android phones.

iPhones –

1. Keep your phone updated. Make sure you are always running the most current version of IOS for your iPhone. Each new version not only has new features, but lots of fixes for any holes that Apple has found since the last version was released. Once these holes are patched, it becomes harder for hackers to compromise your phone.

2. Use a secure password for your device. Many people are tempted to use the 4 digit numerical password for their device. With this, there are only 10,000 possible combinations. That can be hacked by a computer very quickly. You can, of course, enable the erase feature after 10 wrong attempts. But its very important to use a more secure password. Even if you use just a five character letter/number password, it is much more secure.

3. Use a secure password for your Apple account. This is usually how celebrities have their pics stolen. The hacker will break into their iCloud account because the password wasn’t a strong one. So for your Apple account password, make sure its very secure. At least 10 characters, upper and lower letters, numbers and a special character (!@#$%^&*()

4. Enable find my iPhone. If you ever lose your device then this free feature can be a lifesaver. As long as your phone has access to the Internet, then it will broadcast its location to Apple. you can log into your apple account online and get a good idea of where your iPhone is.

Android –

1. Use a secure screen lock password. Don’t use easy to break passwords. Be sure to use letters and numbers and make it hard to guess. A strong password is your best defense against hackers.

2. Install an antivirus app. On Android, antivirus products also contain other protection like to block dangerous SMS messages, protect email from phishing, etc. A good antivirus like ESET or Avast. Both are free and will protect your device.

3. Enable device encryption. Unlike Apple, Google doesn’t enable encryption by default except in the newest of devices. So be sure to enable it. This will protect your data in the event your device is stolen.

4. Keep android updated. Google releases new versions of Android fairly often and the mobile companies will make these available to their users. Make sure you keep your phone updated. Google patches holes in Android that hackers can use to access your device. By blocking these holes, you make it harder for hackers to steal your data.

if you need help securing your phone, contact Iron Comet at 770-506-4383 today or email support@ironcomet.com. We can help you make sure your phone is secure.