Home Original Four Ways to Better Protect the Cybersecurity of Your Smartphone

Four Ways to Better Protect the Cybersecurity of Your Smartphone

Four Ways to Better Protect the Cybersecurity of Your Smartphone
0

By Susan Hoffman
Contributor, InCyberDefense

Since the invention of the smartphone in 1992, smartphones have rapidly become a normal part of our everyday lives. We use them to make phone calls, send texts or chat live with others through video. They are also used to check social media sites, see weather forecasts, listen to music or podcasts, and look up information quickly.

Get started on your cybersecurity degree at American Military University.

Smartphones, however, need to be protected from hackers just like any other computer. Although allowing cybersecurity updates to your smartphone is one way to ensure its security, there are other ways to further protect your phone.

#1: Don’t Borrow Another Person’s Charging Cable to Recharge Your Smartphone

Although borrowing another person’s charging cable to recharge your phone might seem harmless, it isn’t advisable to use it unless you know for sure that the cable is harmless. According to Suzanne Rowan Kelleher of Forbes, hackers have found a way to modify a recharging cable so that it can plant malware on your computer. Ideally, stick with the charging cable that was supplied with your smartphone.

#2: Be Wary of USB Ports on Public Charging Stations

For the convenience of travelers, many airports now offer charging stations to allow people to recharge their tablets and smartphones. Unfortunately, attackers can modify the USB port on a charging station to steal data. Connor Forrest of TechRepublic quotes a Kaspersky Lab employee, noting “Even when a mobile phone is in ‘charging only’ (locked) mode, it can still transmit the device name, vendor name and serial number to the system behind the USB port, and more based on the platform and operating system of the phone.”

Rather than using the USB port of a public charging station, use a wall-mounted outlet. Another option is to use a portable battery pack.

#3: Shield Your Password or Lock Pattern on Your Smartphone from Prying Eyes

Smartphones are traditionally protected by a lock screen, requiring you to enter a personal identification number (PIN) code. You can also unlock the smartphone’s pattern lock by touching the screen in a certain pattern.

However, it is easy for someone in a public area to look over your shoulder and see you typing in your PIN code. Ideally, shield your phone from others when you’re using it in a public area and use a hard-to-guess lock pattern.

#4: Use Public Wi-Fi Sparingly

Public Wi-Fi is convenient when you need to keep in constant contact with your coworkers or your family. However, it is all too easy for someone to set up a fake Wi-Fi network, distribute malware to your computer, or steal passwords and usernames.

If you must use Wi-Fi in public, use a virtual private network (VPN) whenever possible. Also, keep your smartphone’s Wi-Fi connection and Bluetooth off, using them only when necessary. At the very least, try to delay using sites that require log-in credentials in public; instead, wait until you’re at home or in the office before accessing those sites.

Protecting the cybersecurity of your smartphone requires constant vigilance. But making the effort to ensure your phone’s security is worth your time.

Get started on your cybersecurity degree at American Military University.

Comments

comments