Some thieves are easy to spot, hiding behind masks and going after wallets or purses. But some criminals operate much more subtly and hide in plain sight. Tech-savvy hackers hang out in public places and look like everybody else. They furtively wait for your smartphones and laptops to join unsecured wifi networks. These public networks allow the hackers to pilfer personal information, especially usernames and passwords. These breaches can compromise your email account as well as your financial accounts. Some hackers can even take over entire computers, meaning that every file on a person’s computer will be exposed to hackers. What’s even more troubling is that most users won’t even realize that they’ve been hacked.
Hacking threats can target anything from online bank accounts to even home security system. But it’s not just home computers that are under cyber attack. Many people rely on their smartphones when they’re out and about, but these portable devices also carry security risks. Your smartphone can be protected from these attacks, but only if you take some precautions first.
How Do Hackers Get Access to Smartphones and Laptops?
All it takes for these hackers to access your personal data is a laptop loaded up with the Wireshark packet sniffing program. Wireshark is a legal program that is used by network administrators all over the world for legitimate purposes. But hackers can use Wireshark to monitor and intercept all data being sent over wifi. Hackers have also been known to set up fake hotspots to lure in unsuspecting users. Wireshark will reveal the IP addresses of every device connected to the network that the hacker is probing. The criminals will then poll the packets to try and reveal what people are entering into their devices. In the hands of a criminal, Wireshark becomes the ultimate hacking tool.
How Free Wifi Can Be a Security Risk for Smartphone Users.
Internet-connected devices are especially vulnerable to being hacked. Smartphones become vulnerable when they connect to freely available wifi automatically while in your pocket or purse. This means your apps, some of them with access to very important parts of your private life, are at risk of divulging precious info to criminals.
It’s not always easy to know whether your smartphone has been hacked, but here are some warning signs.
- Your apps launch all by themselves.
- The battery on your phone drains much faster than usual.
- There are strange charges on your wireless bill.
Howto Keep Hackers Out of Your Smartphone.
Worried about hackers poking through your private data on your smartphone? Here are a few tips to safeguard your phone from prying eyes.
- Turn off your cell phones wifi and Bluetooth as soon as you’re done using it. When you turn off these network services, your phone will stop automatically connecting to networks without your knowledge.
- Only use secure wifi networks. If it’s not a trusted network, either don’t connect or use a vpn.
- Don’t do any shopping or banking while connected to a public wifi network. VPNs are a good security measure if you need to do banking while on an unknown network.
- If you want to use email on your phone, make sure your account is set up to connect using the HTTPS protocol. As a further privacy measure, you can use an encrypted messaging service like Apple’s iMessaging.
- Don’t open text messages or emails on your smartphone that contain suspicious links. This is especially important if the message appears to be from your bank. Hacker’s love to go on phishing expeditions, so don’t fall for it.
- Before downloading any apps your smartphone, make sure you read the permissions that it’s requesting. As a general rule, only download apps that come from a trusted source.
It’s also a good idea to maintain your phone so it’s as resilient as possible to a hacking attempt. The best defense is keeping your smartphone’s operating system updated to the latest version.
You want to keep out the common hacker who is looking for low hanging fruit. By following these basic protective measures, you can avoid being targeted by hackers who are looking for susceptible phones to break into.