Imagine meeting someone new in a professional environment. You have a friendly dinner. You exchange phone numbers. You send and receive a message or two.
And then things start to happen.
Unfortunately, being one of the top business people in the world can’t stop a hacker if they want in. Jeff Bezos found that out recently.
Suddenly, you’re hacked. Where did it come from? What do you do?
Update your OS and apps
The first step in any security plan is to update your operating systems and apps as quickly as possible, as soon as they are released. It’s easy to say “I'll get to it”, especially when it seems like you’re always getting reminders of new updates. While some of them are purely cosmetic changes, a great deal of them are software updates, bug fixes, and security improvement. These can help guard your phone against data breaches, close the door to vulnerabilities, and make it harder for hackers to get through.
Don’t use free wi-fi
Free public wi-fi is everywhere. You’ll find it in shopping centers, your favorite coffee house, at the hotel you stay at for your next convention. But if you’re there using it for free, imagine all the other people sitting there using it too. If even one of them has malicious intent, you could be hacked in seconds. Use only your private cell connection, and switch off access to wi-fi when you’re spending time in a public place. You should also have access to a VPN, an app that pushes communications through an encrypted connection, offering you even more protection.
Use stronger protection
This is a multifaceted step. Every time you pick up your phone to use it, think security first. Is your phone locked? Always engage the lock security built into your phone that requires a four or six-digit passcode to enter your device. For every app you use, ensure you create a strong password to enter and access the information. And for your most critical apps and data files, consider two-factor authentication.
Stop sharing everything you do
Chances are you have friends that love to post every detail of their lives. Where they eat. When they go on vacation. They have a minute by minute play of their days. If this also sounds like you, consider scaling back how visible you are online. How much do you reveal in your profiles? What do you share in your newsfeeds? If someone really wants into your files, this is an easy place to gain all the information they need.
Keep your mobile number private
In a professional environment, of course, you want to share. But think twice before handing out your number to just anyone. Consider adding a second line as you’re getting to know someone better - Google Voice is an excellent way to shield your number. It lets you add and direct numbers to different lines, helping you stay safe while keeping in touch. And it’s much easier controlling problems when your entire world isn’t attached to it.
What do you think? Have you ever had your phone hacked?
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