Want a simple way to enhance your cybersecurity? Turn your smartphone on and off again.
When it come to security, we tend to think that the more complicated products and services yield better results. In this case, it might be beneficial to prevent cyber attacks by restarting your phone on a weekly basis. Just like rebooting a computer can fix an issue, it seems turning your cellphone off and on might make it more difficult for cybercriminals to steal data from your phone.
While this trick isn’t likely to stop more sophisticated groups from accessing your sensitive information, it’s a good deterrent. With the rise in “zero-click” exploits, which don’t need any interaction on a user’s part to compromise a device, it’s easier for hackers to first gain access to a network and then make themselves at home once they’re in. Considering the increased security from top tech companies, these bad actors have to be creative about what methods they use.
Hacks like “in-memory payloads” are more difficult to trace to a source, but they also can’t survive a reboot. The fact is that nowadays many people don’t turn their phone off on a regular basis, so these types of attacks sit longer in the system. Hacking software and tools are in high demand, with military-grade tools being utilized worldwide to gain access to private information.
Some apps that have been victims of attacks recently include WhatsApp and Apple’s iMessage. NSO Group recently came under fire for its Pegasus spyware tool being used to hack the phones of journalists, business executives and human rights activists. While these do survive a reboot, as they can re-infect your phone, the most basic guidelines the NSA provides is to not carry your phone with you at all times.
Easier said than done, but hackers can remotely turn on your phone’s camera or mic to record you. It might be time to re-think those bathroom phone breaks!
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