Key Tips to Protect Yourself from Phone Hackers

Monday 18th, July 2011 / 02:45 Written by
Key Tips to Protect Yourself from Phone Hackers

The latest news about the now-obsolete tabloid ‘News of the World‘ gave me a shock. The critically acclaimed Royal family, the terrific murderers, pathetic murder victims, and almost everyone became prey to the phone hackers (sorry, they are the so-called journalists). Now that the tabloid has been closed forever we shouldn’t be happy thinking that this is the ‘happily ever after’ ending for the phone-hacking business.

Somewhere in this same world there will be phones getting hacked when you are reading this article. We aren’t modern day Robin Hoods to stop the people from doing evil but what we could do from our side is, follow these simple steps to ward off the hackers from our valuable phone.

1. Is your Password Powerful or Pathetic?

I know many people who still use the default passwords for their phone even years after buying the phone. The default password will be same for the whole company for instance if your phone is of Nokia brand then the password of all phones produced by that brand is 12345. To crack this code no special intelligence is needed.

Change these default passwords first. As soon as you buy a phone and put your sim card change all the default passwords. However, most people end up changing the password from default ‘12345’ to obvious ‘22222’. Some people are so naïve that even a hacking amateur can easily hack their phones.

You must avoid the following while choosing your passwords –

  • Birthdays of any kind (yours, spouse’s, kid’s, etc)
  • Anniversaries
  • Your name’s number format. For instance, DEEP = 45516
  • Last few digits of your social security number

Keep your password totally random.

Tip – Don’t write down this password anywhere; one of my cousins has kept a really hard-to-guess password but she wrote it down and kept it in her clutch where she keeps her mobile too.

2. Lock your phone

What’s the use of keeping cryptic passwords without using them? It is as similar as not having a password at all. Keep your phone locked always especially when you are surrounded by quite a lot of people. I know it too obnoxious to lock and unlock each time you receive or send a message, but if you love your phone you don’t have any other option other than locking your phone (until someone finds phone locking system with biometrics).

Especially if you are a proud owner of a smartphone then definitely your phone should be under lock always. Unlike conventional mobile phones which needs a passcode to access voice mails, smartphones allow users to access the voice mailbox with a single touch (thanks to the voice mail Apps) irrespective of the user’s identity.

3. Hacking your phone, without using your phone

Your phone can be hacked without the help of it. Yeah, a hacker can simply call from an outside line to your service provider and access your voice mailbox. All he needs is your social security number or some other personal detail. The default passcode may me jus 0# or 0, etc.

To avoid these type of mishaps call your service provider and change the pass-code to access your voice mailbox and also discuss with them about increasing the security levels.

You may not be a big shot to get hacked, but once you get hacked then you will surely become a big shot (of course in the negative sense). Therefore, build up a Crypt (above said points) for your Phone right now!

About the author

Deeptaman Mukherjee is one of those rare names in the Indian blogosphere, who pursues blogging as his hobby. In the 4 years of his blogging experience, he has worked with some of India's top blogs. He presently blogs at My Portable World and Tech Buzz Online. For any engagements or just to say a Hi, do get in touch with him at Twitter & Facebook. Know more about him, here.

View all articles by Deeptaman Mukherjee

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