AMU Cyber & AI Original

Protecting Your Mobile Devices from a Hacker’s Eyes

By Susan Hoffman

Mobile devices have become such a normal part of our lives that we use them almost without thinking. We consult them when we need a weather update or the location of a nearby restaurant, movie theater, or gas station. We also use smartphones and tablets to pass the time when we’re restless, to check on financial accounts, or to record what’s happening around us.

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Public Wi-Fi Use Has Its Risks

However, using our mobile devices in public carries security risks. Cybersecurity company Kaspersky notes that although the public Wi-Fi networks we access with our mobile devices are convenient, “free Wi-Fi networks are usually unsecured.”

Wi-Fi networks can also be spoofed, according to Kaspersky. In public locations such as coffee shops, libraries and airports, hackers can set up a fake access point with a seemingly innocuous name such as “Free Library Wi-Fi.” The name encourages people to use the fake access point and the hacker commonly asks the victim to create an account. Since it is a common practice for many people to use the same log-in name and password for multiple accounts, that log-in may give the hacker the opportunity to access your email and financial accounts.

Seven Tips to Protect Your Mobile Devices

Being mindful of your mobile device usage, especially in public, can go a long way toward keeping your smartphone and other devices safe. Here are some basic tips for improved security:

1) Use strong, hard-to-guess passcodes or touch ID to lock your mobile device.

2) When you open your phone or tablet, shield your passcode from anyone near you.

3) Keep your Wi-Fi connection and Bluetooth off when they are not in use.

4) Use public Wi-Fi sparingly and if possible, don’t log into your email or financial accounts in public.

5) Set up a virtual private network (VPN) on your mobile device.

6) Delete apps you aren’t using.

7) Keep your security software up to date.

Although taking all of these steps to protect your mobile devices from hackers can feel like a hassle, they are worth your time. It’s better to take the extra time than to lose important data or to have your bank accounts emptied.

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Susan Hoffman is a Managing Editor at Edge, whose articles have appeared in multiple publications. Susan is known for her expertise in blogging, social media, SEO, and content analytics, and she is also a book reviewer for Military History magazine. She has a B.A. cum laude in English from James Madison University and an undergraduate certificate in electronic commerce from American Public University.

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