Texas Living

Stop Smartphone Hacking

By Haley Shapley 10.6.14

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, which is a good time to think about just how secure your digital life is. While you may be well aware of how to keep your computer safe, you might be overlooking the security of your smartphone — which, despite its small size, is really more computer than phone these days.

Follow these five tips from StaySafeOnline.org, powered by the National Cyber Security Alliance, to keep your phone safe from hackers.

Install the recommended updates. Staying current with software updates — which often include security protections — will help defend your phone against viruses and malware.

Add a passcode. Set up a strong passcode to keep others from accessing everything stored on your phone should they find themselves in possession of it.

Pay attention to financial transactions. If you shop or bank from your smartphone, make sure the Web addresses start with “https://” or “shttp://,” which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. If you don’t see that, don’t complete a transaction.

Ignore strange texts. If someone you don’t know text-messages you asking for any kind of personal information or asks you to click on a link, don’t respond — a legitimate company won’t try to get details from you this way. If in doubt, independently look up the number of the business, then call and ask if they’ve contacted you via text.

Watch the Wi-Fi. Be careful when connecting to a public Wi-Fi hot spot, and adjust the security settings on your phone, if necessary.