Smartphones are now without a doubt an integral part of our everyday lives. In the US alone, 72% of adults own a smartphone.1 In a world where everyone is constantly connected, they’re like little personal assistants who help us keep track of our professional and social obligations, our health measure, keep us up to date, and access thousands of powerful apps.
The further the age of „smart things” advances, the more manufacturers are striving to turn the smartphone into an app-based „universal service” for their products. Most of these intelligent devices have an app for operation that is installed on the smartphone.
A smartphone is basically a small computer that fits in your pocket or wallet. Due to their practical everyday functions and their increasing popularity with users, smartphones are particularly susceptible to malware and hackers, which endanger our privacy and our important personal information. Clever hackers can steal data from your devices with the help of spyware, spam, phishing or simply by penetrating your WLAN – whether in public places or at home.
Protect your smartphone
Fortunately, there are a number of uncomplicated measures you can take to protect your smartphone from cyber thieves:
- The first thing you should do is install a reputable Internet security software like Norton Mobile Security. Norton Mobile Security helps you protect your mobile device from threats like malware, adware, web phishing, and more.
- Under no circumstances should you open an e-mail whose sender you do not know. If you open the message and the stranger asks you to reveal confidential information, delete it immediately. If the request appears to come from a company you know, check their website to see if the report is authentic. If the message is spam, delete it as soon as possible and do not reply to it under any circumstances.
- If an unknown SMS sender requests personal information from you, do not respond. If the text appears serious to you, try to reach the alleged sender by phone.
- If you use your smartphone in a public place, do not leave it unattended. Avoid unprotected WiFi and Bluetooth networks and disconnect if you are not currently using the respective service. If you do need to use public WiFi, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) like Norton Secure VPN.
- When setting up passwords for email, social media, and bank accounts, choose a complicated string of numbers, letters, and symbols. Obvious passwords like birthdays, important dates or consecutive numbers should be avoided.
Device hubs like Google Home and Amazon Echo were designed as a kind of communication hub between you and your devices. In principle, these are „keys” that can be activated by voice control to operate all smart home devices in your household. These devices may appear independent, but are actually controlled via an app on your smartphone.
Device Hub Vulnerabilities
Device hubs are ultimately controlled by your smartphone, but you should protect them nonetheless. Cyber criminals can learn a lot about your household from vulnerabilities in the hub. By exploiting these vulnerabilities, they can not only gain access to personal information stored on these devices, but also wreak havoc on the devices themselves. For example, you could change your wake-up times, hijack the hub in order to carry out DDoS attacks on it, play around with the settings of your air conditioning system and even unlock the doors. Such a hub may give you absolute control over the networked objects in your household, but it can just as well serve as a point of attack for strangers through which they can control your household appliances without permission.
Protect your device hub
- Use the encryption options of your wireless router to ward off attacks on your security system and protect your device hub. Encryption encrypts wireless transmissions between devices or computers so that others cannot „read” them. There are two methods available for signal encryption: WEP and WPA.
- Next, you should check with your service provider to make sure that your router’s memory always has the latest firmware version.
- Make sure that the access point to your Internet connection is hidden from outsiders.
- Finally, make sure that your password is difficult to crack and change it every 90 days.
By making your smartphone and device hub more difficult for hackers to access, you are strengthening your personal security and privacy.
Use of a secured router
Norton’s powerful software helps protect your PCs, laptops and smartphones from hackers and cybercriminals. But today’s networked home with its smart TVs, Internet surveillance cameras, WiFi air conditioning systems and baby monitors demands more. We made it our mission to change WiFi forever. The result is Norton Core. Our uncompromising vision: a WiFi router that protects your digital life while offering first-class performance. Norton Core defends your home directly at the network level with the help of deep packet inspection, intrusion prevention and other measures. It helps fend off cyber threats before they can penetrate your home network and affect your personal life.
Networked devices make your everyday life easier, but at the same time they can serve as a gateway for criminal snoopers. Be careful and stay protected.