Experts Share Simple Weekly Tip to Keep Your Phone Secure

A U.S. security agency is urging all iPhone and Android users to perform a simple weekly task to protect against hackers: rebooting their phones.

The National Security Agency (NSA) recommends this practice to defend against ‘zero-click’ attacks. Unlike typical cyberattacks that require the victim to click on a malicious link or app notification, zero-click attacks exploit software vulnerabilities without any user interaction. Hackers can send a text or email that infects an app with malicious code, which then deletes itself, making the attack invisible to the user.

Rebooting your phone temporarily clears the background data stored by apps and browsers, disrupting any ongoing malicious processes. The NSA explains that failing to shut down your phone leaves it vulnerable to hackers who can manipulate open web addresses to plant harmful files.

By restarting your device, you momentarily log out of sensitive apps, such as banking and social media, reducing the risk of unauthorized access to your personal information.

The NSA’s Mobile Device Best Practices report highlights the increasing prevalence and complexity of threats to mobile devices. It advises users to balance the convenience of mobile features with necessary security measures.

Additional recommendations from the NSA include:

  • Using your own charging cords: Avoid public USB charging stations to prevent infection from spyware.
  • Avoiding public WiFi networks: Public networks are often unsecured and can be a gateway for hackers.
  • Regularly updating software and apps: Ensure your device has the latest security patches.
  • Using a strong lock screen: A minimum six-digit PIN provides added protection, especially when combined with a feature that wipes the phone after 10 incorrect attempts.
  • Being cautious with email attachments and links: Do not open attachments or click on links from unknown sources to avoid installing malicious software.

A report from Action Fraud reveals that over 22,500 people had their social media or email accounts hacked last year, resulting in losses totaling £1.3 million.

By following these simple steps, you can significantly enhance your phone’s security and protect your personal information from cyber threats.

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