Smartphones have proven to be an invaluable part of our society. We cannot deny its global existence, as it is widely used by people of all ages, across the world. Smartphones and tablets are so instrumental, that they have now become the top target for thieves and hackers. It is valued even more than a purse or a wallet. So watch out ladies, your purse is not the center of attraction anymore. And men, watch out, your hard earned money in gadgets may go in a jiffy!
The US has been affected by these strong-arm thefts, with New York most prone to these robberies. There has been a 40% increase in the number of phone thefts in the Big Apple, which led to a New York attorney labeling this issue as “Apple Picking”.
There were over 160 million smartphones that had been sold last year. This in turn, provides a huge target for hackers who would try to hack your phone. There is a good chance that there are mobile hackers out there who are bound to do harm to your mobile phone.
The various smartphone companies have been asked to form a collaboration to tackle this issue. Through combined efforts, they can help minimize the economic incentives for thefts. The smartphone companies provide faster deactivation services, mobile tracking technology and various apps for tracking the device. Smartphone users must be well informed about all measures to protect their phone from being hacked.
Apple included a new feature in their latest, soon to be released iOS7, which is called Activation Lock. This app provides guarantee that a stolen device can never be activated again. In spite of this, the smartphone companies still receive flack for not caring about this issue. Precautions for the safety of the device must be taken. Here are some of the various measures one can take to protect their own handset.
Tips to prevent your smartphone from being stolen
- Leaving a smartphone unattended, especially in public is a bad idea. It attracts opportunists and thieves who just need that distraction to pick up your phone. Always keep an eye on the device, especially in public places.
- If due to any circumstances, the phone has been stolen, one must report back to the police, the service providers, and the mobile company. Through this, the IMEI number is recorded and does not allow the mobile to be activated again. This does not assure anyone of retrieving back the device, but negates the overall need for stolen phones, in the black market.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. On one instance, recorded footage had shown how a woman’s smartphone had been stolen in broad daylight.
- There is a need for a more stringent locking system, unlike a four digit passwords system. Through complex passwords, the thief will not be able to access the phone. This thereby decreases the usefulness of the device.
- Majority of smartphones have a GPS-activated mobile tracking system called “Find My Phone”. This feature increases the chances of recovering the device.
Hackers fall under the same category as thieves. Therefore it is necessary to take measures to prevent your phone from being hacked. Here are some measures to protect your smartphone from being hacked.
Tips to prevent your smartphone from being hacked
- A smartphone user must always use anti-virus software, along with a secure firewall. Tablets are just like computers and need similar treatment.
- Avoid clicking on links or attachments from unknown websites or emails.
- Use trustworthy websites for online shopping. Go through the website you want to purchase from, and see records of customer satisfaction in order to avoid risks. In order to make sure your payment will be processed safely, look for the “s” alphabet in the address box.
- Set stringent privacy settings which do not allow entry of unknown strangers, especially on social networking websites.
- Make sure the operating system is up to date and this also reduces the risk of any loopholes in the security system.
- Avoid access into free Wi-Fi networks and at the same time turn off the Wi-Fi hot spot. This prevents strangers from signing on to your network.
It is highly necessary to protect your smartphone from such threats. It can also damage the system, and allow unnecessary breach of privacy onto your device.
Although some of the mobile tracking systems do not assure you of getting your device back, but it also minimizes the need for thieves to steal. Since the phone would deem to be useless, these criminals wouldn’t want to waste any time or energy on smartphones anymore.