NSA Warns of Cyberattacks, Recommends Turning Off Phones Once a Week

(RepublicanDaily.org) – According to the National Security Agency, turning off one’s phone at least once a week will go a long way in preventing incidents of cybercrime.

According to the agency, it makes no difference if the phone runs on Apple’s iOS or the Android OS, hackers can still install malware on any vulnerable system. To help counter that vulnerability, turning off one’s phone once a week will make it harder for hackers to take advantage of loopholes in software systems to steal data and private information.

Rebooting is not a 100% foolproof prevention method, but the agency says it can help mitigate and prevent attacks. And given that the NSA says that attacks meant to steal users’ private data nowadays is “more prevalent and increasing in scope and complexity,” it wouldn’t hurt to take relatively convenient preventive measures rather than not do anything at all.

In addition, the NSA also strongly encourages users to turn off their phone’s wi-fi, Bluetooth, and mobile data service when they are not being used.

The NSA adds that hackers use public wi-fi networks especially, to gain access into unprotected phones that are connected to the network. The agency strongly discourages people from connecting to public networks when it can be avoided, as malicious actors may have hidden rogue access points designed to fool unsuspecting users.

Turning off one’s phone will also help with privacy, the agency said, as it prevents geolocation. The rebooting also clears out the phone’s cache and other temporary files and data, which hackers can exploit. Lastly, rebooting also helps fully install any security updates and patches for the phone.

Another security tip: consider using a phone case that covers the microphone to protect from attacks called a “hot mike” where the microphone is constantly on without the user knowing it. The NSA also suggests a case that allows one’s phone camera to be covered when not in use.   

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