FBI reveals 10 ways to stop smartphone hackers

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Whether you’re an Apple or Android user or prefer logging into accounts on a laptop, the FBI has a warning for you.

The US intelligence and security service has revealed 10 important tips that can keep you stay safe from hackers as cybercrime continues to rise.

The warning was backed by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), National Security Agency (NSA) and authorities from Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and the UK.

The security groups have highlighted 10 ways in which hackers will try and exploit your device or hack your accounts.

Following the steps recommended could save you from having personal data stolen or losing money.

Standard advice like setting up multi-factor authentication is on the list as well as other points you might not have considered.

We’ve rounded up the full list for you below.

Set up multi-factor authentication

Most of your social media accounts and online banking will have multi-factor authentication options in their settings section.

Setting this up means there are extra steps to your logging-in process and extra barriers to any cybercriminals trying to hack you.

Using multi-factor authorizations adds more steps to the logging-in process, making it harder for hackers to get into your phone records.

Avoid incorrect permissions

This step applies more to companies and it is something you can point out to your employer.

Security experts warn against having long access permission lists for personal data.

The fewer people that have access to private and important data, the fewer people cybercriminals have to hack.

Update your software

This may seem like an obvious point but a lot of people forget to update their software or put off doing system updates.

Software updates usually come with bug fixes so putting them off can let a cybercriminal exploit a flaw in your device.

An adroid receives software updates.
Keeping your phone software up to date makes it harder for hackers to access flaws or weak points.

Don’t use default logins and passwords

Never stick with a default login or password because they’re too easy for a hacker to guess.

Change your passwords often and to something no one could guess about you, avoid birthdays and names of loved ones.

Avoid unnecessary VPNs

Virtual private networks can be useful to surf the internet like you’re in a different country but some can leave you open to scammers.

Be careful with what VPN you choose to use as some don’t have enough controls to stop hackers accessing your personal content.

A phone user connects to a Virtual private networks.
Virtual private networks don’t provide enough protection.

Make your password strong

Similarly to avoiding a default password, make sure the one you do pick is strong.

Sites usually recommend what kind of password is required so make sure you follow this even if it means adding a lot of extra numbers and symbols.

Be wary of cloud services

When you save your data to cloud services, make sure you know it’s protected.

Apple’s iCloud is known for being pretty secure but there are some cloud apps that could leave you vulnerable to attacks.

Be wary of the content you upload to the cloud and who you let access it.

An animation of a cloud surrounding a phone.
Some cloud services are stronger than others, so be aware when choosing which to upload information to.

Watch out for ‘misconfigured services’

This point is more for services themselves as they have a responsibility to protect your data.

Previous research by IBM Security X-Force found that two-thirds of cloud security incidents could have been avoided with the right security policies in place.

Don’t fail to spot a phishing scam

If you receive an email or text with a suspicious link you should avoid it, even if the link is to something seemingly important.

Scammers rely on scaring you or convincing you you’re going to get something good.

Phishing scams can be easy to spot when you know what to look for like spelling mistakes, incorrect use of names and strange email addresses.

A phone user gets a call from an unknown number.
Scammers will try reaching you through calls or texts and will try to scare you into giving personal information away.

Make sure you’ve got the right protection

The last safety tip regards endpoint detection.

This is software that is supposed to detect a threat that’s already bypassed some barriers so that you can try and block it before it spreads.

Make sure you have strong security software or invest in it.

This story originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission.