This is a guest post by Tammy Harper. If you are interested to guest post in this blog, just head over to the Guest Post Guidelines.
In recent months, a number of stories have mentioned photos or other personal information that were released due to alleged hacking of cell phones owned by celebrities. While the details in some of these stories may be questionable, the trend has nonetheless left many people wondering if they should worry about the possibility of their own phones being hacked. Unfortunately, this is a very real possibility; although celebrities seem to make the news, plenty of everyday individuals have become the targets of cell phone hackers. These simple steps can help you avoid becoming a phone hacking victim.
A number of security software apps that have been specifically designed for cell phones are now available; installing one is the most important step you can take to protect yourself from phone hacking. Mobile security apps like Lookout or Norton Mobile Security scan all apps, programs, and data to prevent viruses and malware from securing a foothold on your phone. These applications are worthwhile even for closed system owners of phones like the Blackberry and the iPhone. Of course, even with a security system installed, it is wise to remain on the lookout for suspicious behavior coming from your phone.
Email or Text Phishing
You should particularly be on the lookout for phishing from hackers and scammers. Phishing occurs when a user clicks on a link that they received in either an email or a text message. It may attempt to impersonate a legitimate source such a bank. In many cases, the false website attempts to trick the phone user into typing in their personal information, data, or passwords.
To avoid being victimized, be suspicious when receiving such emails or texts. If you do choose to click on a link and it takes you somewhere to login, there is a strong possibility that you should ignore it. You should also examine the resulting URL address. If it does not match that of a legitimate source, it is a scam and should be blocked. Again, having a security tool like Lookout or Norton can help you identify phishing sites to prevent your phone from being hacked.
Spyware is illegal, but that has not stopped it from spreading. The problem with spyware apps is that they can hide or disguise themselves on the user platform. They may not even appear in lists of installed or running apps.
To protect yourself from spyware, in addition to keeping a security suite installed and being cautious about the links you open, you should never ever leave your phone unlocked or unattended in public. Some criminals will actually target loose phones and manually install spyware on them. It is also wise to protect your phone with a passcode, password or security pattern. This makes it more difficult for would-be snoopers to gain access to the phone.
As more people choose to use their cell phones for financial transactions and other sensitive purposes, security becomes an ever higher priority. To keep yourself and your family protected, you should use the same precautions and common sense on your phone that you would use on an ordinary computer.
About the Author: Tammy Harper is a freelance technology writer with over 10 years experience. She enjoys researching and writing about new technology trends, especially no contract cell phone plans and raves about her t-mobile sim only phone.