Phone Hacking: Make sure you’re not the next victim

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A recent spate of events have brought into focus the issue of mobile phone hacking. The most recent scandal involved the News of the World newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch?s News Corporation. The employees of the paper had hacked into the phones of the victims of the 7/7 London bombings and that of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler in Britain in order to get more news. This led to the closure of a publication which was more than 160 years old, thereby alerting people about the possible attacks on their mobile phones.

As of today, the two main types of phone hacking are the Voicemail hacking and Data hacking. In voicemail hacking a person can remotely listen to your phone?s voicemail messages. This happens mainly when the default pins are assigned to the phone and the user never changes them or in certain cases where customers never created a pin for themselves. So it was relatively easy for people to access another person?s voicemail messages if the pin was never changed.

In data hacking, hackers can look at or retrieve information stored on your phone (or a PC based backup), such as important phone numbers or details of bank accounts or pin numbers and passwords. Nowadays, there are many free decryption software available on the internet which can hack into mobile phone voice and text messages on a lot of networks.

While phone hacking has been ongoing for some time now, the advent of new features on smartphones might actually make it gullible for more sophisticated types of attacks in future.

A lot of efforts are now being spent by all mobile companies in protecting the new generation smartphones from being attacked by suspicious malware. But having said that, it is left to the user to be aware of the possible ways in which information can be leaked from a mobile phone or a smartphone.

Prevention is always better than cure. So if you have a mobile phone, be sure to do the following:

? Keep your mobile numbers written down somewhere else like a contact/address book
? Do not store passwords/pin numbers or any other such important information on the phone
? Make sure your Bluetooth connectivity is switched off unless really required
? Check before you download any new software on the phone, it could be a malware which looks legitimate
? Do not keep any sensitive information related to official work on your smartphone
? Avoid taking too many photographs and videos and storing them on the smartphone, that?s what cameras are used for

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