NSA Warns iPhone and Android Users To Take These Steps Immediately

Cybercriminals are waiting in the shadows of your smartphone, looking for vulnerabilities to unleash a secret attack. Now the NSA is instructing iPhone and Android users to take steps to close the loopholes that can be used to carry out cyber espionage, steal identities, and deploy ransomware. Because of these flaws, officials are urging users to update their devices, turn off the WiFi when in public, and perform other protocols to keep hackers at bay. 

  1. 1. Update software and apps: taking this step will stop cybercriminals from spying on calls, texts and data and block most phishing attacks. It will also help prevent zero-click exploits, which involves the hacker downloading spyware onto smartphones without them ever clicking on a link. 
  2. 2. Only install apps from official stores like Google Play and the App Store. Unofficial app stores include Aptoide, SlideMe, ACMarket, and Amazon Appstore. Hackers will often create a fake version of a legitimate app that will give them full access to your device once it’s downloaded. 
  3. 3. Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth: Refrain from connecting to public WiFi networks, and if you do connect to outside networks you should turn off Bluetooth when not in use. 
  4. 4. Use encrypted voice, text and data apps: WhatsApp is one of the most popular encryption apps, followed by Telegram, that provides end-to-end encryption, a security method that keeps phone calls, messages and other data private from anyone. 
  5. 5. Don’t click links or open attachments: Even legitimate senders can pass on malicious content accidentally or as a result of being compromised or impersonated by hackers. 
  6. 6. Reboot your device every week: Smartphones should be turned off and on once every week to prevent zero-click exploits and phishing. Turning the phone off resets all open web pages and apps and logs out of bank accounts to prevent cybercriminals from accessing sensitive information. 
  7. 7. Use a mic-drowning case and cover the camera: Using a protective case to drown out the microphone and block background audio could stop a hot-mic attack in its tracks. These cases have a microphone jamming system built into them that prevents unwanted eavesdroppers from hearing your conversations through apps or an external cyberattack. It's also important to cover the back- and front-facing camera on both Androids and iPhones because hackers can turn the mobile camera on and off and save media from your camera roll if they gain access to your phone. You can cover the camera with a sticker, tape or a camera cover built into the case to protect you from a hacker observing your every move.