How to Protect Your Mobile Phone from Scammers

Keep your cell phone number to yourself. “The new Social Security number … is your cell number,” said Thomas Martin, president of Martin Investigative Services and author of “Seeing Life Through Private Eyes.” Your smartphone “is a gateway to your living room to your bedroom, to your life.”

Beware of text messages. Scammers may send text messages that look as if they come from a legitimate source, like a bank, a practice known as smishing. It could be an offer for a coupon, a free gift card, or a text that says you won a prize.

The link could direct you to a website where you’ll be tricked to share your personal information or one that can install malware on your phone. A hacker can try to encourage you to download an application that can compromise your phone. Don’t click on a text!

Make sure you update your phone’s operating system. It will make it harder for a hacker to exploit your smartphone’s software. “Attackers just need to find one way in,” said Janne Lindqvist, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. “It could be malicious apps that are exploiting a vulnerability that hasn’t been patched yet.”

Once opened, a hacker could read text messages and emails, have access to passwords or take over your mobile phone.

Protect your smartphone with a passcode. (And don’t make it something unsecure, like 1234.) “You should make sure if someone steals your phone, they can’t unlock it right away,” Lindqvist said.

Activate your smartphone’s tracker, such as Find My Phone, and the ability to wipe your phone remotely. If someone takes it, you’ll have a way to track it down or delete your data.

Control your risk. Try not to share a mobile phone number. Lindqvist only uses his cell phone to make calls or send texts. ”

If you think you are the victim of a scam, don’t wait until it’s too late! Be sure to enroll in First Financial’s Identity Theft Protection Program from Sherpa today. The best part? You can enroll right online, 24/7. You can trust in First Financial and Sherpa to help keep your personal information protected. Packages begin at just $5.99 per month – so click here to enroll today!

Article Source: David P. Willis for the Asbury Park Press, http://www.app.com/story/money/business/consumer/press-on-your-side/2017/07/21/heres-how-protect-your-mobile-phone/489922001/

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