The worst case scenario? You could wake up one morning to the police kicking down your door, investigating a sophisticated cyberattack with all the evidence pointing to you. Regardless of how ridiculous it may seem, in the absence of any cyber-monitoring or cyber-defence solution you would have a very hard time proving that you were not guilty. And it is not just hackers you need to worry about, even the US National Security Agency and the UK’s GCHQ have secretly used innocent people’s devices to cover their malicious activities.
In my career as a cyber forensics investigator, I have not only seen many of these cases but also scenarios where hackers have been hired by organisations to deliberately frame employees by planting material such as child pornography onto their work phones. The person in question is then accused, for example, of selling secret company information to competitors and when the legal team investigates their phone, they find the child pornography. It is a scary prospect.
Many people wrongly believe that their mobile service providers should deploy cyber-protection mechanisms for their users. But if you read the terms of service, you will clearly see that as the owner and user, it is solely your responsibility to protect yourself. Exactly in the same way that you protect your laptop when you surf the internet.
If you are reading this and you are yet to install at least an anti-virus application on your phone, stop reading immediately and install one – there are many good anti-virus applications that are completely free. You should also make sure to only install applications from well-known app markets such as Google Play or the Apple or Windows Stores. Never “jail break” or root your phone to install free apps unless you are a security expert and know what you are doing.
And it may sound like common sense, but do not click on the links you receive from unknown sources. It is also a good idea to have all your phone data encrypted and to install a logging or monitoring solution on your phone to have records of all activity. It could well turn out to be your “get out of jail free card” – just on the off chance anything were to happen.
Author: Lecturer in Cyber Security and Forensics, University of Salford
Original article: http://theconversation.com/how-to-stop-your-phone-from-being-hacked-58898
and featured: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/hacked-phone-go-to-jail-a7048391.html