We need to take steps to protect our smartphones from hackers.
The US government successfully hacked an iPhone used by a dead suspect in the December San Bernardino terrorist attack. Investigators of the incident had asked Apple to help access the phone’s data but Apple refused. The FBI then managed to do it on its own.
This is a reminder that phones and other electronic devices are not impenetrable vaults.
While most of us are not criminals, hackers are looking to steal the financial and personal information of ordinary people.
Email accounts on the phone, for instance, are a gateway to resetting banking and other sensitive passwords. If you do not operate a bank account on your phone, you may consider reminding your parents about this.
Like washing your hands and brushing your teeth, a little ‘cyber hygiene’ can go a long way towards preventing disaster.
People usually use a four-digit passcode. But a six-digit code is 100 times harder to guess.
The iPhone also has a ‘self-destruct’ feature. But you must turn it on in the settings, under Touch ID & Passcode. With this the phone wipes itself clean after 10 failed attempts. Android has a similar feature.
Biometrics, such as fingerprint scanners, can act as a shortcut and make complex passcodes less of a pain.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 4 April 2016)
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