October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

TIPS for your cell phone:

What hackers value

•The device itself: Your data can be wiped, the device reset, resold and reactivated. Thieves have gotten better at taking phones apart and reassembling them into new phones to sell.
•Your data: Your phone is likely linked to your email, financial accounts and other personal records. Armed with your smartphone, a hacker could access your banking or cryptocurrency accounts by resetting your email password or receiving a secure pin via text.

Lost or stolen phones: What to do before and after

•Track your phone with an app. The best ones track to within feet of where the phone is located. If your phone has been stolen, report its location to the police.
•Secure your phone with a password, swipe code or passphrase—use the highest level of security your phone allows. Set the security settings to wipe the data on the phone after a certain number of password tries. For example, many of us forget or mistype our passwords from time to time. In this case, a good number of guesses might be 10.
•If you lose your phone or it is stolen, notify your carrier right away and wipe the data if you are sure you cannot retrieve the phone.

Social engineering

Hackers are increasingly using social engineering to persuade mobile carrier customer service to fraudulently port or transfer phone numbers without your permission. Once they transfer your number to their device, they have password resetting capability for your email, banking and other accounts.

To help lower the chances of this happening to you:
•Place a “do not port” alert on your mobile phone account.
•Use a pin for your account and require it for all changes.
•If you receive a text or call from your mobile provider saying that someone is attempting to port your number, call them immediately. Do not respond directly to the message, as that may be a separate scam.

Phishing And Viruses

Texts and emails created by hackers can contain deceptive links or attachments that could infect your phone with malware. The malware can then steal your personal and financial information.

Your phone can also pick up a nasty virus by being plugged into a public charging station, a popular spot for hackers to spread malware.