You have been hacked

Eric Watson, Bradley Co Sheriff
Posted 12/23/17

I certainly hope you and your family have had a wonderful Christmas season. As we move from the old year to the new, it is now time for those New Year’s resolutions. One of those …

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You have been hacked

Posted

I certainly hope you and your family have had a wonderful Christmas season. As we move from the old year to the new, it is now time for those New Year’s resolutions. One of those resolutions, (and one we should keep), is to start 2018 by assuring the safety of your private information.

Discovering that your personal conversations, pictures or texts have been spread across the internet for all to see is not only highly aggravating and an invasion of privacy, but can also be damaging to your personal life and livelihood. Although numerous people as well known as celebrities have fallen victim to having their cell phone hacked, you have the opportunity to protect yourself from such illegal and potentially damaging activity. One such mode of protection is to be PRO-active. Proactive means you stop the activity before it becomes a problem. REA-active means you try to clean up the mess made after the criminal hacking has taken place. Being proactive is to use passwords that are hard to identify by a hacker. Make sure those passwords are not too easy and never share those passwords with others. Shielding your passwords is a good way to see to it they do not fall into the wrong hands. Never program a password into your phone. Do not keep private data on that phone for long periods. Instead, save this information on a laptop, home computer or tablet. Even innocent information such as home addresses or dates of birth can be a huge problem today. This is simple info that was widely available and legitimately used just ten years ago.

Is your voice mail password-protected? If not, that private conversation with your banker or attorney could be public. Do not use the same password for all your devices, and change it often. If you use Bluetooth, make sure “Discoverable” mode is disabled. This keeps your phone from being detected by others scanning for Bluetooth devices in your area, such as at a mall or other places nearby. I know a number of Banner readers received new phones or other electronic devices for Christmas. It is always a good idea to read instructions that come with that new device. They might just include ways you can make your new phone safe and secure.

Keeping a step or two ahead of criminals can save you time, money and a lot of worry. Let us wrap up the old year by making sure the new one starts out safely, at home, on the roads and online!

Happy New Year!

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