A warning for safe mobile phone usage to prevent hacking has been released by the National Telecommunication and Information Security Board (NTISB).

A warning for safe mobile phone usage to prevent hacking has been released by the National Telecommunication and Information Security Board (NTISB).

The warning states that attackers prefer to target mobile phones because these devices have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth, GSM, SMS, MMS, and other communication networks.

Smartphone vulnerabilities are exploited by hackers, claims the advisory. Additionally, there are attacks that take advantage of software flaws in operating systems and web browsers. Malicious software exists that takes advantage of the naivete of typical users.

The advisory claims that usage of a mobile phone exposes the user to a variety of risks. These dangers have the power to obstruct regular operations and transmit or modify user data.

For these reasons, installed applications must ensure the confidentiality and accuracy of the data they handle. The functionality and activities of some apps should also be restricted because they may contain malware themselves. The warning states that data, identity, and availability are the three main targets of hackers who target mobile phones.

Mobile devices may store private information like activity logs, credit card numbers, and authentication codes (calendar, call logs).

Nowadays’ smartphones offer a lot of customization, giving criminals access to user identity information for additional criminal activity. Additionally, one can restrict access to a mobile phone and deny the owner of the service by attacking it.

The advisory lists several indicators that a user’s mobile phone has been compromised, including excessive data usage by particular apps, communication with dubious command and control servers, phone overheating, quick battery drain, blocking of social media apps and inability to log in, sudden loss of networks and data wiping, and calls or messages being sent to contacts without the user’s involvement.

The NTISB has advised users against using public or unsecure Wi-Fi or wireless hotspots to access websites that ask for Personal Identifiable Information (PII).

Users must secure the router by reading its user manual, configuring the WiFi network to use WPA2-PSK with AES encryption, maintaining a complex WiFi password that is at least 15 characters long, and implementing MAC address filtering to prevent hacking.

To prevent hacking, the NTISB advises that SD card protection is crucial in mobile devices. It ought to be password-protected, and phones ought to have fewer applications installed. Installing apps from trusted stores and keeping mobile software and apps updated are also requirements.

Users of mobile phones are advised by the NTISB to check each app’s permissions before installing it on their device and to grant only those that are required.

Additionally, it has urged users never to open HTTP sites on the mobile web and to refrain from opening any attachments from senders or sources they are unsure of.

Users have also been advised to lock their devices with strong PINs and use reputable, authorised anti-virus and anti-malware programmes. This will stop hackers from getting access to user data.

Users are advised to install security features on their phones, limit the number of apps that allow GPS location tracking, monitor network usage and connections with other APIs using trusted software, and refrain from using free Wi-Fi and open USB charging ports. These functions include access to the camera and microphone, file encryption, offline backup, and remote wiping.

Users are advised not to store official data and family/private data on their phones, store sensitive or confidential information in encrypted form away from direct public access, avoid free and profitable apps, and avoid using software that has been cracked.

Additionally, no official documents should be shared via WhatsApp, Telegram, Messenger, or other end-to-end encrypted messaging apps.