Worried that someone is spying on you using your smartphone? Follow these easy steps to stay safe

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Smartphones can be a boon to us humans but it is also a gateway to information and sensitive data which can be misused if it falls in wrong hands. With spyware like Pegasus, governments can get easy access to private data. To stay safe from this type of spyware and potential malware, the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC), a US government agency Which deals with cyber security, has issued a bulletin to help users be more aware and secure with surveillance tools.

The NCSC has highlighted that companies and individuals are selling commercial surveillance tools to governments and other entities that have used them for malicious purposes. Here, there is no mention of Pegasus spyware, but the bulletin is indirectly pointing to the use of Pegasus software.

It further states that journalists, dissidents and other individuals around the world have been targeted and tracked using these tools. These devices have the potential to infect mobile and internet-connected devices with malware over both WiFi and cellular data connections. Device owners may not even be aware that they are being tracked. Additionally, a malicious actor can use suspicious links to gain access to a device.

What can a monitoring tool do?

-These tools can record audio including phone calls.

-Track phone location.

– Access and retrieve almost all content on the phone, including text messages, files, chats, commercial messaging app content, contacts and browsing history.

What can be done about such monitoring devices?

While it’s hard to know if you’re being targeted specifically, there are some healthy practices listed by the agency that one can follow to stay safe from future intrusions:

– Update device operating system and mobile applications regularly.

– Be suspicious of content from unfamiliar senders, especially those that contain links or attachment.

Do not click on suspicious links or suspicious emails and attachments.

-Check the URL before clicking on the link or visit the website directly.

– Restart mobile devices regularly, which can help to remove or damage malware implants.

-Encrypt and password-protect your device.

– Maintain physical control of your device whenever possible.

Use a trusted virtual private network.

-Disable geolocation option and cover camera on device.

The agency has claimed that these pointers will help the user stay safe, but there is no guarantee that they will protect you in the event of a hack. To be safe, it is advisable to be careful with sensitive data and also assume that the device has already been tampered with.

Worried that someone is spying on you using your smartphone? Follow These Simple Steps to Stay Safe First appeared on BGR India.

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