Are people spying on me through my smartphone and computer? How can I stop them?
With headlines about tabloid phone hacking and hijacked webcams, you’re smart to be concerned. “Unfortunately, it’s quite easy for hackers to crack both if you’re not vigilant,” says Michael Gregg, who works for a cyber-security firm. To safeguard your phone, Gregg suggests activating your voicemail passcode (usually in Settings, under Phone). Otherwise a bitter ex or a business rival could remotely break into your voicemail by using a hacking program that mimics your phone number. Computers require a different strategy: hackers use malware to install a “listener” that can log everything you type and, yes, even switch on your webcam. Blindfold the cam with a piece of tape or a sticky note, and then steer clear of all suspicious emails, websites and links. Some malware doesn’t even require you to click it: simply mousing over the link activates it, says Gregg. And, most importantly, upgrade from a password to a pass phrase: two or more words (such as a song lyric) with mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.