The US intelligence agency has some tips to help you protect your smartphone data

The US National Security Agency has developed its own guidelines for protecting smartphones from hacking. These guidelines were developed primarily for the US government, but they are applicable to everyone.

The NSA has some useful advice on how to keep your mobile device safe.

Forbes has obtained a document from the US National Security Agency entitled “Mobile Device Best Practices” in which they advise users to take extra care with their smartphones if you don’t wish to have your data stolen.

This document contains all the information that was gathered during a NSA cyber mission to be used by other US agencies in their security programs.

Basic advice from the NSA has been widely known for some time. It’s best not to connect to a WiFi network that is public, and to turn Bluetooth off when you aren’t using it. You can’t be too careful. Cover your camera when not using it.

If you can, choose a PIN that is at least six digits long. You should also program the screen to lock after five minutes of inactivity. When offered, use biometric authentication to verify your identity online.

In terms of applications, you should only download programs from the official app stores. This is in this case, App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android. They should also be regularly updated. It is best to visit the App Store or Google Play daily to check for new updates.

Avoid being a target for hackers by never clicking on links you receive via SMS or email. This is true even if the link comes from a close friend (whose account may have been hacked). You should also ignore pop-ups that warn you about a virus or invite you to enter a competition for a new phone.

Always use your personal charger to recharge your smartphone. Never use public USB ports in airports or stations. Remember to switch your device on and off at least once per week.

These tips are common sense but should help all of us protect our personal data. Visit the Have I Been Pwned site to see if your data was compromised. It lists the most recent data stolen. Entering your email address will let you know if you have been affected. If so, don’t panic.

This doesn’t mean that any sensitive information is being circulated online. It simply means that your login credentials are included in a list that has been leaked. You should change your passwords immediately, regardless of whether the attack was a few months ago or several years back. AFP Relaxnews

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