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NSA Warns iPhone & Android Users To Turn It Off And On Again | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


Although some people might worry about the National Security Agency itself spying on their phones, the NSA has some sage advice for iPhone and Android users concerned about zero-click exploits and the like: turn it off and on again once per week.

How often do you turn off your iPhone or Android device? Completely turn it off and then reboot it, rather than just going into standby mode, that is. I suspect that the answer for many people is only when a security or operating system update requires it. That, according to the NSA, could be a big mistake.

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NSA iPhone And Android Device Security And Privacy Best Practice Advice

In a document detailing several mobile device best practices, the NSA recommends users turn their devices off and then back on once every week to protect against zero-click exploits, which attackers often use to eavesdrop upon and collect data from phones.

The threat of spear-phishing, which can lead to the installation of yet more malware and spyware, can also be mitigated by the same simple action. However, the NSA document does warn that the turn it off and on again advice will only sometimes prevent these attacks from being successful.

The NSA said, “Threats to mobile devices are more prevalent and increasing in scope and complexity,” while warning that some smartphone features “provide convenience and capability but sacrifice security.” As such, doing something is always better than doing nothing when it comes to being proactive about your device and data security.

Balancing Smartphone Convenience And Security

The NSA also advises Phone users to disable Bluetooth when not using it, update the device as soon as possible when operating system and application updates become available, and disable location services when not needed. The small matter of security over convenience comes into play for much of the advice given, as you can tell already. Throw in not using public Wi-Fi networks (these are usually perfectly safe) and not using public charging stations (ditto), and many users are likely to roll the dice. All that said, I heartily agree with the on and off again advice as this only takes a minute or two of your week and is a good habit to get into. In fact, I’d say get into the habit of doing so every day, maybe as part of your bedtime routine.

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