Is your phone’s passcode really safe?

You secure your smart phone with a passcode that you need to enter before it comes to life. So how much protection will this passcode actually offer? The troubling answer? Not quite enough, according to a recent story by the tech Web site Lifehacker. The report details several passcode exploits that hackers have been using recently to compromise smart phones. Thankfully, the story does something much more reassuring, too. It tells users how to best protect the data on their smart phones.

Passcode problems

The Lifehacker story details the newest passcode exploits which have made it possible for hackers to compromise Apple’s iPhone and the Galaxy Samsung smart phones. The Apple exploit, permitted criminals to gain access to the iPhone phone app. Hackers didn’t gain total access to phones. Nevertheless they were able to use the app to make phone calls, view pictures and view or edit users’ contact lists. The exploit intended for Galaxy smart phones operated in a different way. Hackers could flash the phone’s home screen for just about a second. This gave them enough time to launch apps or start downloading an app that awarded them full control over the phone.

Not foolproof

The Lifehacker story proves that passcodes are far from a quick fix to stop smart phone hackers. This shouldn’t be surprising. As the Lifehacker story says, passcodes have never been more powerful than standard passwords in regards to protecting smart phones. Hackers have long been able to crack lock-screen passcodes. They’ve been capable to get into the hard drives of smart phones to access the data stored there.

Protection

To defend yourself, first be sure that your lock-screen passcode is at least complicated to guess. Lifehacker recommends a passcode consisting of letters, symbols and numbers. Next, make sure to encrypt the data that you store on your smart phone. Lastly, consider paying for such as Prey or Apple’s Find my iPhone. These services provide you with the ability to track your phone after it’s stolen or you lose it. Even better, it allows you to erase the data stored on it, so that hackers can’t reach it.


Posted on: 05.07.13