Experts Give Tips To Tulsans To Keep Phone From Being Hacked

Friday, January 10th 2014, 8:38 pm
By: News On 6

If you follow Kevin Durant on Twitter you were probably wondering why he sent out two strange pictures Thursday night.

One showed him blowing smoke that he says was from a Hookah, the other shows him wearing a wig.

Durant says his phone was hacked.

Lookout Security reports that 40 percent of Smartphone users will click on an unsafe link.

That's just one reason for a rise in cell phone hacking, but the good news is there are ways you can protect yourself.

While Kevin Durant was busy scoring 30 points against the Denver Nuggets Thursday night, somebody else was busy going through his cell phone.

The hacker tweeted pictures of Durant blowing smoke from a Hookah and then one with Durant wearing a wig.

They also went through his contacts and sent messages to his family.

John Hale a Cyber Security Expert at the University of Tulsa, said, "You're cell phone really is a small computer."

He said it's easy to get a false sense of security if you have a smartphone, but says it's important to remember that a small portable device is always connected to the Internet.

"Information that is on the phone is not just on the phone anymore, it moves around," said Hale.

One of the big problems, Hale says, is that information is stored in the cloud; that allows hackers to work their way in and steal your personal information.

Here are four tips to help protect yourself:

     1) Only download reputable apps. Read the reviews and know exactly what you are getting.

     2) Beware of unprotected WiFi.

     3) Lock your phone when not using it.

     4) Use different passwords for different accounts.

Rod Jandebeur with Premier Locations said, "The smartphones nowadays are all hooked up to the Internet, they're all accessing the Internet all of the time and when you open up the phone like that you also open yourself up, unfortunately, to potential attacks like Mr. Durant was subject to."

It doesn't appear whoever hacked Kevin Durant's cell phone did anything malicious, but the experts say everyone should protect their phone and their information.

"I think that most of the battle is awareness and being cognizant of what information is on your phone, how you use your phone, and where that information travels," Hale said.

Hale said when you pick a password use upper and lower cases, numbers, and symbols, mix it up and change it frequently.