Simple Common Sense Tips to Protect Your Wireless Devices from Identity Theft

Michael Cohen is a Fort Lauderdale identity theft attorney who's close to twenty years of experience as a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney has given his clients a strong advantage when charges are filed by the government. He also is strong advocate for those who have been charged in criminal cases by the State of Florida. Mr. Cohen has two conveniently located offices in Fort Lauderdale as well as a West Palm Beach location.

This well-tested advantage stems from his prior twenty years of courtroom experience as an Assistant United States Attorney as well as an Assistant State Attorney for Broward County prior to his exceptional work in the private sector.

Science Fiction or Science Fact - Smishing Scams
I've previously explained how attempts to steal personal information can easily be achieved by hackers in attempts to gain access to your personal information when people let their guard down.

However, most people don't consider when these individuals use the same methods by attacking smart phones that are wirelessly connected to the Internet.

On another page of this site, I wrote in detail about phishing scams. These same types of data thefts where a smart phone is the target are known as smishing scams. These types of swindles have increased dramatically over the past few years as more and more people have switched from desktop computers to mobile devices to access the Internet.

If you receive a, text message (SMS, short message service) that contains a link to a Web address, think twice before you click on it. The same way hackers send emails to your desktop computer with links to virus infected Web pages can similarly be accomplished through sending bogus texts. Pressing on the link can possibly download malware to your smartphone or other wireless device, allowing an outsider to remotely browse through stored files in their attempt to dig up sensitive information.

While using a smartphone or tablet's browser to shop on the Internet; especially on password protected sites make sure you log out after completing your session. Leaving a browser open is equivalent to leaving your credit card or wallet in plain view after making a transaction as opposed to putting them away.

In fact, if the online store or financial institution that you visit has their own app, it's safer to use their app than directly using your smartphone's built-in browser. Most apps designed by shopping sources and banking institutions provide an extra layer of protection that your browser doesn't.

Your smartphone or tablet has a feature that allows it to automatically connect to unsecure Wi-Fi networks. This attribute should always be left "off" until it is needed. Never connect to a free Wi-Fi network without knowing its source. A sophisticated hacker can set up their own network giving them the ability to steal sensitive data such as login information and more, while you're connected to their autonomous network.  

This also applies to Bluetooth connections being left open when you are in crowded areas. A hacker can manipulate your connection as long as they're within close proximity. These strikes, known as Bluejacking are successful when a Bluetooth connection is left open. They can't be easily spotted by the smart phone's owner in busy areas such as an airport or bus station and other locales that are congested with pedestrian traffic.

Never store personal information on your smartphone. Sensitive data such as login names and passwords can easily be uncovered by clever hackers if access is acquired. Additionally, don't automatically save your information for a later login by accepting "save information" prompts when visiting Websites. Although it makes it easier for you to login at for a future session, it does the same for those with malicious intent.

Recently it's been revealed that smart phones and tablets using Wi-Fi networks are also susceptible to attacks by drones. That's right drones, this is not science fiction.

Sensepost Research Labs, a consulting firm dedicated to exposing vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the infrastructure of corporate networks has reported that two of their "white hat" (ethical) hackers modeled a drone that they were basically able to develop into a flying hacking machine.

By installing custom software into the drone's computer operating system they were able to setup a fake network that could capture everything your mobile device sends and receives while connected to the bogus network.

While flying over any area, the drone's software can view all Wi-Fi networks that you may be attempting to connect to, and pretend to be that network. Your wireless mobile device can't tell the difference.

Science fiction; no… science fact!

Lastly, always password-protect all your wireless devices. Leaving a device unprotected without an entry password is one and the same as leaving the front door of your home or car unlocked.

Besides giving a hacker one less step to break into your device if the gadget is lost or stolen, all your data is effortlessly compromised.  

If you've been charged with any federal crime or charges have been filed by the State of Florida, Mr. Cohen can help.