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UAE Telecom Authority denies latest rumour of phone hacking

Dubai: The Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) on Sunday denied they are responsible for sending out inaccurate messages to the public, and warned residents to beware of unverified information circulated on social media and through SMS.

In a statement on its official social media accounts, the UAE telecom authority, announced: “The news was not released by TDRA and is incorrect. TDRA confirms that it is not possible to hack the phone or steal data by making or receiving phone calls.”

The fake message, allegedly sent by TDRA, claimed that phone hackers could steal residents’ data and information from their mobiles through a simple phone call. The message also alleged that hackers could steal the mobile phone’s stored information within three seconds.

How to prevent phone hackers

According to cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, there are 11 ways to stop hackers from breaking into your mobile phone:

1. Don’t download sketchy or unreputable apps.

  • Look at reviews and research before installing if you are unsure. If you’re not confident in safety of app, do not install it.

2. Don’t jailbreak your phone.

  • While it allows you to download from unofficial app stores, jailbreaking ups your risk of unknowingly getting hacked. Aside from malware or spyware, this means you’ll miss security patches in the latest OS updates. Jailbreakers skip updates to keep the jailbreak functional. This makes your risks of being hacked even higher than normal.

3. Keep your phone with you at all times. 

  • Physical access is the easiest way for a hacker to corrupt your phone. Theft and a single day of effort could result in your phone being breached. If you can keep your phone with you, a hacker will have to work much harder to get into it.

4. Always use a passcode lock and use complex passwords. 

  • Do not use easily guessable PINs, like birthdays, graduation dates, or basic defaults like “0000” or “1234.” Use an extended passcode if available, like those with 6 characters. Don’t ever reuse a password in more than one place.

5. Don’t store passwords on your device.

6. Frequently clear your internet history. 

  • It can be simple to profile trends about your life from all the breadcrumbs of your browser history. So, clear everything, including cookies and cache.

7. Enable a lost device tracking service. 

  • If you lose track of your device out in public, you can use a lost device finder to trace its current location. Some phones have a native application for this, while others may need a third-party app to add this feature.

8. Keep all apps up to date. 

  • Even trusted apps can have programming bugs that hackers exploit. App updates come with bug fixes to protect you from known risks. The same applies to your OS, so update your phone itself when you can.

9. Always enable two-factor authentication (2FA).

  • This is a second verification method that follows an attempt to use your password. 2FA uses another private account or something you physically have. Apple ID and Google accounts offer 2FA in case your device is used by unsavory actors, so always activate it for more security. Biometrics like fingerprints and face ID are becoming popular options. Physical USB keys are also a great choice when available.

10. Be cautious about using text or email for your 2FA. 

  • Text message and email 2FA are better than no protection but might be intercepted through hacks like SIM swapping.

11. Don’t use public Wi-Fi without a virtual private network (VPN).

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