Monday, June 02, 2014

Help Desk Alert: Hackers strike mobile devices; Set a passcode on your smart phone or tablet

If you don’t have a passcode on your smart phone or tablet, set one today

Recent news reports have revealed some owners of iPhones and iPads can be locked out of their devices – permanently – by remote hackers.

Australian hackers recently compromised the Apple iCloud accounts of hundreds of Mac, iPhone and iPad users. Once logged in to a compromised iCloud account, the hackers have changed the account password, and utilized the Find My iPhone feature of the service to send remote lock commands to any devices connected to the account. As a result, a message appears demanding a ransom in exchange for unlocking the device.
·         An affected user with a passcode set can simply enter that passcode to bypass the lock and regain access to the device.
·         A user with no passcode can’t bypass the lock, essentially rendering the device inoperable.

There are steps you can take to protect your device, your data, and yourself.

By taking advantage of the built-in security protections afforded by setting a passcode, you can protect your mobile device from being compromised by malicious persons or groups. A passcode doesn’t just allow you to bypass an unauthorized device lock, as in the example above. It also enables encryption, keeping your data safe and secure in the event your device is lost or stolen.

Many of the attributes that make mobile devices great technology companions also make them easy targets for thieves and hackers. We’ve put together a  guide that describes a few key actions – including setting a passcode – that you can take to ensure your data remains protected. (​

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

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