NSA Advises Iphone And Android Users To Turn It Off And On Again

NSA Advises Iphone And Android Users To Turn It Off And On Again

The U.S. National Security Agency has released a mobile devices best practices guide to help Americans get a better handle on protecting their personal devices and information, as attackers have been ramping up their efforts as of late. And while some of the tips are common sense, there’s one thing everyone can be doing to protect their devices, across both iPhone and Android users.

While most of us only fully restart our phones during operating system updates, the intelligence agency recommends that users power off and on their devices weekly to protect against zero-click exploits, which refer to cyber attacks that exploit vulnerabilities in a device or application. Attackers are able to gain access without the user even clicking on a link or downloading a file, which it then uses to eavesdrop and collect data from our phones.

In other words, it seems as though the IT Crowd was onto something all along by asking: “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

Other tips the NSA recommends is to fully disable Bluetooth capabilities when not using, adding that airplane mode does not always disable the feature. The agency also says that you should never connect to public Wi-Fi networks, and to disable Wi-Fi when not using and delete unused networks. Likewise, you should disable location services when not needed and avoid bringing your device to sensitive locations.

Additionally, the best practices guide says to consider using a protective case that drowns the microphone to block room audio, and to cover the camera when not using. It also emphasizes to avoid having sensitive conversations in the vicinity of mobile devices that aren’t configured to handle secure voice. 

“Threats to mobile devices are more prevalent and increasing in scope and complexity,” the agency writes. “Users of mobile devices desire to take full advantage of the features available on those devices, but many of the features provide convenience and capability but sacrifice security.”

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