What lessons can I learn from hacked celebrity mobile phones?

“Celebrity phone hacked” makes for a good headline, especially when paired with high profile names like Christina Hendricks or Olivia Munn, who recently joined a victim list that also includes Lindsay Lohan, Scarlett Johansen and many others. How the “hack” was done is not usually made public, but reports indicate these were more likely low tech privacy invasions or poor security practices by the celebs than sophisticated high tech mobile spyware. Here’s what you can learn from their misfortune to help you avoid your own embarrassing loss:

1.Put a password on your phone and subscribe to a backup service that can wipe your phone remotely; if you lose your phone or someone steals it they can access anything on it if there is no password

2.Don’t leave your phone where others can abuse it; even a “friend” could send your personal pictures to themselves, copy them or put some kind of spyware on your phone if they have access and enough time

3.Use good password practices on your email accounts; a notorious “celebrity hacker,” currently serving 121 years in jail, actually stole images not from the phone but by hacking into email accounts tied to the phone he did this by guessing email addresses, passwords and simple shared secrets easily found by searching, like celeb’s home towns or pet’s name

4.Don’t use free or public WiFi to access your email or social media accounts, because your passwords might get stolen; use your wireless phone 3G, 4g or LTE data service to safely access these accounts instead

5.Don’t click on suspicious links, and be careful of apps you install and get anti-virus software, especially if you have an Android phone

See these tips for more information:

How do I protect my mobile phone with a password?

How do I secure my Android phone?

Are you practicing safe password practices?

Is there any way to be safe using a public Wi-Fi?