[Interview] Top Cyber Experts on keeping your smartphone safe

Cyber Experts Dr. Garima Gupta and Dr. Gaurav Gupta talk about some tips to protect your phone from cyberattacks and hacks.
Cyber Experts Dr. Garima Gupta and Dr. Gaurav Gupta talk about some tips to protect your phone from cyberattacks and hacks.

Cyber security is a huge concern for everyone these days as the usage of phones and desktops has increased. Over the last several years, our phones have shifted from calling devices to a wallet with all information stored in them. Thus it becomes important to know potential threats, identify any possible hacks and know what to do in such unwanted situations. It is also essential to know that anyone could be subject to such attacks.

Thankfully, awareness of the subject has been created by cyber security experts. One such book – “Cyber Unsafe” has tried to analyze computer fraud and cybercrime issues from a common man’s perspective and unmasks the myths associated with the subjects. A Brother- Sister duo of Dr. Garima Gupta and Dr. Gaurav Gupta has used relatable real-world incidents and stories to demonstrate the risks of digital technology. Further, easy-to-implement, mostly non-technical, methods have been identified for technology users to help them safeguard against prevailing computer frauds and cybercrimes.

The book is available on Amazon.

Axetue has interviewed the authors of the book – Dr. Garima Gupta and Dr. Gaurav Gupta – to understand some tips to protect oneself from such cyberattacks and hacks. This is the first part of the 2-series interview where they talk about safety tips related to mobile phones.

How do I know if an App is safe? What are some of the points we should keep in mind while downloading the Apps?

Any app coming from an unknown source other than app stores (Google Play Store and AppleApp Store) is likely to be unsafe. Download only from an authentic source (App stores) and revoke extra permissions from the app which are not required for their core function

Does my smartphone need antivirus protection?

Antivirus protects you from known malware and hence are good to have but what will save you from malware (Viruses and more dangerous Ransom wares) is your browsing habits. Do not visit dark web and porn websites and never click on links from unknown sources.

Is every internet connection safe?

Only the connection you are paying has a high chance of being safe. Any free wifi will have the risk of espionage, and hence we should use only own 4G Broadband and Internet coming from safe sources like offices and homes.

How do I know my smartphone is hacked?

If you doubt that your phone is compromised, it is. Typical symptoms are degraded and slow responses and the screen’s illumination at a random time, especially very late at night and early mornings.

Do I need a Pin Lock on my smartphone?

One should always have a lock on the phone (PIN, pattern lock, or biometric lock); otherwise, if you lose the phone, all data and apps can be accessed and misused.

What measures should I take to do net banking safely?

Never use internet banking on anyone’s device or shared devices as they could have keyloggers. Also, on your phone, do not store passwords in browsers and enable two-factor authentication to ensure the relative safety of your banking account.

What if my mobile device gets stolen? What preventive actions must one take so that the data remain safe?

Always keep data on your phone as in case it’s not, you can not locate your phone using services provided by the operating system to help you locate/trace your phone. Also, enable the PIN on your SIM card to avoid your SIM being misused. Block your SIM before you file an FIR. Inform your near and dear ones about the loss of your device so that someone can not impersonate you to them

Is it possible for anyone else to access the Payment Apps like Paytm and Google Pay on my phone when lost? What should we do to keep them safe?

One should always have a lock on the phone (PIN, pattern lock, or biometric lock); otherwise, if you lose the phone, all data, and apps, including FinTech apps like Paytm, etc., can be accessed and misused.

Sevashree Mohapatra
A strategic Corporate Communication leader and technology enthusiast, I have more than 20 years of experience in content, corporate communication, and Strategy. Having worked in major media houses and MNCs like Hindustan Times, Ogilvy, ArcelorMittal, and Suez, I have helped brands to create value for their customers.