How do You Keep Your Device from Being Hacked?

How do You Keep Your Device from Being Hacked?

This is a tough one. Most times you don’t know you’ve been hacked. But knowing how you might be hacked can help prevent being hacked.


First, let’s talk about devices. What is a device? In this blog post, a device is a cell phone, a tablet, a laptop, a desktop computer, a television, a Blu-ray player, a pacemaker, and so on.

Second, what does “networked” mean? Networked describes a situation in which a device connects to, and transmits information or data across a network (i.e., hard wired into the wall, also called Ethernet), wireless, cell, cable, satellite, ...the Internet.

Third, what is data? It’s a bunch of numbers that are turned into information to represent or illustrate something resulting in a report, an image, simulation, credit card, video, and so on.

Finally, what is “hacked?” What does it mean to have a device “hacked?” For this blog article, hacked means that someone is able to see what you’re doing on your device, and/or take information from your device to use for nefarious purposes.

This can happen in multiple ways, and as noted above, knowing how you may be hacked can help you protect yourself against being hacked.

Secured v. Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks

A “secure” network is one that has special software with security features that require special authentication, (a username and password/passphrase), to access and use it. The special software encrypts the information while it travels through the air. It’s encryption software. (see companion article Why Use Buffalo State Secure Wireless Network).

An unsecured Wi-Fi network does not have this special software. Even if you have to log in to the network, like at a coffee shop, or your doctor’s office, this is generally not secure. This means that information you transmit can be harvested by others on the network.

Why is this bad? Well, let’s say I’m sitting in a coffee shop and I go to and buy a few things while I’m there. A sophisticated criminal could be sitting nearby, grabbing my Amazon account number, my login credentials and the bank card number I used. Now the criminal can go into my Amazon account, change the shipping address, and account password, and begin to place orders.

Tips to Staying Safe

  • Never make purchases, or share information via an unsecured network.
  • Install security software on your devices.
  • Set a password, or passcode on your devices. Do this for apps when you can.
  • Always update your device’s operating system software, and all apps on the device. Software updates contain the most current patch, or fix, for any known vulnerabilities that a hacker might exploit. Always update your device and applications to the most current software available.
  • Check the privacy settings on your device applications. This is especially necessary with tablets and phones. Most apps leave you wide open to sharing information through the app. You may not even know that it is sharing your information. And, if you have a directory of contacts on your device, you’re sharing other people’s information without their permission. Check systems and apps regularly, especially after updates to the software, to make sure that an update hasn’t overridden your preference.
  • Don’t install apps you won’t use. Even if you install an app for one-time use, delete it when you’re done. Don’t keep apps you don’t use.
  • Install tracking software on your device. If your device is stolen, it will become visible as soon as it’s on the Internet. The tracking software will tell you where it is.
  • Disable Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth when you are not using them.
  • Set strong passwords/passphrases. And keep them private!
  • Never use the same password/passphrase for more than one account. Try using a password manager.

How to find my iPhone

How to find my Android phone

Be vigilant. Protect yourself at all times.



Article ID: 70709
Wed 1/23/19 2:18 PM
Thu 11/18/21 8:24 AM