Ask Andy: Phone hacking - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ask Andy: Phone hacking

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - If you see Chris O'Brien, odds are pretty good you will also see his cell phone.

"Always on me," said O'Brien.  "Use it as a work phone and a home phone."

O'Brien said he is on his phone more than his computer at home.

"You know, I don't take as much precaution with my phone as I do with my computer," he said.

Cyber expert Theresa Payton said that is a problem for many of us.

"People need to be aware that is a computer in your pocket," said Payton.  "That's how you need to think about it."

Hackers have figured out ways to get a sneak peek at your life through your phone.

"They can look at your address book, text message, watch you log onto your bank account, and you don't want that," said Payton.

There are three ways they are getting in.  If you do not have a lock on your phone and it is stolen, they have easy access.  If you use your smart phone to click on a link, it could have a virus built in.  Also, if you don't have to enter a PIN or passcode to get your voicemail, neither do hackers.

Fortunately, O'Brien has a PIN on his voicemail.

"Just to kind of protect from everyone being able to go into it and catching all the private data that people might leave on my voicemail," he said.

While experts said hackers can easily hack your phone, it is unlikely that you are a target, unless you're a celebrity.  Putting a lock on your phone, a passcode on your voicemail, and being careful about the apps you download should provide plenty of protection.

Experts also said you should change your passcode at least twice a year.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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