Turn phone off, then on to keep hackers away

Hackers are said to be smart. After all, how else can one manage to break into one’s gadget though the complex set of codes? But it seems as if the National Security Agency (NSA) is one step ahead, as it has come up with an ingenious way to keep even the most top-notch of hackers at bay. How does it work, you ask? Simple, first turn your phone off, and then turn it back on, to keep hackers away.

Best Practices Are The Ones That Are Simple

A “Best Practices” guide issued by the NSA last year claims that regularly rebooting your phone can help thwart even the most sophisticated of hackers. One a week seems to be an ideal frequency for doing the same.

NSA Technical Director Neal Ziring says that the process “is all about imposing cost” on threat actors, in exchange for what they put innocent users through when they attempt to hack devices. Rebooting can cut off the access that hackers have to your phone, and make them struggle to extract information.

Senator Angus King, an independent from Maine, can be considered to be one person in favour of the simple trick of turning the phone off and then back on, as he says that the method has now become a habit of his.

A Convenient Shield Against Pegasus?

If the claims are actually true, and the trick really works, that the world and it’s citizens might well be on their way towards keeping even the most experienced pf hackers, and the most malicious of spyware (cue Pegasus) out of their way.

For some background, reports recently emerged describing how Pegasus, a spyware developed by Israeli surveillance company NSO Group, had been used to keep tabs on world leaders and bureaucrats, as well as activists and journalists, from many countries, including Pakistan, Morocco, France, and India, to name a few.

Turn phone off, then on to keep hackers away
Image Credits: Shutterstock

The route which Pegasus was found to use to spy on these people was infection of their mobile phones, so that important messages, photos, and the like could be extracted, and calls and even regular conversations, could be recorded. As such, if protecting oneself from such spyware is as easy as rebooting one’s phone, the hackers might expect to find themselves in somewhat of a fix. Still, we can’t say for sure whether the trick is reliable, but there’s no harm in trying, as it might actually work.