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CBS Local 2 special report shows you how to 'Defeat Digital Spies'

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Find out how Defeat Digital Spies

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Those who work in the tech industry always warn of the risks of cyber hacking when it comes to laptops and computers, but what about your smartphones and tablets?

Tech specialist Daniel Algazi from DA Computers in Palm Springs says smartphone and tablet hacking is on the rise.

"Three years ago, you never saw it at all. Now you see it once a week," said Algazi.

If a hacker has physical possession of your device for just 20 minutes, they could modify the firmware or install a ghost app, giving them complete access plus control of the cameras, allowing them to activate them as often as they please.

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An easier path for a hacker is to go in through the cloud. That's why Algazi says it is important to activate two-step verification, offered on most devices.

"If someone were to want to get into your cloud account, they wouldn't be able to get into your account without access to your phone," Algazi explained, "So if someone were to get into your cloud account, it would send a text message to your phone, which would alert you that there's something funny going on."

Without that extra step, hackers could do any of the following:

  • Erase your phone
  • Lock it permanently
  • Go through all your contacts
  • Send an email impersonating you
  • See all your photos
  • Send a text message

With some extra leg work, hackers could even get into your bank account.

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A common risk many take is leaving important information like account usernames and passwords in "Note" applications on our tablets and smartphones. If a hacker gains access to your device, anything inside those apps becomes fair game.

A few more tips to remember to keep your information secure:

  • Don't text your login information out to friends or family
  • Consider changing your passwords more frequently
  • Avoid keeping photos of credit card information on your devices
  • Do a scroll through and delete any photos you wouldn't want anyone else to see

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