Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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NSA: Reboot Your Smartphone Weekly for Better Security

In this digital world, where phones have become an integral part of our lives, the National Security Agency came up with a very simple yet vital piece of advice regarding device security: “Turn it off and on again once per week.”

Photo by Tyler Lastovich on

Doing so will protect users from increasingly prevalent, dangerous threats: zero-click exploits and targeted spear-phishing attacks. Such cyber threats, most of which attackers leverage to eavesdrop on and collect data from phones, can sometimes be mitigated by simply rebooting your device.

Although many users may only power their smartphones off when a security or operating system update requires them to do so, the NSA warns that this could be a big mistake. In a best-practice document on mobile devices, the agency advised that a weekly reboot can disrupt processes occurring in the background that might be being used with a cyberattack.

However, the NSA has cautioned that following this guide will not prevent all such attacks every time. According to the document, “Threats to mobile devices are more prevalent and increasing in scope and complexity.” It further warns that some smartphone features “provide convenience and capability but sacrifice security.”

In addition to the weekly reboot, the NSA also reminds users to shut off Bluetooth when not using it, to update the device with operating system and application upgrades as soon as they become available, and to shut off location services when not needed. There is a fine line between convenience and security on which the smartphone user finally balances.

These are not all security-related benefits, but the advantages of a weekly reboot extend beyond security. Over time, a huge amount of temporary files and residual data are accumulated, resulting in laggy performance and minor glitches. The restart clears this temporary data from the system and apps so that they may start afresh. It provides a kind of digital refresh that gives your phone a refresh for smoother and more efficient running.

Their recommendation is for a weekly restart; however, this might all depend on individual usage. Thus, heavy phone users would want to reboot more frequently, while lighter users might go for longer.

The NSA’s advice acts as a very good reminder that basic, often overlooked practices can make a huge difference in cybersecurity. Amidst today’s busy world, a weekly reboot enhances the security posture of your device and improves its performance.

Make it a part of your habit to restart your phone regularly for the sake of security and efficiency. Seconds of total downtime may turn out to be very useful in the long term.

More for you:

  • NSA Warns iPhone And Android Users To Turn It Off And On Again
  • You should turn off and on Your Phone for Security!

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