Protecting yourself from hackers


BRISTOL, Va. - Our cell phones are major targets for hackers.

We often use our phones to store important information, like bank codes.

You may not realize hackers can be lurking behind public WiFi networks, trying to get access to your information.

"If you're using any public WiFi, you're at risk of being hacked... people don't realize that when you turn a phone on, it's typically in discoverable mode, i can actually see your device as well. If i have a bad intents I could go through and access your contacts, maybe your photos." Explained cyber security expert and Best Buy General Manager, Montana Dillon.

The 2017 Norton WiFi Risk Report found that 92% of Americans have potentially put their personal information at risk while using public WiFi. It's just not WiFi networks that poses a danger.

"It's honestly a misconception that only shady sites are the subject of viruses. So, for example, social media can sometimes have a virus pop up through there." Said Dillon.

If you've been hacked, it can potentially lead to identity theft.

Responding quickly is key. "Report things to us in a hurry. If you see something in your bank accounts that's been compromised or something, go to your jurisdiction where you're at. That's your first step." Advised Sgt. Steve Crawford of the Bristol, Va. Police.

Sgt. Crawford also emphasized the importance of keeping an eye on where your information is being shared.

"Unfortunately people are watching. Even when you think there's nothing on your computer, and you're hacked-- your computer can be used as a weapon." Sgt. Crawford said.

Computer security experts also say you should change your passwords frequently to prevent hacking.

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