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Here's why the NSA advises you to restart your smartphone once a week

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If the NSA is best known for its spying programs, the American agency also publishes recommendations to protect Internet users. In a page of its site entitled “Advice on teleworking and mobile security from the NSA”, it provides a series of documents, including a list of best practices for protecting smartphones.

For example, the document advises not to connect to public Wi-Fi, to only activate Bluetooth when using it, not to install apps that do not come from the official store, or even not to use public smartphone charging stations. This document, which has been available since at least 2021, also advises Internet users to… restart their smartphones every week.

If it is not a 100% effective solution against ultra-sophisticated computer attacks, this measure can constitute an additional barrier to protect sensitive information. Or, at least, these reboots can make hackers' work more complicated, which can discourage them.

Why do we need to restart?

As mentioned above, this NSA document is not new. But it was brought back into the spotlight following the publication of a Forbes article on the subject. Otherwise, in 2021, Associated Press also interviewed an NSA employee who explained that he uses a smartphone programmed to reboot every night.

According to him, many modern computer attacks do not rely on just one vulnerability, but several. However, when you reboot your smartphone, a hacker who targets your smartphone may be forced to redo all the work of exploiting these vulnerabilities. And this advice is important, because people are not really used to completely turning off their smartphones or waiting for the battery to be at 0% to recharge.

However, the smartphone is probably the device that contains the most personal data about us. Moreover, in its recommendations, the NSA also advises people to only activate geolocation when it is useful, and not to take the smartphone when going to a sensitive location.

  • The NSA publishes numerous documents to help Internet users protect their data
  • These documents include a list of best practices for smartphones, which recommends restarting the device once a week
  • Indeed, restarting to add additional difficulty for hackers which target your smartphone

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116