People spend more time on their phones than ever before – which comes with risk.
Even Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, one of the richest men in the world, isn’t safe from getting hacked.
And the method used to hack Bezos could be used on anyone.
You may remember this story that started when Bezos received a WhatsApp message from the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
The message contained a video file.
But once the file was delivered to Bezos’s phone it transferred hundreds of megabytes of data from the phone.
All this happened without Bezos even knowing it.
Over the next few months, the hacker stole over six gigabytes of data from the phone.
Of course, the Saudi government denied any involvement.
WhatsApp is an encrypted messaging app owned by Facebook.
But, the app has faced security issues in the past.
It had a security flaw that allowed hackers to send an MP4 file to compromise the receiver’s smartphone.
But, to steal as much data as the hackers did from Bezos, they probably used more than one method to hack the phone.
The real lesson of this incident is how vulnerable our phones are to hackers.
Cybersecurity experts believe Bezos was using an iPhone X when he was hacked.
And there are more secure phones on the market, but they have their drawbacks.
For instance, more secure phones run on custom software built for privacy.
They are usually a version of Android, which means you may not be able to download your favorite apps from the Apple or Google.
Depending on the smartphone you may not have the option of using apps such as Google Maps, Gmail, or Facebook.
Plus, secure phones don’t have fancy features such as the latest triple-lens camera.
But, if you’re not all that concerned about apps, and just looking for a more secure smartphone, here are a few phones to consider.
Bittium Tough Mobile 2C:
This phone is made by the same Finnish company that developed the Nokia brand.
It’s a well-built smartphone that is not only more secure, but also rugged on the outside.
As for software, the device has two operating systems.
The first is a more secure version of Android, the second system is the brand’s own.
And the two operating systems are completely separate.
For added security, the device has a VPN that is always on.
There is also a privacy mode that disables the Bluetooth, camera, and microphone.
And the actual physical device has an IP67 rating. This means the device is durable and strong.
The Tough Mobile 2C starts around $1700, and it works with Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.
Silent Circle Blackphone 2:
The company Silent Circle is known for its operating system.
The system is based on Android, but it features a lot more privacy.
It works by creating multiple separate “virtual devices” on one device.
The company claims to update and patch any security issues within 72 hours of detection.
And the updates come directly from the company. Not the wireless carrier.
One thing about the Blackphone 2 is that it does allow the use of some Google Apps.
But it claims to block anyone trying to access personal data.
The Blackphone 2 has a 5.5-inch Full HD display with Gorilla Glass protection. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
The Blackphone 2 costs $800 and works with GSM cell phone networks.
If you are looking for a secure, less expensive option, this is the best choice.
The Canadian company Blackberry claims the DTEK50 is one of the most secure Android phones.
The DTEK50 comes with features like app tracking. This automatically monitors the OS and apps.
The feature lets you know when your privacy could be at risk and what actions you can take to fix it.
Plus, the phone has a password keeper app. It lets you store all your important passwords in one place.
The information is encrypted and protected by a single password.
The smartphone comes with a 5.2-inch Full HD scratch-resistant display of 1080×1920 pixel resolution.
It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and a 13-megapixel camera.
The Blackberry sells for only $300. It could be a good option if you are looking for a second phone for secure calls.
There are a lot of companies that have developed secure phones.
But these options are realistic and more secure than your average smartphone.
Keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a device that cannot be hacked – even if you are the richest man in the world.