Hello everyone,

You may remember me talking about a straightforward, yet highly effective, routine to enhance your smartphone’s security. If you don’t recall or if you’re new to our blog, worry not, as I am revisiting the topic today. We want to refresh your memory and delve deeper into this surprisingly effective technique.

The simple routine we want you to adopt is:

  1. Completely turn off your phone.
  2. Turn it back on.
  3. Repeat this every few days.

Sound familiar? Let’s delve into why this practice is crucial for safeguarding your phone against cyber threats.

Certain cyber attackers exploit what’s known as temporary memory vulnerabilities – small gaps in your phone’s memory system – to gain control. They can then install spyware, activate your camera, or copy your device’s contents remotely. This is how Pegasus spyware from the NSO group managed to infiltrate numerous Android and iPhone devices.

By merely turning off your phone, you can wipe these temporary files – including the harmful ones – and restore your phone’s memory system to its pre-intrusion state. Often, the most straightforward solutions prove the most effective.

You might be interested to know that even prominent figures like Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and organizations like the NSA advise turning off your phone for five minutes every day, asserting that this simple act can remove specific types of targeted malware.

Cybersecurity might seem daunting and time-consuming to many, leading to ‘cybersecurity fatigue.’ However, switching off your phone daily is a low-effort practice that can make a significant difference to your device’s security.

Particular threats, known as zero-day exploits, take advantage of software vulnerabilities so new they can’t yet be defended against. Attackers craft a malicious message and send it to your phone, which deploys malware without you needing to click or tap on anything. Restarting your phone removes this exploit and forces the attacker to redeploy it.

The difference between just restarting and turning off your phone for five minutes can be a bit mysterious. Some experts believe a restart is not the same as a complete shut-down, or “cold boot.” The reasoning isn’t entirely clear, but there are measurable differences between the two procedures.

Remember, the best defence is to avoid malware infection altogether. While a zero-day, no-click exploit is unlikely to target you specifically, numerous other ways can make you a victim of cyber threats. As a safety measure, be cautious about opening unsolicited emails, downloading unknown attachments, clicking on potentially malicious links, and installing only trusted apps on your devices.

So, should you adopt the practice of switching off your phone for five minutes every day? I say Yes! Not only does this habit enhance your phone’s security, but it also guarantees a short, uninterrupted break from your phone.

We hope this refreshed advice proves helpful and enhances your understanding of this simple security technique. As always, if you have any questions or need further assistance, our Incognito Privacy Care Team is always here to help.

Stay safe,

Max Roberts, Incognito Privacy Care Team