Saturday 25 March 2017 News Updated at 01:03 PM IST
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Tips for protecting your devices - Deccan Herald
Tips for protecting your devices
Brian X Chen, March 13, 2017, INYT
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That’s just about every major category of consumer electronics. So what does that mean for you if you own one - or several - of these gadgets?
WikiLeaks has published a trove of documents that appears to detail how the CIA successfully hacked a wide variety of tech products, including iPhones, Android devices, Wi-Fi routers and Samsung televisions.

For many people, it may mean nothing at all. On the other hand, many people may still use outdated software on their devices. And although the CIA designed these tools to spy on terrorists in the interest of national security, the hacking tools may have ended up in the hands of a whole range of entities.

The fallout may also end up being broader. So even if you aren’t worried about what WikiLeaks revealed about the CIA right now for yourself, here are some tips for protecting your devices.

What you can do if you’re on Android
Hundreds of millions of Android users still use devices based on older versions of the Google-made mobile operating system. "The one thing that people can and should be doing is keeping their apps and phones as up-to-date as possible,” said Kurt Opsahl, deputy executive director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights nonprofit.

What you can do on an iPhone
Many iPhone owners are far more up-to-date with their mobile software than Android device owners. So only a minority of iPhone users have devices with the versions of the Apple iOS operating system that the WikiLeaks documents mention. Specifically, the WikiLeaks documents referred to exploits working on versions of iOS up to 8.2. About 79% of Apple users are running iOS 10, the latest version of the system, and only 5% are running a version older than iOS 9, according to Apple.

In raw numbers, with more than one billion iOS devices sold worldwide, that amounts to at least 50 million people running the outdated software.

What to do with your router
The WikiLeaks documents also described methods of injecting malware into routers offered by Asian manufacturers like Huawei, ZTE and Mercury. In general, it is wise for everyone to regularly check routers for so-called firmware updates to make sure they get the latest security enhancements.

What to do with your computer
The WikiLeaks documents mentioned attacks on Linux, Windows and Apple computers. Personal computers have always been the most vulnerable devices we own, so make sure to install the latest operating system updates and use anti-virus software.