ARIZONA NEWS

How can you protect devices from being hacked with new security flaws?

Jan 5, 2018, 3:15 PM | Updated: 5:54 pm
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PHOENIX — Surprise! Once again, all the information on your computer, tablet or phones is up for grabs.

Security officials have discovered two vulnerabilities — Meltdown and Spectre — that could allow access into everything stored on your devices: Videos, pictures, passwords, emails, everything.

“Pretty everyone — Apple, Google, Microsoft — is saying, ‘Yes, there is a problem [and] we’re coming up with a fix,” said Ken Colburn with Valley-based Data Doctors.

The two hardware bugs can be used by hackers to allow the memory content of a computer to be leaked.

Until the major tech companies release security updates for those vulnerabilities, Colburn said folks should try to avoid downloading apps, programs, content or anything at all.

“If you do have to download something, let’s say it’s an app, make sure you’re only getting it from the Apple app store,” he said. “And make sure it’s not some brand new app.”

“Until you get that fix, whether it’s Apple product, a Microsoft product, whatever it is,” he said. “You need to be very careful about where you go on the internet, what you download.”

So far, there have been no reports that the hacks have been used to steal information, he said, but now the road map for how to do it is out there. So new apps and programs would be the most likely delivery system.

Once the updates begin rolling out, pay attention.

“If you have a Mac, you don’t just update the OS,” he said. “You have to worry about your browser, you have to worry about your phone, [and] you have to worry about your tablet.”

People will have to basically update everything. Colburn said people are always coming into his shop with update messages more than a year old.

“You cannot miss these updates,” he said.

We want to hear from you.

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How can you protect devices from being hacked with new security flaws?