How to protect your mobile from hackers

The story of the News Of The World hacks who…um…hacked into the mobiles of royals, celebrities and John Prescott is back in the news. Bu

Set a voicemail passcode

The News Of The World journalists used the most lo-tech method of breaking in to someone's mobile – voicemail hacking. Essentially they simply called the targets' phones from another handset or a landline and waited for the call to go to voicemail. When it did, they entered the default passcode and hoped it hadn't been changed. If it hadn't, bingo, they could find out just what Prince Harry was having for tea or whether Jordan actually has thoughts.

To avoid someone snooping in your voicemail, make sure you change the passcode. Your mobile provider will give you instructions on how to do this. Most of the time, when you call voicemail from your own phone, you don't need to enter a password as it automatically detects where the call is coming from.

Don't leave your phone lying around unlocked

Flexispy is a programme that can be added to your phone via WiFi, Bluetooth or USB (onto a Jailbroken iPhone). Once installed, it'll transfer recordings of your messages and voicemails to a website where they can be picked up. The iPhone version also grabs texts, emails, call records and GPS location data.

Some networks have banned the app but its makers market it as a method for monitoring children or catching cheating spouses. To avoid the slim chance of someone slipping an app like Flexispy onto your phone, password protect your Bluetooth and set a passcode on your phone to automatically lock it if it's left unattended.

If your concerned that someone's out to get hold of your data, you should definitely avoid leaving your phone where it can be removed for any length of time. With specialist kit and enough time, a hacker could clone your phone. If they do, the copycat device will receive the same calls and messages as the original mobile.

Be careful what you send and say

Even if you're incredibly careful with your handset and keep it password protected, a truly determined person could still get access to your calls. To do that they'd need to lurk near to where your using your mobile with some heavy duty decryption equipment. Unless your a d-list celebrity or someone in public life that's hardly likely. But hey, you can't be too careful can you?