That’s it. At a time of widespread digital insecurity it turns out that the oldest and simplest computer fix there is — turning a device off then back on again — can thwart hackers from stealing information from smartphones.

Regularly rebooting phones won’t stop the army of cybercriminals or spy-for-hire firms that have sowed chaos and doubt about the ability to keep any information safe and private in our digital lives. But it can make even the most sophisticated hackers work harder to maintain access and steal data from a phone.

“This is all about imposing cost on these malicious actors,” said Neal Ziring, technical director of the National Security Agency’s cybersecurity directorate.

The NSA issued a “best practices” guide for mobile device security last year in which it recommends rebooting a phone every week as a way to stop hacking.

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