Phones are one of the valuable things we use every day; we see our Smartphones as our secure digital havens. We use it to store private information including passwords, credit card details, photos, favorite music, videos, documents, and so on.
If you think your Smartphone is indeed your secured haven, you may be very wrong; all devices can be hacked no matter how expensive or sophisticated it is.
However, to reduce the risk of your phones being hacked, we have compiled a list that will help you recognized ways your phone can be hacked, how to identify them and how to prevent hackers from gaining access to your phone.
Installing Spy Apps
The easiest thing to do is to get hold of your phone and install spy apps; mobile apps that can track the incoming and outgoing of phone calls, text messages, GPS locations, online activities and communication going on any of the social media such as Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp.
Employers and parents also use these Spy Apps to monitor online activities of their staff and children respectively. In the real sense, these apps are mainly used by others (hackers) who are not so keen about your welfare.
Unprotected WI-FI network
We happily plunge into any available unprotected Wi-Fi network we can find, especially in hotels, airport or café. Using public Wi-Fi means you are sharing your traffic with everyone around you. Steer off public Wi-Fi, the trouble you may likely get afterward is not worth it.
When charging your phone using an unknown USB, even in an airplane, bus, car, etc. You stand a chance to get all your personal data transferred or revealed.
Different Smartphones have different security; not all of them share the same amount of information, but they can give your device name and type, serial number, manufacturer, electronic chip ID, operating and file system information that’s a lot of information that any hacker can use against you.
When you receive a message with a link that claims it’s your bank statement or any other valuable information; immediately you click the link, you automatically send phone’s information to hackers.
Signally system seven (SS7) used by a majority of telecommunication companies in the world, hackers can listen to your phone conversations, read your text messages and track your mobile phone’s location. The good news is if you are not a famous person you do not have anything to be worried about.
Now you know there are many ways hackers can gain access to your phone. Let’s get to the second phase of this article;
How to recognize your phone is hacked
Unknown New Apps
When you find new apps on your phone, you did not install. It is noteworthy that phone manufacturers automatically install apps for you; apps you see on your new device.
However, it is better you take the caution by searching them on Google, see what others are saying concerning the app. If it neither the manufacturer nor you who installed the app then it must have been a hacker.
Apps no longer work as they used to
When your old apps are no longer functioning as they used to while the new apps you never installed are doing just fine. It means something is interfering with their functionalities and it is most likely there is malware on your device.
If you notice your phone battery lifespan is shorter than before, it could be an unknown app tampering with your mobile device. Such app runs in background mode without your notice; they seem so inconsequential that you do not think of uninstalling them from your phone.
Your phone is slower than it used to be
Please note when your phone is operating slowly is not caused by old age only. Just the same way your short battery lifespan can be as a result of malware on your phone, malware can also cause your phone to slow down.
Dangerous application transfer data from your phone to another, so your phone’s performance drops a lot.
Your phone gets warm even when you do not make use of it: When your cellphone warms up for no just cause, it is as a result of malware on your phone.
When your phone reboots itself, dials numbers, or starts an application without your consent it is not because of paranormal activities; it could be someone is trying to tap into your device.
Unknown numbers found in your call records
When unknown numbers appear in your recent calls, and it cost you; hackers can proxy through your phone to make international phones calls, they can also use your device to make calls to companies which charge for the calls.
Hackers offer these services to their customers so that they get profit.
Sending and receiving strange text messages
When your device starts sending and receiving strange messages; just the way hackers use your phone to make calls, they can also use your mobile device to send and receive messages.
They can also send and receive messages via your email if you operate your email through your device. When your family, friends or colleagues start complaining about unknown messages from you, do not ignore it.
Unable to switch off your device
When you cannot switch off your device; when you try switching off your device, it starts opening different apps, increasing the lighting and so on. It is dangerous and most likely not the manufacturer’s fault.
Echoes during phone calls
If you notice there are usual noises or echoes during calls it means someone else has access to your device; they may be tracking your phone and also listening to your conversation.
When websites appear differently on your mobile browser
I may be a sign that someone has installed malware on your phone; they can be tracking your online communication and reading it.
Increased use of mobile data
When you notice you are using more data than usual; when you have a data- monitoring app, you will see the data usage is growing fast.
You can investigate a little further by checking the apps sucking your mobile data if it a new app you recently downloaded from an unverified source, delete it can be malware.
When you start getting pop-ups from nowhere, it could mean trouble. Such pop-ups are mainly caused by malware especially when it says you just warn a lottery ticket or a free Smartphone and all you have to do is to click here. Do not click; don’t do what they are telling you to do.
Email sent to you are blocked
When emails sent to your phone are blocked by spam filters, it could indicate that a third party has access to your email. This could mean a third party has changed your email configuration to send your emails to some unauthorized server and hackers to have direct access to these servers.
What should you do when you see any of these signs on your phone?
- Install anti-malware app and scan your phone
- Delete all the apps you did not install and also delete apps that are using more traffic
- You can also restore factory settings, to undo unauthorized or dangerous settings in your phone
If the above actions do not work, get a professional to fix it. Let’s move on to the next stage, shall we?
How to prevent hackers from accessing your mobile device?
- Install an antivirus on your mobile device and constantly scan your phone for a virus. Click here to check out the list of mobile antivirus suitable for your device.
- When you get a link, and you cannot see the full description of the link, do not click on it.
- If you charge your phone with an unknown USB, chose only charging
- Do not use the “remember password” option
- Switch off the automatic connection to public Wi-Fi, chose them manually instead.
- Do not make online purchases or transfer funds using a public Wi-Fi network
- And finally, add a password to your device.
There you have it, remember to protect your device by acting on what you’ve just read. Do not forget to share this article with family and friends to protect their mobile device too.