Keep An Eye On Things Behind The Scenes
No matter how cautious you are, you cant completely eradicate the danger of your phone being hacked not unless you refuse to install any apps or visit any websites. What you can do is supplement your on-device security measures with an online service. LogDog available for both Android and iOS is an app that monitors your identity on sites such as Gmail, Dropbox and Facebook. It alerts you to suspicious activity, such as logins from unfamiliar places, giving you a chance to step in and change your credentials before serious harm can be done. As a bonus, LogDog will also scan your email and highlight messages containing sensitive data such as credit card details and passwords, which you can then purge to ensure they dont fall into the wrong hands.
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How To Know That Your Phone Is Hacked
Whether you have an iPhone or Android smartphone, there are some signs that can indicate that your device has been hacked. If you notice these things on your smartphone, there might be a chance that a cybercriminal has targeted you:
However, there is no need to panic right away. Not all cases like this are linked with hacking. For example, if it’s taking a long time to load an app, maybe there’s just something wrong with the phone’s performance, or you’re running an older version of the app and need to upgrade it.
But if you notice strange activity on your bank account or any other accounts that you have access to from your phone, then there is a chance that you’ve become a cybercrime victim.
Another way you can find out whether your device has been hacked or not is to use antivirus software to run a security scan on your phone. If there is anything suspicious, it will detect it.
So, apart from “How can someone access my phone remotely?”, you should also look into “What do I do after a cyberattack?”
Google Security Checkup: Keeps Google Account Secure
Google Security Checkup isnt exactly an Android security feature. However, it does ensure that your Google account is safe, including Android devices.
To do this, simply visit Settings Google Manage Google Account Security tap click on Security Issues Detected option and tap the Secure Account button. This will show you all the ways to secure your Google account.
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Advanced Ways To Prevent Phone Hacking
If youre still worried about hacking, there are further steps you can take to protect yourself. However, taking things too far will defeat the purpose of having a smartphone at all.
- Avoid unsecured public WiFi. Hackers often target important locations such as bank accounts via public WiFi that can often be unsecured due to relaxed safety standards or even none at all.
- Turn off your autocomplete feature. By doing this, you can prevent stored critical personal data from being accessed.
- Regularly delete your browsing history, cookies, and cache. Removing your virtual footprint is important in minimizing the amount of data that can be harvested by prying eyes.
- Have an iPhone? Enable Find My iPhone. By turning the feature on in your settings, youll be able to locate your phone if you misplace it before the hackers can lay their paws on it.
Use a security app that increases protection. For Android owners, Webroot offers the all-in-one Mobile Security for Android app that provides antivirus protection and allows you to remotely locate, lock up and wipe your phone in the event you lose track of it. For iOS users, Webroot also offers a free secure web browser for increased mobile security on your iPhone and iPad.
Create A Longer Passcode
You may have heard of a hacking tool called GrayKey that was being used to crack iPhone and iPad passwords. Its understood that the tool was being used by law-enforcement agencies, and could crack a four-digit passcode in a couple of hours. A six-digit code can be cracked in a few days.
The device, which needed to be plugged into a iOS device, could disable the usual delays and locks that would normally stop anyone from brute-forcing their way past a passcode.
While you probably dont have any reason to not want the police or government agencies to hack into your phone, the real concern here was that if its possible for the GrayKey device to hack into your phone this way, its highly likely that there will be similar devices and hacks available to criminals.
Luckily Apple blocked the GrayKey tech back in iOS 12, however, should such a thing become possible again and its sure to heres what you should do to protect your phone:
- Choose a long passcode: one thats longer than six digits. It could take a few months to hack an eight-digit pin, and a ten-digit pin could take a decade to crack!
- Use a passphrase containing words, rather than numbers. But use random words that wouldnt normally appear together.
While passcodes only use numbers 0-9, a passphrase includes numbers, letters, symbols and case-sensitivity which should make your iPhone a lot harder to break into although it may take a little longer to unlock your iPhone when you want to use it.
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Responding To Data Breaches
Even if you make all the right moves, your data may be stolen from a company you trusted to keep it safe. If you find that your personal information has been accessed without your authorization, take steps to protect yourself. Place a fraud alert on your credit file. Review your annual credit reports. And if you suspect your information has been breached, put a freeze on your credit file to prevent fraudsters from opening new accounts in your name. For more information, see the Attorney General’s information sheets on identity theft.
Choose Your Home Screen Widgets Wisely
Recent iOS updates have introduced home screen widgets you can access without typing in your passcode. The feature is great for convenience, but not so great for security.
To remove widgets you dont want someone accessing without a password, swipe right on your lock screen and tap Edit to remove widgets.
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Delete Apps That Look Suspicious
Dig through the apps on your phone: do any look suspicious? Do you recall downloading each of them, and do you use them often enough to keep around?
The answer to how do i get a virus off my iPhone? is often as simple as deleting an app. Apps have associated files, and deleting them typically removes the files they imported. All you need to do is press and hold on the app icon, and select Remove App from the menu that appears.
Leave Tracking And Remote Locking On
Well presume youve set up your phones lock screen with a multi-digit number, complex pattern, or face/fingerprint recognition. This is useful if you lose your phone or it gets stolen.
Hackers may easily break the first security mechanism. Even fingerprint and facial recognition security measures can be circumvented. So, the ability to remotely lock your device is critical here.
This is the next line of defense against hackers or anyone else who shouldnt have access to your phone. The good news is almost all phone providers offer Find My Device and remote lock. Therefore, be sure to install the apps and register your device.
These apps also allow you to remotely wipe data from your phone. If youre convinced your phone is in the wrong hands, you can remotely wipe it to prevent data theft. Make sure you keep a backup of important files and info to protect your phone data.
Here are some additional methods for protecting your phone from hackers:
- Disable the Allow Siri When Locked
- Password-protect your cloud storage apps.
- Disable smart unlock.
- Password-protect sensitive folders, files, and apps for extra security.
- Avoid public charging ports.
- Make your number invisible or unknown.
- Avoid jailbreaking devices.
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How Can Someone Hack My Phone Remotely
It’s not a secret that hackers don’t need to have your phone in their hands to steal your personal information. They can target any of the data stored there remotely. Passwords, SSNs, bank account details, text messages, photosalmost anything can get into the hands of the bad guys if you aren’t careful enough and well-protected.
But how can a phone be hacked remotely? Cybercriminals come up with unique ways to access people’s smartphones and monitor them. Usually, they look for some vulnerabilities in the phone’s operating system to hack it or trick people into downloading malicious software onto their devices.
The scariest part in all this is that with technology constantly evolving, the process of hacking someone’s phone remotely is turning into a child’s play. There are various apps out there that can be used to get access to a smartphone with just a phone number.
Ultimately, can hackers control your phone? Yes. Unfortunately, they can even hack a phone’s camera. But you can also learn how to block hackers from your Android or iOS phone. The first step is understanding how cybercriminals think and work.
Some other ways a hacker can get into your phone include:
Unusual Activity On Any Accounts Linked To The Device
If the phone has been hacked, hackers would be able to access social media, email, or apps, putting you at risk for identity fraud. Activities such as resetting passwords, emails being sent or read without the users’ knowledge, or new account sign-ups are all signals which indicate that the phone is in the wrong hands.
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Signs Your Phone Has Been Hacked
Just how do you know if your phone has been hacked? You may notice these signs:
- Your phone loses charge quickly.
- Your phone is running slower than usual.
- You notice strange activity on your online accounts, like unfamiliar logins, new account signups, or password reset emails.
- You see unfamiliar calls or texts.
- You get more pop-ups than usual this could be a sign of adware. Learn how to remove adware specifically.
- Your phone has more data usage than normal.
- You notice unfamiliar apps.3
Permission Manager: Allows Users To Remove Dangerous/unnecessary App Permissions
Apps require certain permissions to function properly. However, it is important for them to seek permission from users to access sensitive information like contacts, photos, mic, location, etc.
Android devices come with a built-in Permission manager which allows users to view permissions by category and manage them. Tapping on a particular permission type will bring up all the apps that currently have access to that category.
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Tips To Protect Your Mobile Device From Hackers
According to the Federal Reserve, more than two-thirds of the U.S. population owns a smartphone or internet-enabled device. As popularity among these devices continues to grow, FirstCapital Bank of Texas is highlighting 12 important steps that users can take to protect their devices from cyber threats.
Customers use their smartphones for everything – whether its to make payments, go shopping or conduct everyday banking transactions. As usage increases and more data is transmitted, it is extremely important that consumers avoid downloading any app that requests unnecessary permissions or clicking links that may raise suspicion.
Use A Password Manager
Memorizing individual passwords for all of your online accounts can be difficult. And re-using the same password for multiple accounts is never a good idea.
That’s why apps like LastPass,1Password, and Keeper can be very useful. These apps generate complex random passwords and can automatically log you into websites. All you have to do is remember your master password for the service.
And when creating a master password or any password remember to create one that’s unique and difficult to guess.
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Don’t Give People Your Phone Number
First, stop handing out your phone number unless it’s absolutely necessary. A phone number may seem innocuous, but it’s often used as a form of ID, and it’s where temporary 2FA codes are usually sent.
Hackers who learn your mobile phone number can use SMS to send you malware or phishing links that prompt you to compromise your personal data, and can also try to steal the number from you by having it transferred to another phone.
Do: Update Ios Frequently
A lot of iPhone users may be skeptical of this advice, but updating your iOS and iPadOS devices to the latest software is the absolute best way to make sure your devices are as protected from hackers as possible. Thats because with each update, Apple improves security features and fixes any previously overlooked weak points that might allow hackers access.
The first couple of weeks after an iOS release often reveal problems with the update itself. This is why I highly recommend you update iOS regularly on your phone, but wait a couple of weeks after the new version is released. Unless the update is meant to address a known, serious security concern, in which case, you should install the new version on your device as soon as possible. To update your device:
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Specific Examples Of Android Malware
Avast Threat Labs has discovered many strains of Android malware. Our researchers work tirelessly to detect these malicious apps and get them removed from the Google Play Store as soon as possible to prevent their spread.
In 2011, Avast researchers uncovered a group of that sent premium text messages to rack up huge charges. We alerted Google and they removed the malicious apps.
In 2018, Avast Threat Labs discovered pre-installed adware on brand new Android devices. We detected this malware on about 18,000 devices in more than 100 countries, and pushed Google to mitigate the apps malicious capabilities.
In 2019, a new family of Android ransomware was found. This Filecoder ransomware started spreading through posts on internet forums like Reddit, and continued by spreading to all contacts in an infected phone. Once on an Android, the ransomware encrypts most files on the device and demands a ransom of $200.
In 2020, Avast tracked down Android adware spreading through TikTok. Interesting fact: a 12-year-old girl helped uncover the scam when she sent a report to Avast!
In 2020, Avast researchers discovered another . The apps were mainly masquerading as gaming apps, but they actually contained adware.
That same year, Avast Threat Labs also discovered a . Downloaded more than 10,000 times, the malicious app posed as a currency converter app and targeted Android users in Spain until Avast reported it to Google and they removed it.
Back Up Your Computer
If your business is not already backing up your hard drive, you should begin doing so immediately. Backing up your information is critical in case hackers do succeed in getting through and trashing your system.
Always be sure you can rebuild as quickly as possible after suffering any data breach or loss. Backup utilities built into macOS and Windows are good places to start. An external backup hard drive can also provide enough space for these utilities to operate properly.
How To Prevent Phone Hacking And Protect Your Cell Phone
Traditionally a headache reserved for celebrities, smartphone-hacking concerns have crossed the VIP vs. everyone else blood-brain barrier and are now a legitimate concern for anyone who owns a cell phone.
But is this really a serious problem for us regular folks? Are our voicemail messages so interesting that someone would invade our privacy to listen in? Before we go barking up the narcissism tree, its best to examine what phone hacking is and whether you really need to worry about it.
Be Careful Of What You Install
When you install a smartphone app, you may be asked to grant it various permissions, including the ability to read your files, access your camera or listen in to your microphone. There are legitimate uses for these capabilities, but theyre potentially open to abuse: think before you approve the request. That applies especially to Android users, as Googles app-vetting process isnt as strict as Apples, and there have been reports of malicious apps spending months on the Play Store before being spotted and taken down.
Android also lets you install apps from third-party sources: this allows services such as Amazons competing Appstore to operate, but it also provides an easy way for rogue apps to get onto your phone. Id strongly advise against installing anything from an unfamiliar website.
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