HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOU ARE HACKED
To be aware of how not to get hacked, If your phone is displaying one of the following unusual behaviors, and especially if it’s displaying more than one, there’s a good chance that it may be hacked. Strange or inappropriate pop-ups Bright, flashing ads or X-rated content popping up on your phone may indicate malware. Texts or calls not made by you: If you notice texts or calls from your phone that you didn’t make, your phone may be hacked. Higher than normal data usage: There are many reasons for high data usage (for example, increased use of a new app). But if your phone behavior has stayed the same and your data usage has skyrocketed, it’s time to investigate. Apps you don’t recognize on your phone: Keep in mind that new phones often come with pre-downloaded apps. But if you notice new apps popping up once you already own the phone, there may be malware involved. If your phone use habits have remained the same, but your battery is draining more quickly than normal, hacking may be to blame.
HOW YOU GOT HACKED
So how are these hackers able to get into your phone in the first place? The most dangerous and famous hackers use a mix of technical wizardry and social engineering tricks to exploit the humans behind the phones.
A drawing showing the many techniques phone hackers use to infiltrate mobile devicesPhone hackers can use a variety of techniques to infiltrate your mobile device.
Here are some of the most common techniques hackers use to hack phones;
Phishing involves using social engineering tactics to fool you into disclosing personal information. A phishing attack can be simple, like an email with a link that says FREE and directs you to a malicious site. Many of today’s most famous hackers use phishing attacks in their campaigns. Or it can be a more complex scheme, like an online quiz that can tell you which Disney princess you are based on your birthday, mother’s maiden name, and the name of your first pet — answers which the attacker can then use to break into your accounts Phishing can also be highly targeted, focused on tricking one specific high-level employee into revealing too much information. Focused attacks against senior leadership figures are known as whaling.
One sneaky way to infect a phone with malware is to convince someone to download an app with hidden spy features. This app may be disguised as a game, an app for productivity, or even one promising security, when it’s actually a spyware app tracking your online activities and personal data. Some Android spyware can even spy when your phone isn’t on. Another type of malicious software for your phone is stalkerware, which tracks your movements, browsing, messages, and calls. Stalkerware is usually installed by someone close to you — when parental control apps are used in this way, they become stalkerware. Make sure to remove spyware from your Android and get rid of creepy spying apps on your iPhone.
Many two-factor authentication (2FA) procedures confirm your login with a text message sent to your phone. With SIM swapping, hackers try to convince your service provider that your phone number actually needs to be swapped over to a different SIM card (the hacker’s). That way, they’ll receive your authentication messages. SIM swapping scams usually starts with phishing attempts designed to give the hacker enough information to impersonate you to the service provider. With enough of your personal info, a hacker can use your phone number to initiate a SIM swap. While it’s unlikely someone can hack into your phone by calling you, you should still protect your phone number: an unknown call now may be part of a plan to hack later.
Cybercriminals can use phishing or other techniques to access your iCloud or Google account. Many people have these accounts linked to their social media, which can be leveraged as a vulnerability to get into your data. With unauthorized access to your accounts, a hacker can see your location information and view your emails, messages, and keychains.
It may make it easier to play music through a speaker, but a wireless Bluetooth connection makes your phone more vulnerable to cyber crime. Hackers can use software to intercept a Bluetooth signal and gain access to your phone. Don’t pair your phone with a device you don’t trust, or in a location that’s unsecured.
Similar to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi can also be used by hackers to gain access to your phone. In particular, using public Wi-Fi networks can leave your phone vulnerable to attack, as they may have been set up by a malicious actor waiting for you to connect. It’s also important to change the default password to your home Wi-Fi network to prevent hackers from hacking into your router. You can protect yourself on public Wi-Fi by setting up a mobile VPN on iPhone or Android. A VPN, or virtual private network, encrypts your connection to prevent bad actors from getting into your phone.
Need to quickly charge your phone at a public charging station? Think twice — the juice jacking scam infects these stations with malware to target people running low on power. An infected charging station does more than give you a power boost. The malware spreads to your phone, where it can monitor what you do, collect and transmit your private data, and even make a withdrawal from your bank account. If you use mobile charging stations, protect your phone with a cybersecurity app from a trusted provider. AVG AntiVirus for Android and AVG Mobile Security for iPhone keep your phone safe from malicious activity, ensuring that your data and apps are always protected.
HOW TO AVOID GETTING HACKED
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 they’re potentially open to abuse: think before you approve the request. That applies especially to Android users, as Google’s app-vetting process isn’t as strict as Apple’s, 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 Amazon’s competing App store to operate, but it also provides an easy way for rogue apps to get onto your phone. I’d strongly advise against installing anything from an unfamiliar website.
Review what’s already on your phone
Even if the apps on your phone seemed simple and safe when you installed them, subsequent updates could have turned them into something more sinister. Take two minutes to review all the apps on your smartphone, and see which permissions they’re using: on iOS, you’ll find lots of relevant information under Settings > Privacy. On Android, it’s harder to get an overview of which apps have which permissions, but there are plenty of security apps that help here, including free packages from Avast and McAfee. These tools can also jump in and alert you if you’re trying to install an app that’s known to be malicious, and warn you if a “phishing” attack is trying to trick you into entering a password into an untrusted app or webpage.
Make it hard for intruders to get in
If a thief gets physical access to your phone, they can cause all sorts of trouble. For a start, your email app probably contains a trove of personal information. Make sure your phone is locked when not in use: both Android and iOS can be set to require a six-digit passcode. Your device may offer other options too, like fingerprints or facial recognition. Such methods aren’t perfect – a really determined hacker could copy your fingerprints from a drinking glass, or trick a camera with a photograph of you – but they’re a lot better than nothing. And be wary of “smart unlock” features, which automatically unlock your phone when you’re at home, or when your smartwatch is near; these could let a thief bypass your unlock code altogether.
Be prepared to track and lock your phone.
Plan ahead, so even if your phone is stolen, you know your data is safe. One option is to set your phone to automatically erase itself after a certain number of incorrect attempts to enter the passcode. If that seems a bit drastic, don’t forget that both Apple and Google operate “find my device” services that can locate your phone on a map and remotely lock or erase it. For Apple users, this is accessed through the iCloud website; you can check if it’s enabled on the phone in Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone. Android users can access Google’s service at google.co.uk/android/device manager. You can also make a missing phone ring—helpful for drawing attention to the thief or tracking down a handset that’s been merely mislaid. We all know there’s a risk involved in using an open wireless network. But you may not realize how severe it is.
Don’t leave online services unlocked.
Auto-login is a very convenient feature, especially since a virtual keyboard can make typing passwords a chore. It’s also a huge liability: an intruder simply needs to open your browser to gain access to all your online accounts. Ideally, therefore, you shouldn’t use auto-login features at all. If you must, use a password manager app that requires you to regularly re-enter a master password. And don’t use the same password for more than one app or service: if that one password gets found, it can be used to access a whole range of private information. This applies even if you’re perfectly scrupulous about keeping your smartphone secure: hackers regularly break into online services to steal user credentials, which they then try out on other sites.
Adopt an alter ego.
If you’ve followed this advice so far, it should be very difficult for anyone to get into your phone. However, some major hacks have been pulled off without any access to the victim at all. If someone can find out (for example) your date of birth, home town, and mother’s maiden name – all stuff that can be easily picked up from a site like Facebook – that’s often all they need to reset a password and start breaking into your accounts. You can fend off such attacks by fictionalizing your past with details that are unlikely to be guessed; perhaps, for the purposes of security, you were born in 1999 to Mrs. Victoria Beckham, née Adams. Just remember what you claimed, or you could end up locking yourself out.
Beware of open WiFi
We all know there’s a risk involved in using an open wireless network. But you may not realize how severe it is: anyone in the vicinity can snoop on what you’re doing online. This sort of attack demands specialist software and skills, so it’s unlikely to be a hazard in your local café, but it’s not a danger that can be ignored.
private, traffic, hackers If you’re at all doubtful about a wireless network, don’t connect – stick with your phone’s mobile internet connection. Or use a VPN tool. These tools route your traffic through a private, encrypted channel, so even if someone is monitoring your traffic, they won’t be able to see what you’re up to. However, if you want the expertise of trusted hackers, Cyb3rdroid is reliable at all times.
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