People seem to forget that everything is hackable. And the truth is, Hackers have a multitude of ways to hack into your Smartphone without ever actually touching it. If a malicious hacker is not stopped from getting into your phone, they could steal sensitive data stored inside. This may include your contacts, bank info, places you visited, your emails. The list goes on and on.
It is also important to remember that your cell phone Service Provider are very attractive targets for those hackers. Remember the Photo Leak that happened from iCloud, where a bunch of celebrities had their photos posted all over the Internet? This is a good example. Read about it at National Ledger.
More often, the hack occurs without your knowledge. It is not just you. The consumer that criminals target. With the use of more cell phones and tablets in the workplace today. Hackers also attempt to attack businesses through vulnerabilities in these devices. And a breach that originated through a mobile device is unlikely to be detected or worse reported by the employees.
A worrying fact is that most Businesses do not know just how many of employee devices has been hacked.
Let us look at the most common signs that your Smartphone has been hacked.
Does it seem if your device is operating slower? Web pages and apps harder to load? Does your battery never seem to keep a charge? Are you exceeding your normal limits with your data plan? These are signs that you could have malware running in the background. You may have downloaded a bad app, or clicked on a dangerous link from a text message.
It is normal for a battery to wear down over time and become less efficient. But this is over a long period of time. If you only had your phone a few months, then something is wrong. You can check by running through these steps for improving your Android or iPhone battery life.
For the same reasons mentioned above your device might also run physically "hotter" than before.
If you have been experiencing some unusual behavior from your device, or you received some strange text messages, That could be another sign that something is happening. Although, it can be normal to experience some strange behavior with apps. But look out for your devices suddenly acting strange.
Apps add functionality to your devices, but increase the risk of breaches. Especially if they are downloaded from suspicious websites or strange text messages instead of an approved App store. Neither Apple nor Google can possibly scan every single app to determine if it is malicious or not. Hackers may be using your Smartphone to send emails or texts. They can also spread their malware to your contacts. One way to protect yourself is to limit the number of apps you install. The more apps you have increases what is call "The Attack Surface On Your Smartphone". Meaning that there are more lines of code on your device and therefore there is higher incidence that is going to be a "Security Critical Bug" somewhere within that large amount of coding.
Malware can be behind pop-ups. Changing your home screen. Changing your bookmarks to suspicious websites. If you notice any changes you did not make, this could be another clue that your device has been hacked.
If malware has installed that is "Proxying" on your device. (Sitting between your Browser and the Internet. Relaying communications between them. Reading the contents of the communications and even inserting various instructions of its own) This could affect how some Websites are displayed.
If certain apps suddenly stop working, this may also be a sign of proxying or other malware interfering with the apps functionality.
Hackers can use your infected device to make expensive calls by way of a remote party proxying through your device. They can also send SMS messages to international numbers, or make changes in other ways.
Switch off your Bluetooth in public places. If you do use Bluetooth, make sure that your devices are not set to "Discoverable". Do not pair devices in Public. This is in case someone is scanning you while you make the connection. Restrict access to known paired devices if possible. Never accept files transmitted via Bluetooth from unknown or suspicious sources.
Public unsecured Wi-Fi are great traps for your device. If you do need to use that Public Wi-Fi, then restrict your activities. Never make any banking activity or payments of any kind. Doing this will expose you and those details. Be careful while using a public Wi-Fi.
Pay attention to the warning message your device gives you. With iPhone, a warning will come up saying that the Server Identity cannot be verified and ask if you still want to connect. You will be prompted to click “continue” before you can join the Wi-Fi. And despite the warnings, it seems that 92 percent of people click to continue. Your phone has a lot of good built in technology that try to warn you when you are going to make a poor security decision. But what we see is people are very conditioned to just click through and ignore the warnings.
Despite the best intentions of Device Manufacturers. Vulnerabilities are there which could give hackers access. Device manufacturers release operating system updates frequently to protect users. Always install operating system updates as soon as they are available.
Do not download questionable apps. Look at reviews and research before installing. If you are not confident in the safety of an app, DO NOT install it.
Do not leave your smartphone or tablet unattended.
Do not let strangers see what you are doing online.
Do not leave your device in view when not using it, even if it is on your seat or table.
Do not forget that many apps connect to the Internet in the background, so you should check your settings to be sure of what information is being sent.
Do not jailbreak your phone. While it allows you to download from unofficial app stores, This will increase your risk of you unknowingly getting hacked. Aside from malware or spyware, this means you will miss security patches in the latest OS updates. Jailbreakers skip updates to keep the jailbreak functional. This makes your risks of being hacked even higher than normal.
Physical access is the easiest way for hackers to corrupt your phone. If you can keep your phone with you, a hacker will have to work much harder to get into it.
Always use a passcode lock and use complex passwords. Never use easily guessable PINs, like birthdays, basic defaults like “0000” or “1234.”.
As silly as this seems. People do store their passwords on the devices. Don't store passwords on your device. Use a secure password manager if you need to. These services allow you to store all your secure credentials in a digital vault.
Frequently clear your browsing history. They store personal information about you. Cookies remember the websites you visit. The purchases you make and more. Advertisers do, and hackers will use this information to their advantage. So to improve your privacy, delete them regularly.
Enable a lost device tracking service. If you lose your device, you can use a lost device finder to trace its current location. Some phones have a native application built in, while others may need a third-party app to add this feature.
Keep all apps up to date. Even the best apps can have programming bugs that hackers could exploit. Updates come with bug fixes to protect you from these risks. The same applies to your phone's OS. Update your phone often.
Consider using a privacy filter, which effectively blocks the view of your screen from people sitting either side of you. An example is the 3M product.
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