Hacking is no longer restricted to PCs and Laptops, but Smartphones as well. Protecting smartphones from cyberattacks can be the most daunting task for anyone.
With numerous reports of malware, data breaches, and phishing and ransomware attacks - one should know that no smartphone is immune to hacking attacks and cyber threats.
These days, smartphones not just hold valuables, but they signal the intruders of your valuable data and belongings. With smartphones sending and receiving large volumes of messages every day, users need to develop a strategy to protect sensitive data on their devices.
Signs that the Smartphone is Hacked
Smartphones can run applications that provide a wide range of functionalities. The bad news is that they become a data treasure for hackers. There are some signs that your smartphone has been hacked, some of which are below –
- The battery drains fast
- Phone becomes hot
- Poor performance
- Spike in data usage
- Spammy pop-ups
- New or unknown apps
- Unusual activity on accounts
Now you know that your phone is hacked and wondering how it could happen. Well, there are several entry-points such as a – weird link in the text, free Wi-Fi at the coffee shop, fake/malicious app, the phone left unattended in public, etc.
Ways to hack-proof the smartphone
You can take measures to secure your phone and improve the chances of hack-proofing your phone. Here are some effective ways to hack-proof your smartphone and protect the data from intruders and hackers.
1. Update the OS
The most crucial step is that you should not miss installing the software as soon as they are available. While updating brings many changes to the interface, it will help protect crucial information on the device.
Updating the operating systems is one of the effective ways to secure your device. Hackers take the advantage of vulnerabilities in out-of-date systems. Updating the OS will help you patch the loopholes and make the phone more secure.
Users should also keep track of the apps they have already downloaded on their devices. It may be safe when installed for the first time, but the subsequent updates could infect the device. Keep track of permissions given while accessing the OS of the smartphone.
2. Install Antivirus program
Some of the apps from third-party sources you download on your Android device might be packed with malicious code. Once launched, the malware could send the data on your phone to hackers, thereby robbing your privacy.
Install a reputable antivirus program to improve the security of your data. Some antivirus programs offer advanced functionalities such as – erasing the data, tracking, and blocking unknown callers delete the cookies, clear browsing data, and so on.
3. Keep an eye on apps
You may be asked to grant various permissions when you install a smartphone app. From reading the contacts/messages to accessing your device’s camera – you will be asked to grant permission. Though they seem legit use, think twice before granting permission. There have been reports of thousands of malicious apps on the Google Play Store that sell your data to third-party companies.
Android lets you install apps from third-party sources – which make it easier for hackers to get onto your phone. If you don’t use any app, uninstall it – as every application comes with its security problems.
Locking individual apps will help you protect the data even if the unlocked phone gets into the hands of a hacker or cybercriminal. Lock the individual apps to add an extra layer of protection so that the hackers won’t be able to access emails and other important documents.
4. Set password/passcode
Passwords are crucial in keeping personal data safe – as they make it harder for criminals to breach. If you are one of those persons with the same passcode on a Laptop, PC, Tablet, or Smartphone – it can be a huge problem. If a hacker on a cloud account would be able to see where the devices are – they can lock the device via anti-theft.
This kind of cyberattack happens when you use the same passwords for multiple accounts. The best way is to use unique six-character passwords on every device using a password manager. Instead of remembering multiple passwords, you can simply remember one password.
5. Beware of public Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi refers to wireless fidelity that comprises a wide range of technologies for wireless data networking. Using your smartphone in open/public Wi-Fi network can allow hackers or anyone in the vicinity to check what you are doing online. At times, cybercriminals use their hotspot to lure victims to access their wi-fi.
The phones can be easily hacked once connected. If you are not sure about the security of the wireless network, you should consider using your phone’s mobile data. It will be a safe and secure option.
If you have to use public wi-fi, opt for VPN tools to route the traffic through an encrypted channel.
6. Enable built-in device protection
Built-in device protection on Android and iOS helps protect your device from attacks by malicious programs. These are built-in security features that you should use to boost your device’s security.
Some of the built-in security features are – Find My Device, Screen Lock, Google Play Protect, Confinement, Google Security Check, etc. Using these features, you can set to delete all the data after a set of incorrect passwords is tried.
Additionally, you will also get proactive security alerts that help protect your sensitive data. Make sure to check the latest device security settings and protect your device in every possible way that you can.
With the majority of people using smartphones on unsecured networks and public places, it is becoming easier for hackers to hack someone’s phone. Android and iOS users need to take precautionary steps to make their phones hack-proof.
When you are proactive about taking all the safety measures, you can be assured that you have taken all the measures to safeguard your personal and sensitive information.
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A full-time blogger & Digital Marketing Expert in India. An early adopter who loves to try out various Digital, Blogging & Social media tools along with exploring some cool iOS and Android apps.