Smartphones have centralized all of our private accounts and data in one handy place – making them the ideal target for a hacker. Everything is connected to a phone, ranging from personal interaction in social media to confidential financial transactions. It implies that once a thief has access to a phone, all of its applications become vulnerable to cyber theft. Fraudsters are constantly evolving and improving their hacking techniques, making them more difficult to detect. Therefore, the typical users are often at risk of falling prey to the variety of hacking traps. Let’s discuss how people can safeguard their phones from hacking attempts and cyber attacks.
What is Mobile Phone Hacking?
Phone hacking is any method through which someone gains unauthorized access to a phone or its communications. This may vary from sophisticated security breaches to eavesdropping on unprotected internet connections.
Additionally, it may entail physically stealing a phone and forcefully hacking it through techniques such as brute force. Phone hacking may occur on a variety of different types of phones, including Android and iOS models. Given that anybody may be a victim of phone hacking.
The Risks of Smartphone Hacking
There are a thousand phone hacking techniques available, ranging from breaking into a live conversation or someone's voicemail to getting into data saved on a person's smartphone. The dread of hacking attacks from unknown persons may put anybody on edge. However, a person’s smartphone device can get hacked while attaining a live call or listening to a voicemail received from his/her familiar contacts.
In today's mobile environment, phone hacking is becoming an increasingly serious security concern. With the advancement of technology, many services, such, paying bills, financial transactions, banking, etc., are available via Smartphones. To avail these services, people tend to save sensitive data on their mobile devices. These processes create scope for the immoral people to find loopholes in the security system and thus exploit privacy flaws. These heinous acts are quite appealing to the revengeful persons such as unscrupulous friends, ex-partners, jealous colleagues, odd strangers, etc.
There is an entire industry of phone hacking software that is primarily designed for legitimate purposes but can be readily exploited by anybody. Opportunistic hackers may cause chaos by deleting data or installing malicious software that collects bank account logins and private business emails.
What Can Happen When Your Phone is Hacked?
There are some distinct symptoms that indicate something wrong is going on under the hood of your mobile phone:
Phone Getting Slow
If malware is operating in the background, it will slug down every other task you do on your phone. This covers both the use of applications and basic internet searches.
Pop-ups are mostly the simplest way to hack your phone. Typical examples can be notifications that tell the user about winning a reward. Even the popu ups can bait the users about the spam/virus attack to the phone.
In such cases, instead of pressing any of them, users should shut the browser down or restart their phone. Because, clicking anywhere on such pop-ups may give hackers access to the phone.
Unexplained Increase in Data Usage
Malicious programs will use a phone's internal data since they often need applications to run continuously. Additionally, a user may notice that the phone’s data consumption rises significantly while the device is transferring data to another device or cloud system.
This one may take some time to notice, given that the majority of individuals have a large number of applications loaded on their phones. In addition, some of the applications are preloaded by default. So, it is simple to understand how a new app could go unnoticed.
Users should manage some time for reviewing what is installed on their device on a frequent basis. It is clever to delete the unwanted as well as unrecognizable programs, software and apps from the Smartphone.
Another effective way to prevent mobile hacking is to organize the essential files into folders. This will make it simpler to spot anything new that may occur as a danger.
Draining Battery Life
While all older phones have a shorter battery life, it is not uncommon for a phone's battery to degrade suddenly. If users feel that they are not using their phones more than usual and still their gadgets are getting physically hot (even when not in use), it indicates that suspicious malwares might be operating in the background.
How to hack-proof your Smartphone?
When it comes to protecting the phones from being hacked, users need to be proactive. There are many steps they may take to safeguard against phone hacking, most of which are simple. Additionally, there are sophisticated ways to ensure the highest level of security for phones without minimizing their functionalities. For instance:
Simple Security Tips
For casual phone users, sticking to the fundamentals is an excellent place to begin in terms of preventing simple hacking attempts:
Not leaving the phone
Not leaving the phone unattended at all times would be the first and most important guideline to follow. Users should keep their phones with them at all times, especially when in a public area.
Changing the default passcode on the phone
Every phone most likely comes with a basic and predictable default password. These passwords are easily exploitable by close people. That is why users should change their code to something more complicated and avoid the frequently used patterns like "1234, "1379," "0000," and "2580".
Users should also be careful of their Bluetooth security. Avoiding unsecured Bluetooth networks and keeping Bluetooth service turned off when not in use will save them from extra risk.
They should also safeguard PINs and credit card information.
More Advanced Techniques
Apart from these simple guidelines, there are further safeguards one may take to prevent hacking. However, it should also be remembered that going too far can defeat the point of owning a smartphone in the first place.
Avoiding unsecured public WiFi
Hackers often target vital places such as bank accounts through public WiFi, which is frequently insecure owing to weak or non-existent security standards.
Disabling the autocomplete function can prevent unauthorized access to stored essential personal data. In addition, Deleting the browser history, caches and cookies on a regular basis, getting rid of all types of virtual footprints is critical for limiting the quantity of data that may be collected by unscrupulous eyes.
Using protective features
iPhone users should turn on the "Find My iPhone” feature. By activating the function in their settings, they'll be able to track down their phone in the event that they lose it before hackers can get their hands on it.
Utilizing a security app that provides additional protection will also be super effective. For Android users, some companies offer different all-in-one Mobile Security software, which protects against viruses.
So far we have discussed the common ways how phones might get hacked and some effective methods to prevent hacking. Users should take proactive steps to save their phones from being hacked. It is behooved upon every Smartphone user to implement appropriate safety measures to protect their private and sensitive data from cyberattacks. This significantly reduces the likelihood of criminals stealing their identity, infiltrating their personal life, siphoning off their money, and basically ruining their lives.