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When it comes to protecting yourself against hackers, step one is always to install software updates as soon as they become available: that’s as true on smartphones as it is on computers. Yes, updating can be a tiresome and intrusive process, and it sometimes brings annoying changes to the interface that you’re used to. All the same, a huge proportion of successful hacks exploit vulnerabilities that have already been patched; exposing yourself unnecessarily is just daft. I’d also strongly
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..
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.
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
Plan, 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.
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 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, hometown, 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.
Personal information can easily be gleaned from sites such as Facebook.
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 cafe, but it’s not a danger that can be ignored. 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 such as CyberGhost or TunnelBear
A strong passcode helps keep thieves out of your phone, but what if a stranger snatches your phone while you’re using it? Or asks to borrow it to check a website, then bolts off down the street? On Android, as a second line of defense, you can lock individual apps, so even if someone can get past your lock screen, they can’t open your email or banking app without a second password. This capability isn’t built into the OS, but there are plenty of free apps that provide it, such as AVG AntiVirus Free.
If you’re on the fence about investing in a smartwatch, here’s a little-known feature that could swing it: Apple Watch and Android Wear devices can warn you immediately if they lose Bluetooth contact with your phone. If you get this notification while you’re in a public place, there’s a good chance someone’s just picked your pocket and is currently making off with your phone. The device will normally be less than 50 meters away when the connection drops, so the warning gives you a chance to ring the phone right away
No matter how cautious you are, you can’t 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.
At this stage, we assume that you’ve enabled your mobile’s lock screen feature with a multi-digit passcode, face/fingerprint recognition, or a complicated pattern. This is particularly helpful if you lose your phone or if a thief has gotten their hands on your device. But if you think that your screen lock will make it impossible for thieves to misuse your phone, you’re not aware of the tricks hackers can use to bypass the phone’s initial security mechanism. There are ways to bypass even fingerprint lock and facial recognition security mechanisms!
Antivirus software and anti-malware software are not limited to computers only. You should use them on your mobile phones as well to protect your phone from hackers. When you surf online, different types of malware (like viruses, trojan horses, worms, etc.) can be installed on your device via malware-loaded websites. Your device also might get infected through malicious email attachments or apps. Security software not only detects and removes malware but also can warn you when you visit a bad site or download a malicious app. Some malware gets downloaded on your mobile without your notice
Not everything is as it appears. Be vigilant when installing apps or downloading images, videos, files, songs, email attachments, etc. from the internet.
SIM swapping occurs when a bad guy calls your mobile service provider and asks for a replacement SIM card. This unauthorized SIM swapping is possible when a hacker has access to some of your confidential information (such as the last four digits of your social security number, or any identity proof document) and uses it as part of their social engineering scam.
If they’re successful in convincing your mobile provider to port your number, the attacker can intercept all your phone calls, SMS text messages, and potentially gain access to all accounts and services that are linked to your number
itional Tips on How to Protect Your Phone from Hackers
Go to Settings > Siri and Search > Disable the Allow Siri When Locked feature**.** In the past, some bugs in the iPhone allowed anyone to bypass the screen lock and access a couple of functions using Siri.
This includes apps such as Google Drive, Google Docs, iCloud, etc. Check out these resources for more information on how to protect your iCloud account and how to protect your Google Drive and docs.
Some mobile devices have this feature, which automatically unlocks your phone when you are at a “safe” location (home, work, etc.) or when your smartwatch is nearby. But it’s very risky because the attackers can bypass the lock screen authentication if they are in near proximity.
Use Apps like Folder Lock (available for both Android and iPhones) for this purpose.
Hackers can compromise charging ports (this is known as juice jacking) to intercept the data and break into your device.
Jailbreaking (or rooting) means making unauthorized changes in the default device settings using some software. People jailbreak their phone to unlock it (change service providers), use banned or pirated apps, customize the looks, or enable tethering (hotspot) service without paying an extra fee. But when you jailbreak your phone, you not only void the device’s warranty but also weaken the phone’s security posture. Hackers can easily insert malware and steal confidential data from a jailbroken phones
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