Do you know that it’s not only personal computers that can be hacked? Phones and tablets can also be hacked via numerous ways. However with the little knowledge gain from working as a freelance programmer, this article show various ways it can be hacked,how to detect them and how to protect against hacking.
Common ways of hacking your phone
Phishing can occur via text messages, email, or social media. It contains a link or a file that has only one goal; to get malware on your phone. You can find most of these messages in your spam folder, you can get hacked from even a Facebook message with a link from a friend.
2. Open Wi-Fi/hotspots
A hacker may turnon an open, unencrypted Wi-Fi hotspot in a popular location. This way, they can access data transferred through the router. They can also navigate you to phishing websites or just look-alike sites to steal your log-in data.
3. Corrupted USB Cables.
Beware of USB chargers. A USB charging cable is also suitable for transferring data. Hackers can use them to steal your information – or install malware on your phone.
4. Spy Applications
Some apps are programmed to infiltrate your device and collect information on your phone. for this work, someone has to access your phone to install them physically. Once in, they’re hard to detect. A lot of them can be found on Google and Apple stores as legitimate apps.
Bluesnarfing is the use of Bluetooth connection to steal information from a wireless device, for example, smartphones and laptops. The program allows them to find open and discoverable Bluetooth devices and infiltrate without any trace. Once the device is infiltrated, the hacker can access everything on the device: contact, emails, passwords, photos, and any other information.
How to detect if your phone is hacked.
1. The device is slowing down/heating up/draining battery for no reason.
If you haven’t carried out any OS(operating system) update recently and you’re not running any big application, This may be a sign of malware running in the background. Hackers may be using your phone to mine cryptocurrency, which is resource-intensive.
That’s why you should check what apps are running, how much memory they’re using, and how much free space exists on your device. If you can’t find the reason, hackers may have infected your phone.
2. Your contacts receive messages you never sent
Malware on your phone may use your email, or messaging services, to spread itself to your contacts. It usually sends messages in your name and attaches a link or a file that would infect other devices. If someone complains to you about something suspicious you sent, check to confirm.
3. Your data usage increases without any activity.
An unexpected increase in data use could mean that your phone was hacked to send data; for instance, mine cryptocurrency or steal your photos. It may also mean that a hacker is spying on you or something similar. Check your app data usage and see which app is involved.
4. If you notice an app you didn’t install or antivirus uninstalled.
The former means that somebody might have installed spyware on your phone. The latter may be the effect of a virus protecting itself as malware sometimes uninstalls a phones antivirus software.
5. Your phone settings change mysteriously
If your phone was physically accessed, the user might have changed the settings manually. If you notice that your Hotspot or Bluetooth is on despite you not using it, this may be a sign of malware using it to infect other devices or to transmit data.
6. Unknown transactions on your credit card
A hacked phone is one of the ways that a thief can use to get around fraud protection. Also, it’s advisable to always check your phone for bank notification on any suspicious transaction.
How to un-hack your phone
1. Run an antivirus and malware scan on the device.
This is the easiest way to find and remove malware on your device. You should run scans with more than one app, as they don’t always have the same threat library.
2. Check renowned websites for types of new threats.
Technology and dedicated cybersecurity websites often write about new threats. and constantly describe ways to remove malware and secure your phone.
3. Remove any apps you don’t recognize
Uninstall apps you installed without using the official app store. If an app looks suspicious, check online to see if it’s a threat.
4. Show it to a professional
You also need expert knowledge to detect malware on your phone. Take your phone to a reputable phone repair shop. They can carry out a more in-depth maintenance check as well.
6. Change all your passwords
If your smartphone is hacked, so might your accounts also been compromised. Change the passwords for your email, social media, and other accounts using a secure device.
5. Wipe your device
This is usually the last resort. Wipe the storage in your device by restoring the factory settings and reinstall only those apps that you need.
How To Protect Your Phone From Hackers And Malware
1. Avoid Public Wi-Fi/Leaving Bluetooth Open
A public Wi-Fi may be a honeypot(cyber systems set up to collect information) for hackers that want to steal your data. Secure your connection with a VPN. A VPN encrypts your data traffic, so any digital packages a hacker snatches will be useless, also turn off your smartphone Wi-Fi auto-connect feature and secure your connection with a VPN. You should also turn off Bluetooth and personal hotspot functions as soon as you stop using them.
2. Only install apps via the official app store.
The software on an official app store is much less likely to contain malware. They may still possess some privacy risks, but nothing criminal.
3. Don’t click on suspicious links in email or social media, or download files.
If you have to ask if it’s suspicious, it is suspicious. Remember that malware can spread itself by sending messages to contacts – so even links and files from people you know may be infected. Don’t open the file or the link – and inform the person of what happened.
4. Install antivirus software and keep it updated
Commercial antivirus software will keep you protected from common threats. Continuous updates often include fixes to some recently-uncovered security issues.
5. Charge your phone on a secured charger
USB chargers can be used to compromise your phone, if you must use another, then make sure to choose the “Only Charging” option on the phone.
6. Use a VPN
A VPN encrypts your internet traffic, which means that hackers cannot steal your data using an open Wifi. It also keeps you safe while you’re browsing online. but also avoid suspicious links/downloads.
7. Use a PIN or other protection
This will serve as a barrier to hackers and criminals who get physical access to your phone. Avoid storing your credit card information and bank credentials on your phone.
N/B: Prevention is better than cure, keep your smartphone safe whenever possible.