Many people are not aware that the security of their phones have been comprised long time ago. The information they so much valued and promoted are already in the wrong hands. More still is the fact that someone somewhere can access anything from their phones at will. And the question is – How do I know that the phone in my hand has been hacked. Below are the signs to look out for.
- Your phone is taking longer time to turn off.
- Your phone battery life becomes shorter when you have not increased activities on your phone. This might be as a result of background apps working on your phone unnoticed.
- When there is increase in data usage without any additional activity by you. There are several spy apps which when secretly installed on your phone can track your text messages, ,emails, phone location, pictures and chat messages. They can transfer same to the installer’s phone. This process can use up your data.
- Your Phone starts behaving funny.. You are getting frequent unsolicited pop ups or browser setting changes.
- Friends may receive strange text from your phone not sent by you.
What to Do.
The sure way to handle a hacked phone is to backup your contacts and important information and then carry out a factory reset on your phone.
The best advise is to ensure that your phone is not hacked in the first place. There are useful tips on how to protect phones from hackers. (There are also tips on how to protect your emails)
These include –
- Your installed Apps should be from a verified source
- Do not open porn sites on your phone
- The mobile phone must be passworded
- Disable your Bluetooth when not in use
Ensure that you always carry out your phone software/Apps updates whenever necessary. Hackers get an easy access window to many applications that are not updated.
Tips on how to protect phone from hackers
Protect Phone: A lot of mobile phone users are not aware that their phones are susceptible to online attack by hackers . Owners of Android phones are the worst hit in this regard. Research shows that about 95% of Android phones are vulnerable to attack by hackers (www.welivesecurity.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Annual-Threat-Trends-Predictions-2014.pdf) . Again , many phone users store sensitive information on their phones (Including credit card details), auto logon to their emails and social media with stored passwords , thereby making hacking on their phone a worthwhile adventure.
It is also interesting to note that one does not need to physically take possession of a phone for a hacking operation to take place. Hackers steal your sensitive information and use it to handle bank transactions, social media messages on your behalf without your knowledge
In order to ensure that your mobile devices such as phones are always secured, the following tips are given.
1.. No Banking Transaction On Mobile Phone Using Public Wi- fi.
Do not carry out any banking transaction on your mobile phone (such as checking account balance, cash transfer, etc) while connected to internet through a public Wi-Fi especially when the connection is not secured. You may use Bank USSD codes for transactions . It does not require the use of internet.
2. Only Installed Apps From A Verified Source.
Do not download any App to your phone if you are in doubt of its authenticity. Some hackers install secret codes on phones through fake Apps and thereby steal confidential information from phones.
3.Avoid Porn Sites
Porn sites have the highest risk of infecting devices with secret codes from hackers. Do not use your phone that contains your credit card details and confidential information to download or visit porn sites.
4..Password Protect Phone
Always password protect your phone to avoid physical unauthorized access to your phone. Many people store pictures and text messages that are meant for their eyes only. And in order to maintain your privacy, It is advisable to password protect your mobile device. And in doing so, avoid the predictable passwords like your date of birth, consecutive number sequence like 12345, 00000, abcde.
5..Give Extra Protection To Phone.
Celebrities and politically exposed persons who may be targets of opponents attack, should carry out extra protection on their mobile devices. They should install apps that can wipe off their phone details and restore mobile phone to factory default in the case of theft of the phone. Examples of such apps can be found with Webroot (http://www.webroot.com/us/en/)
6.Keep Bluetooth Always Disabled.
Always disable your Bluetooth as much as possible especially when not in use.
7.. Update Phone Software/Apps
Always carry out the necessary software and apps updates on your phone. But do not be in a hurry to click every link that prompts you for an update. Kindly cross check the source of the link requesting you to update apps or programs.
8.. Install An App Notifier
The Appnotifier notifies you of every program installed on your Android devices through an email. This will help you track unauthorized installation. Appnotifier is a free app in Google play store.