In Cyber Safety

Phone Hacking: How to Protect Yourself

Phone Hacking

Our phones are becoming one of our most valuable gadgets. They are the closest to us right when we wake up and they’re the last thing we check right before we go to sleep. Our phones thus store important and private information. Our phones allow us to connect to different social media, record our browsing sessions, hold our phone calls, and store our pictures. Your phone is basically an open door to many personal and private aspects of your life, so imagine it falling in the wrong hands? Phone hacking is a serious concern to your privacy and security. What should you do about it?

|SEE ALSO: Reasons You, Yourself, Got Your Facebook Hacked|

Never Leave the Phone Unattended

There is no magical way a hacker can use to reach your phone without at least a little assistance on your part. Leaving your phone unattended in the company of others allows whoever the chance and the time to either violate your privacy or go even further and download a software that spies on your phone. Spying software is capable of transferring every activity you do on your phone to the hacker without you noticing. And with no serious reason to doubt it, you can go on for months without knowing your privacy is extremely compromised.

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Change the Default Password

Most people won’t change the default password because they rely on the fact that no one would bother to check their phone or hack it. We do it out of carelessness because we can’t comprehend the motives that would push others to make an advance on our privacy. Default passwords are predictable and easy to guess, like 1234 or 2580. These are easily broken passwords and if the hackers have the access to your phone it will just take them a few minutes to unlock it. Similarly, don’t change a default password into an equally easy password, like date of your birth or letters of your name. Phones offer an option to use a pattern to lock your phone instead of passwords. Simple patterns can be tracked across the room. Anyone can monitor the movement of your finger and copy it later. If you suspect a stranger or a far friend has noticed your pattern, change it to another to guarantee security.

Avoid Unknown Bluetooth Networks

We all use Bluetooth to share photos and videos with friends. Sometimes, we get a request to connect via Bluetooth from an unknown source. Now you’d understandably be curious to see what a stranger (a probably close one) is trying to send to you, but don’t let your curiosity fool you. Strangers could be sending a virus or a harmful software that allows them access to your phone. People who are not familiar with the technology could just press OK and see where it goes. Almost always, it doesn’t go well.

Use Apps That Are Password Protected to Store Pins And Credit Card Information

Because phones are the closest items to our personal use, we tend to keep sensitive information there so we can access them whenever we want. This information includes credit card information, Pin numbers, ATM card numbers, beside of course the passwords of your social media accounts, etc. If this information were to be stolen, it might result in stealing your identity or your money.

To guarantee safety, store this information in a hidden folder that requires a password to open. Many applications allow you to hide sensitive information or lock it so regular users of the phone can’t reach it without knowing the password. Don’t use the same phone lock password to lock your hidden folders. Using different passwords makes it much harder for a hacker to obtain this information and abuse it.

Avoid Accessing Important Websites on Public Wi Fi

Public Wi Fi is always happy news: free Internet and unlimited access to your favorite websites. But public Wi Fi can be the perfect opportunity for hackers to jump on your sensitive information. People who share the same Wi Fi with you can steal your cookies and trick websites into signing them on your accounts. If you connect to a pubic Wi Fi network be careful of the kind of information you’re sharing and the websites you’re accessing. For safety, try to stick to the Wi Fi networks you know and trust.

Familiar with what browser hijacking means? 

Auto-Complete Feature Should Be Turned Off

Auto-complete is a function most people use to facilitate texting and make replying easier and faster. Auto-complete can give away a lot about a phone user; it completes emails, websites and user names.  This information, when falling in the wrong hands, can contribute to abuse or blackmail. Saved passwords serve the same purpose for the hacker as well. If you’ll leave your phone for someone to use, make sure to turn off auto-complete and log out of your private accounts first.

Clear the Phone Memory and the Browser History

If you’re intending to sell your cell phone to a friend or a stranger, you might want to clear the memory or reformate the phone altogether to ensure your private data won’t still be accessible to the new user. Clearing your browser history periodically is also a good safety procedure.

Phone hacking has been done by governments and news agencies to obtain sensitive information. Recording phone calls without the consent of the phone owners is illegal unless legally justified. Celebrities and political figures are more susceptible to phone hacking because of the valuable information their phones would hold. But nonetheless, every single phone is at danger. Spying software is easy to install and take less than 3 minutes to reside on your phone recording your every activity and every keystroke. The secret to protecting your privacy is to be cautious and suspicious of new untrusted communication.  It can be difficult to detect, or guess, the reason behind phone hacking, but the consequences are always awful: stealing your information or using them against you or blackmailing you. Be wary and keep your smart phone to your side!

More on phone hacking techniques?

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