Most of the world’s populace are technologically savvy, or at least savvy enough to use the smartphone. With the inadequacies of paper-pen storage methods made glaring by the ease of smartphones, almost everyone stores vital information on their gadgets. This pool of information, which includes bank details, passcodes, social security numbers and current location among others are easily stored with the smartphone and can be retrieved just as easily, which is relieving for the owner.
This, however, means the smartphone is also a rich place for a hacker to go hunting.
WHAT IS PHONE HACKING?
This is an unauthorized attempt to bypass the security system of a gadget.
This can involve the use of brute force when a person actually gets a hold of the phone or through virtual force when the attempts to access the phone do not involve the hacker getting a hold of the phone.
To hack into a phone, the hacker would most likely need to use specific software known as spyware for monitoring the phone’s data and snooping around undetected.
WAYS HACKERS HACK PHONES.
HACKING SOFTWARE (SPYWARE)
These can be installed in your phone by the hacker themselves if they get physical access to the phone, or through an unsecured site or a careless click on the internet.
These software could snoop around or monitor every activity you engage in. They could also extract information like your credit card pin and the likes.
SIM CARD SWAPPING
This seemingly herculean task of impersonating a person to their local phone provider claiming they need a replacement sim and subsequently getting all their contact and messages is one that is used by hackers for access to private information.
This is a rare occurrence, but when done right can be detrimental to the victim as they no longer have access to their contacts and messages.
This is another form of impersonation in which a hacker would impersonate a trusted company or individual and ask for sensitive information. This could include impersonating your account manager, a concerned employee at your microfinance bank, an application that needs certain passwords, etc. The fact that phishing has been in existence for very long has not made it any less effective, and it is not that the victims are gullible but that the hackers get creative with their manners of approach.
Another rare occurence which needs high technical skills is the bluetooth hacking. Some hackers use technologies which find vulnerable devices via bluetooth connection.
If these hackers are within a few feet of your location and your bluetooth is turned on, they can access some of your information and download them without being noticed. This usually occurs in a densely packed area so you wouldn’t even have anyone to suspect.
There are numerous other ways hackers do their stuff but the good news is there are numerous ways to stop your phone from getting hacked as well.
It might be scary to think your phone is presently being hacked, but there a few tell-tale signs of this. Of course experiencing just one of these signs does not automatically mean your phone has been hacked– they are just signs you should be on the lookout for.
SIGNS YOUR PHONE MIGHT BE HACKED.
1.. Your battery drains fast.
This is because the code used by spyware has the ability to drain your phone’s battery. Because these applications are working overtime in the background, you might notice that your phone battery doesn’t last as long as it should.
- Your phone lags.
This is because the phone might be giving all its processing powers to the hacker’s application.
- You get messages containing One Time Passwords from your social media or personal applications.
Well, we’ve probably all gotten these one time or the other. These messages tell you someone somewhere is making an attempt to get into your account.
Other signs include;
- High data usage.
- Strange pop-ups or notifications.
- Abnormally hot phone.
- Receiving or finding sent texts you know nothing about.
Of course no one wants their privacy intruded or sensitive information shared with another person without their permission. This makes the thought of a phone being hacked an unpalatable one. To be able to sleep better at night, knowing your information is safe and sound, here are a few tips on how to prevent your phone from getting hacked.
HOW TO PREVENT HACKING.
- ALWAYS KEEP YOUR PHONE WITHIN SIGHT.
When you know where your phone is at all times, the chances of a hacker getting it for long enough to access it manually is very low.
- TRY TO AVOID PUBLIC WIFI. (OR USE A VPN IF IT IS UNAVOIDABLE)
Public wifi, as the name implies, is public. This means your data is actually accessible to the people linked in to the same network. Hackers could use this opportunity to steal valuable information.
If you cannot avoid public wifi for valid reasons like cost, you should use a VPN which helps protect and conceal your information.
- REGULARLY UPDATE YOUR PHONE.
Hackers may take advantage of certain issues your phone might have, but regular updates mean these little bugs/issues are constantly being fixed and your phone is always in optimal mode to fight off attacks.
- USE A PASSWORD MANAGER.
This helps you store all those complex passwords you make for the various sites you use. Most sites have criteria for the passwords they accept, with some demanding uppercase, special key and numbers. This means you are likely to forget them. Using a password manager takes the problem off your hands and helps you avoid using one password for numerous sites.
- ENABLE TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION.
This is an additional verification method like fingerprints, a google account or your lockscreen pattern after you have imputed your password. It is there to fully fortify your accounts in case of hacking.
- CLEAR YOUR BROWSER HISTORY OFTEN.
This is useful as it can be easy to know the kind of person you are and even make an informed hypothesis on what you would likely use as a password from your browsing history. Phishing would be easy when a hacker knows what you search for and are interested in. Clearing your cache and cookies along with your history would leave them wondering, and you safe.
As a recap, we’ve seen that hacking is an unauthorized attempt to bypass the security system of a gadget and can involve the use of brute force or virtual force.
To stay safe from hacking, a few tips have been highlighted. Using those tips can guarantee 80% safety from being hacked.
Have you been hacked before? How did it feel, and how did you find out? Did you do anything to remedy the situation?
Let us know in the comment section.
Author: Sophia Obianamma Ofuokwu