There was a time when the most someone could steal from a mobile phone was its voice messages as phone handsets did not have any smart features. Banking and other apps were non-existent. Nothing was really saved on our phones back then but then came Android smart phones and iPhones revolutionary touch screen phones which changed everything. We started using apps from banking to dating and started saving our most important data on our phones using different apps and even saving all our password. Having a hacker attack who would gain access to our phone literally meant they had access to all aspects of our lives from voice calls to SMS messages , our bank account, credit/debit cards, our email accounts and everything else that we use from our cell phone. That is when it became extremely important to protect our phone from unauthorised access. I will list out what I believe is the bare minimum you should do to protect your phone from hackers.
What can you do to protect your phone from hackers:
- Do not let others have physical access to your phone, keep it locked with a passcode or finger print lock.
- Do not use open public wifi networks that you are not 100% sure about, it is better to spend your own data while away from home instead of risking a hacking attempt.
- Keep your bluetooth off when not in use especially while traveling or at locations where lot of people come and go whom you do not know well.
- If you save your credit card , debit card and PIN numbers on your phone then please use a secure app to do that and not just save it in notes.
- Do not click on unknown links that come in spam email messages.
- Do not install third party apps that are not available on official Google play store or iOS application.
- Do not jail break if you use an iPhone. iPhones are very secure if you do not fiddle with their iOS that is officially rolled out.
- Keep your Android and iOS operating system and different apps regularly updated as soon as you see there is an update available, even better set it to update automatically.
- Stay safe from phishing attempts by firstly not clicking on any unknown links that come in mails and if you do have to click them for some reason that is unavoidable then please do not enter any personal details on such pages like user name or password. Some times hackers create pages that look similar to official Facebook or other website to get your user name and password. As soon as you enter your user name and password on one of such fake pages created by a hacker you lose your account so please be careful.
- Install an antivirus and malware detection software but make sure it is from a reputed security company.
- Use 2FA (to factor authentication) for different accounts on your phone and otherwise to keep them safe from hackers.
- Use strong passwords and not commonly used words or numbers that are easily predictable.
- Carry your own phone charger so you can avoid using unknown cables at public places which although slim but do carry a risk of your phone getting hacked while you think it is getting charged at the charging station.
I will update this article in future when there are new developments but while then please follow these pointers to keep your phone safe from hackers. If for some reason you believe your phone is already hacked then you need to switch your phone off and take out the battery if it comes with a detachable battery or else just turn it off and take it to an expert who can do a thorough scan for signs of hacking on your phone.
I hope this keeps your phone safe, do come back in future for more updates on this topic.