In an increasingly interconnected and online world, living without a smartphone seems almost impossible. Besides the ease of communicating with people, there is a multitude of very useful applications and all the benefits of being able to connect to the Internet.
But along with all the advantages and facilities provided by the Internet available in the palm of your hand, there are also many dangers.
The number of malware (spyware, ransomware, keyloggers, etc.) is growing and mobile devices are already becoming the main target of these attacks.
However, you don’t have to worry, as we will list some of the signs and of course efficient ways to minimize and avoid these dangers.
Strange Device Behaviors
Just as you will experience strange symptoms in your body and seek medical help for a check-up, any change in “behavior” on your device can be a very important sign that it has been compromised by some virus or hacker invasion.
If your smartphone screen turns black and full of numbers or your device’s battery runs out too fast, or you see a call in your history to numbers you’ve never contacted, it’s likely your smartphone has been hacked.
Hackers can hack into your accounts and spam you with viruses, sending malware (by text message, for example) to your contacts and invading other devices through yours, especially with phishing attacks.
They can also steal passwords stored on the device, even stealing confidential credit card information. That’s why it’s very important to be able to understand when and if your smartphone has been hacked and infected.
And, as with a disease in your body, the sooner you notice the signs, the faster and more efficient the treatment will be.
Dubious pop-ups or screensavers
Many viruses appear through pop-ups, those unsolicited random advertisements that appear on your screen and, when clicked on, can redirect to contaminated websites and harm your device.
Changes to your home screen or suspicious websites can also be clear signs of hackers. If you see any configuration changes you haven’t made in person, that’s another big sign that your smartphone has been hacked.
Differences in performance and data packet
Slowness, constant crashes, longer loading times and web sites can also be signs of hacking.
If your mobile data packet ends up too fast without using Internet resources, this may be another hint of hacking, like many viruses, running, consume device memory as well as mobile data resources.
Strange applications or data
If your phone has apps that you haven’t downloaded, text messages, emails and calls that you haven’t made, this is another sign that a hacker may be manipulating your smartphone.
Security tips and what to do
If any of these scenarios seem familiar, it’s time to act. Start by deleting all apps or games you haven’t downloaded, delete risky messages, and run mobile security software, if you have one.
Tell your contacts that your phone is compromised and ignore all suspicious links and messages. This prevents viruses from spreading to other people.
If the problem does not go away, consider restoring your phone to its original settings. Search online for your phone’s instructions and operating system to find out how.
How to improve your smartphone’s security
Use good anti-virus software on your mobile device and be sure to protect your personal information as well as your privacy.
Lockdown your device and do not store personal passwords on it. Using two-factor identification and facial recognition is also a very good way to protect your device. And these measures also help you in case your device is stolen.
It’s also very important to disable the options to store passwords for your social networks and other access. This can make breaking in very easy against your private accounts. Get rid of automatic form fills.
If you can, avoid public Wi-Fi networks which are more susceptible to attacks such as man-in-the-middle and you can also avoid hotspots. These access points are more vulnerable because they generally do not require a password to connect.
Also, disable your mobile network or Bluetooth sharing options if you are not using them. This will prevent other devices from accessing yours.
It is also very important to use a VPN for Windows or MAC (Virtual Private Network). A quality VPN improves the encryption of your data, the stability of your connection and the protection against malware.
And finally, it’s essential to keep up with the main threat and security improvement news, as new threats appear all the time. If you know what to look for, it’s much easier to find.