Phone hacking is a real threat. In 2021, hackers have unlimited ways to hack into a phone. Once someone with illicit intentions has access to a smartphone, they can steal all sorts of personal information. For example, your contact, financial and social media account details.
There’s a popular quote from San Tzu, “Know thy enemy,” which means, you need to know your enemy to defeat it. That’s what a phone hacker is to you, an adversary.
If you want to stop a hacker from accessing your smartphone, you need to know what makes your phone vulnerable to hacking.
So, let’s talk about the five ways hackers can hack into a smartphone.
5 Different Ways a Phone Can Be Hacked
There are definitely more ways to bypass a phone’s security but, in today’s article, we are only focusing on five. Here they are:
1. Brute Force Attacks
This is the easiest and most straightforward way to hack into any phone, computer, or online account. A brute force attack means the hacker uses all possible password combinations to get access to your phone.
However, this way is usually possible when they have physical access to your phone. As this method mostly requires a long time to achieve its goal. That might not be possible to do over a public Wi-Fi connection because you’re definitely going to move on and go someplace else.
How to prevent a brute force attack? Make sure that you use long and complex passwords on your phone and other accounts. Because that will make it hard, if not impossible, for a hacker to hack into your cellphone.
2. Malware (Spy Apps)
Spyware, a type of malware, is a phone app that spies on your smartphone once it's installed on it. Malware in general is any piece of code that exists to hack into a phone or disrupt its activities. Spyware programs are usually designed to monitor phone activity and legal to use in the US with certain prerequisites. Having said that, XNSPY is well-known spying or monitoring app in the industry.
It’s a phone monitoring app that worried parents and employers use to track their kids and employees, respectively. But, let’s say if a hacker gets access to this powerful spy app, what will happen?
They can misuse it to monitor your phone calls, logs, text messages, IM chats, and banking and social media accounts. In the end, stealing any information they find to get or do whatever they want.
It must be scary knowing that anyone can get a phone tracking app and misuse it to keep an eye on you or steal your personal information. But, don’t worry, there are ways you can stop it from happening.
In case someone has installed a spy app like XNSPY on your phone, you will not be able to find it. Because it’s supposed to remove its traces from the cellphone right after its installation.
What you can do is that you can factory reset your smartphone when you think a spy app might be running in the background. As it usually slows down your phone’s operations way more than it is supposed to.
Any unknown activities on your social media or transactions on financial accounts are a sure sign of a hacker as well. Make sure to keep an eye out for these signs and factory reset the phone when necessary.
3. Phishing Attacks
Another popular technique that hackers use to get illegal access to your phone is phishing. It’s a method that involves tricking you into opening an unsecured link to hack into your cell phone.
This can give the hacker access to your phone or you can be sent to an unsecured website. Though that’s not their end objective. What you enter into this “fake” website is the problem. It could be made to look like your bank’s official portal or any other online account’s login webpage.
Now, whatever you enter on this website can be recorded or sent to the hacker once submitted. After that, you may be redirected to the actual website you thought you were using, making it seem like the webpage got refreshed due to a server error.
But, in reality, a hacker fooled you into handing over your personal details or ID/Password after hacking into your phone using phishing.
You don’t want that to happen? Then always be careful and never open suspicious links that you receive in your email, IM chats, or text messages. Because it may be a hacker phishing you by assuming a person’s or institution’s identity to gain your trust.
If you think that it’s something important, then reach out to the original sender of the email or message. That way you will be sure it’s not a phishing attack to hack into your cellphone or worse.
4. Unsecured Public Wi-Fi Interception
Free Wi-Fi connections are a great source for hackers to access your phone(s) remotely. As all the unencrypted data traffic can be seen, a hacker can check and store any data you are sending or receiving while communicating to any online service through a public Wi-Fi connection.
So, if you enter any personal information or banking details on even a secure website over a public Wi-Fi hotspot, you might just be handing it over to a hacker.
That’s why never give access to your smartphone to someone while trying to get free internet. Always avoid using public Wi-Fi hotspots. In case you travel a lot or like to work out of cafes, then it’s best to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A VPN encrypts all data sent or received over any network. So, it will make it almost impossible to decipher your information for a hacker; even on public networks.
Make sure you buy a reputed VPN otherwise a bad VPN might just be another malware. Waiting for unsuspecting people to hand over their phone’s access along with all their personal details.
5. Spam Messages
With the introduction of the Two Factor Authorization (2FA) method, hackers found themselves in a dilemma. Now, they didn’t only need the password but another authorization code to hack into your online accounts.
This caveat leads to another form of phishing attack known as spam messages.
Hackers can impersonate, for example, Google and ask you to send the authorization code you received in your messages to stop unauthorized access to your Google account.
Actually what’s happening is that hackers try to fool you into sending the second authorization code required to bypass Google’s security.
When they are successful a person can lose access to their Google account and/or give access to any Android phone linked to that account.
Again, to save yourself from a similar phone hacking attack, you must never send any codes to anyone. Authorization codes are usually sent when you have successfully entered your password to log in to any relative online account.
Always Beware of Phone Security Threats
With new technologies surfacing every year, more hacking methods are coming to light as well. Therefore, always be on the lookout for suspicious activities on your cellphone.
Because smartphones are still easily susceptible to most malware and hacking attempts.
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