Block hackers from your phone
If you aren’t aware of this, hackers are on the rise and it’s a booming industry now. Do you realize that with a common software glitch, your phone can be hacked and anyone can overhear your conversations? Did you also know that a hacker can overhear your conversations even when you are not on your cell phone? Yes, surprisingly, hackers can activate your phone’s speakerphone and broadcast it to a corporate spy several hundred meters away.
Your smartphone is no different from other general-purpose computers. That is, people with malicious intent can take advantage of you to steal your information or gain access to it at your expense. Whether it’s espionage, theft of your money, or general victimization, an unsecured smartphone can be a recipe for misery.
Use a strong screen lock
You can configure a safety lock on all smartphones. If someone picks up the phone, they cannot easily access your apps or search for your information. Such a lock is an essential way to keep an Android phone safe from hackers. Even more important, however, is choosing a lock type that provides the right level of security.
The traditional PIN code is very secure. We recommend using at least a 6-digit code, but a 4-digit code is strong enough. There are a million possible combinations with six numbers combination for a password while with four, there are ten thousand. Since most phones have limited guesswork before the device locks or wipes itself, this is more than enough.
It can be tempting to use biometric locks like fingerprints or facial recognition. But think about it, as face recognition can still be tricked in many cases. Not to mention someone can unlock your phone by pointing it at your face or forcing you to put your finger on the scanner. Pattern locks can also be a problem, especially if you leave the pattern smeared on your screen.
Do not download apps from a site, and don’t use questionable apps from the app store
Quality control measures are in place on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store to ensure that malicious apps do not reach your phone. It can still happen, but overall, you don’t have to worry about apps on these official storefronts.
The real problems come from manually installing (sideloading) apps on your device that come from sources you cannot trust. Pirated copies are a notorious example. These applications often contain malicious code. If you use them, you can also hand your phone to a hacker with its passcode.
Sideloading isn’t inherently bad. There are many trustworthy apps out there that you can install this way. However, you need to be 100% sure where they are from. You cannot download apps or use other app stores on Apple devices without jailbreaking the device.
It is important for your phone and apps to stay updated
If your phone tells you it’s an important update, install it! Small security updates for iOS and Android phones are common these days. Typically, these are patches that are used to fix newly discovered exploits. So, expect many hackers to take their risk and hope to find unpatched phones in the wild.
While this isn’t that important, it’s also a good idea to keep your apps updated. Especially if security problems are listed in the update description. Badly written apps can sometimes open a door to your phone, depending on the type of exploit. It’s rare enough but not so excessive that you’d have to postpone app updates indefinitely.
Use a biometric kill switch
If you choose to have biometric locks on your smart device, here’s a quick way to turn them off. You can find out how to do this on iOS in our article on Face ID and Touch ID. On modern iOS devices, press and hold the power button and any of the volume buttons to turn off biometrics. If you’ve got anything from iPhone 5s to iPhone12, you can turn off biometrics by pressing the power button five times.
Before you really need to use it, familiarize yourself with the kill switch on your iOS device. If you’ve turned on “Hey Siri,” you can also turn off biometrics by simply saying, “Hey Siri, whose phone is this?”. These methods only last until when next you lock your device again.
On Android Pie and later, open the phone settings and look for “lock screen settings” or “secure lock screen settings”. The exact wording of the menu may vary depending on the brand of your phone. There should be a setting known as the “Show Lock Options”.
When you enable this option, press the power button on the lock screen to reveal the lock mode button. If you select this option, your biometrics will stop working immediately. A password is required to open the phone.
Use a VPN
If you must use a public Wi-Fi network, it is imperative to use a virtual private network (VPN) application to encrypt all of the data that is transmitted over your network connection. We recommend that you only use a credible paid service. It’ll cost a few dollars a month, but it’s worth it.
Avoid public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi networks are the perfect hunting ground for hackers looking to earn a simple salary. Why? Whenever you are connected to a Wi-Fi network with other users you don’t know, your devices can see each other’s network traffic.
This means that any unencrypted data sent by your phone can be read by other users with the Wi-Fi password. This also means that your phone can be attacked directly via its local network address. If the public Wi-Fi provider has configured their network security incorrectly, your device can become vulnerable.
This is the best way to block hackers from your phone is to avoid these networks entirely.
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