With more people using a smartphone to do almost everything they used to do on their computers or laptops, hackers are now also targeting these palm-held gadgets to steal money, valuable personal information and commit other types of crime.
These attempts often succeed because people do not even know their phones have been compromised.
Albert Khoury, writing for komando.com, offers ways you may be able to know “if hackers are in your phone”.
Khoury says, “Hackers are always coming up with new ways to get into any device . . . “
Even the iPhone, he says, which has a reputation for being secure, is not really immune to attack. In fact, iPhone is a “prime target for malware, spyware, ransomware, viruses and more,” Khoury adds.
And the problem is, whether you are using Apple’s iOS (iPhone operating system) or the other brands’ Android operating systems, you may not even know if your phone has been sacked. Finding the clues that a phone has been compromised is not easy.
“Hackers can target your devices in many ways, and you may not get an alert or even know that something malicious is going on in the background,” Khoury warns.
The technology expert says a person does not even need to be a hacker to get into your phone. He cites the following examples:
A person can hold your phone to your face when you are sleeping and unlock it (if your face is the way to access your device). This lets them snoop through your device without your knowledge.
Stalkerware is designed to track you using GPS (global positioning system), call logs, messages, images, browser history and more. This can be hidden behind another application (app) that seems harmless.
Harmful downloads and malicious links can infect your phone without your knowledge. Something as innocuous as a PDF (portable document format) file can carry some poisonous data. Be careful where you tap.
Bad apps, like bad apples, exist everywhere. They can imitate well-known apps or try their luck to trick you into downloading and running them. Once you do so, your phone is infected with malware.
Hackers can target your SIM (subscriber identification module) card, the tiny chip in your phone associated with your mobile account. This is known as SIM swapping, and the scam entails convincing your mobile carrier that the scammer is you. They can say the phone or SIM card was lost or destroyed. They answer a few security questions and get your phone number reassigned to their SIM. Then they can access your accounts.
Hackers can intercept your MAC (media access control) address through your Bluetooth and remotely infect your phone.
Khoury says “there are more ways for strangers to access your phone, and these are just some to watch out for”.
Next week, Khoury suggests ways to know if your phone has been hacked.