Smart Phones and Hacks

  • Published: Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022

Got a flip phone? Move on. This blog will be of no use to you. But if you are enjoying the benefits of holding the power of computing within your easily accessible smart phone, you need to read this.

There are inherent dangers that accompany mobile devices. Theft or loss of the device is common due to its high portability. Online activity should be closely monitored and guarded. Apps that have ties to bank accounts, social media and other personal information should be protected. Remote control of smart home devices can be performed with the touch of a button.

All of this leading to an understanding that, with so much control in the palm of our hand, we should be really serious about how to protect it all. Are you safe?

Be aware that hacking your phone can take various routes. The crook can try phishing and SMS techniques. Clicking on links in these messages might download and install malicious software, such as a keylogger.

There are special devices that can fool your phone into thinking it is a cell tower, making the connection and then giving the hacker access to your phone's location, messages and data packets.

Then there are the spyware apps. Sometimes these apps are third-party apps, not usually vetted in the Play or Apple stores. The unsuspecting victim may actually install these apps without suspicion.

How do you know if your phone has been hacked?

Always keep an eye on your phone's behavior. If you experience poor performance or a huge drain on battery power, it could be an indication you've been compromised. If you are sending or receiving calls or texts not initiated by you, or if communication ceases altogether could also indicate an issue. Check for phone bill increases.

If you think your phone has been hacked you need to delete all apps that you don't recognize or use. Run anti-virus software. Reset all your passswords.

What if you suspect you have a virus on your phone? Indications of a virus infection could be similar to the hack suspicions.

Follow these steps for Android and iPhones.

Remember, nothing can protect you better than ensuring that you are deploying best security practices.

  • Use reputable apps. Download from vetted sources. Check reputations and reviews.
  • Keep the OS up-to-date. Many updates include security patches.
  • Don't jailbreak your phone; it disables the ability to get important updates.
  • Use a passcode to lock your phone. Enable autolock.
  • Enable device tracking. If your phone is lost or stolen, you can find it and, if necessary, automatically wipe it.
  • Use a VPN when using public wifi. This will ensure that your data is encrypted and private.
  • Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.

Not a hater of the flip phone. It plays an important role for many of our technology challenged folks. Smart phones are mini computers. They make our lives easier with management in one convenient, mobile container. But it can also be complicated and hazardous if not properly managed.