Mobile phones have long become an integral part of our personal space. However, with the growing number of cyber crimes and the popularity of third-party applications, the confidentiality of data stored on mobile devices is increasingly being exposed to various kinds of threats. Companies and cyber fraudsters invent different ways to access personal information for later use for their own purposes.
On the other hand, most users do not want personal data to fall into the wrong hands, especially without permission, and in this article we will consider ways of protection from spying on your phone by hackers, third-party applications, close relatives, etc.
1. Never leave your phone unattended
First and foremost: constantly monitor and never leave your phone on a table in a cafe, on a park bench or other public places, as some attackers specialize in thefts of this kind.
2. Do not give anyone a phone
Even mom. In this case, there are risks associated with installing spyware applications or visiting malicious sites.
3. Avoid connecting to public wireless networks without a VPN
While in public places, try not to connect to public Wi-Fi networks, since a hacker can easily penetrate this network or create a fake access point and, after connecting, gain access to your data. If you still need to connect, use a reliable VPN.
4. Update applications regularly
Try to use the latest versions of applications and install the latest updates. Sometimes patches fix security issues that could be exploited by an attacker.
5. Disconnect the microphone in the phone
During espionage, it may be possible to use a microphone, which is desirable to mute. Regardless of which device you have (iPhone or Android), you can track which application has access to the microphone through the settings.
6. Be careful with the applications you use.
Not all applications in the App Store and Google Play are legitimate. Many third-party applications try to get as much information as possible about you, which is usually mentioned in the “Terms & Conditions” text, which you must agree to, even if you haven’t read it. Before you download and use any program, spend some time and read this text.
7. Use a secure web browser
If you do business online or make purchases from your phone, it’s important that your web surfing is safe and that information about your bank account, credit card or social security number is not in the hands of attackers. To protect your data while browsing the Internet, use the Brave, DuckDuckGo, and Firefox Focus browsers.
8. Limit or prohibit tracking for marketing purposes.
In most applications and smartphones, you can restrict or completely prohibit the tracking and collection of data used to display more relevant advertisements. In addition, there is no guarantee that the information collected will not be used for other purposes.
9. If not necessary, turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
It is recommended that you turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your phone if you do not need to, because your smartphone may be compromised when connected to public networks. While walking or traveling, your phone may inadvertently connect to the nearest insecure network.
10. Use antivirus
As in the case of a computer, the antivirus can be used to protect the smartphone from malicious applications or certain parts of the code. After detecting a suspicious program, quarantine takes place until serious consequences occur.
11. Do not click on suspicious links
If someone you don’t know asks to click on the link, in no case click. Often, hackers or scammers try to steal personal or financial information by sending messages about good discounts or offering to participate in the lottery. You can get links by mail, in SMS, in instant messengers or social networks. Tip: Use the VirusTotal service to scan and check for suspicious links and files.
12. Delete unknown files and applications
Often, during a careful study of the contents of the phone, you may notice unknown downloaded files or installed applications, which may indicate the presence of spyware and other malware. Periodically do preventative cleaning of your smartphone and delete unknown contents and unnecessary files.
13. Disable tracking of your activity on the Internet and in applications.
Although Google is an excellent source of information, at the same time it tracks your activity on the Internet and applications in order to better personalize when using services like Google Maps. In one of Google’s help sections, you can learn how to turn off tracking on Android and iPhone.
14. Use phone security settings
There are several security settings for the phone, with which you can protect yourself from illegal physical access to the device and applications. Two-factor authentication requires that the user of the phone or application go through two stages before gaining access, which may include entering a password, using a fingerprint or a secret code.
There are also several authorization schemes, including Face ID or fingerprint scanning, password or pattern protection.
15. Reset your phone to factory settings
If your phone is already compromised, you can use the reset. However, in this case, all your data will be deleted along with the malware.
This article lists the basic ways you need to know about protecting your phone from spying. After taking the above measures, most likely you do not have to worry about the theft of personal information and other data.