Smartphones have made our lives significantly better. From sending texts and making phone calls to accessing business details and executing banking transactions, there is nothing that you can’t do on your smartphones.
However, this technological advancement has come up with its own set of challenges, hacking being one of them. Today, it is possible to hack into your smartphone and steal your personal details. Now that is certainly something you wouldn’t like to be your case. Given that the majority of people today are Android users, you are likely on the hit if you own one. So it’s very important to know how to keep your Android phone hacking free. You can go through our help guide and know how you can keep your Android phone hacking free.
Step by step guide to keep your Android phone hacking free
Signs that your smartphone is hacked
While there is no sure-shot way to determine whether your smartphone was hacked or not, there are a few signs to check if it is compromised. Let’s discuss them one by one:
1. Your smartphone is acting strange
Are you noticing strange changes in your device? You’re often interrupted by annoying ads. Apps are launched and closed automatically. Sometimes, you even notice that your smartphone is sending messages by itself to other people.
Well if all these things are happening with your phone, it may be hacked and some malware is secretly controlling the device.
2. You notice strange app icons on your phone
Some malware automatically installs apps on your phone, which can be used to steal your personal information and control your device. So, if you notice any strange app icons on your phone, your phone is hacked.
Now, just delete the app if you want to keep your device secure.
3. Your phone is locked and someone is demanding money to unlock it
These days, cyber criminals are using a new type of malware to attack your privacy. Known as ransomware, the program restricts your access to your phone and then demands money as a ransom to unlock it. This way you’re locked out of your own device.
Well, if your phone has locked suddenly and someone is demanding money to unlock it, you have fallen victim to the malware and it’s time to take necessary measures.
4. You received prompt to download the app you didn’t intend to download
Have you noticed a text message or email prompting you to download an app you didn’t intend to download? Well if you’ve, don’t download the app. At least not before verifying the source from where the mail was sent. Such prompts may trick you to download malicious software.
Also, make sure to scan your device for malware because there are full chances that your smartphone is compromised.
5. You’re getting a hefty phone bill
You may notice a sudden increase in your cell phone bill. This is because some malware is written to automatically send paid messages. You get charged for these messages but all the money is deposited in the malware writer’s account.
So if you’re receiving a hefty phone bill for some time, but don’t have any idea how this is happening, your smartphone is hacked.
How to keep your Android phone hacking free
It’s possible to keep your Android phone hacking free. You just need to keep some important things in mind and take the necessary measures mentioned below:
1. Protect your phone with a security lock
Your Android phone comes with an inbuilt feature called security lock, which you can use to protect your device from falling into wrong hands. It presents you with several options to lock your devices, such as using a pattern, a strong password, facial recognition, and much more. You can also use other advanced options like On-body detection, trusted places, trusted devices and trusted voice to protect your phone.
2. Avoid connecting your phone with free or public Wi-Fi networks
You know it’s impossible to resist the frenzy of connecting your phone to a free Wi-Fi. However, we recommend you not to do so. Such networks aren’t secure. Someone can easily steal your personal details and misuse them. So, avoid using a public Wi-Fi as much as you can.
In case you have to use it in urgency, avoid doing important things like checking emails and doing bank transactions.
3. Don’t save passwords and confidential files on your phone
Maximum people prefer to save their passwords and confidential details on their phones. The reason is quite obvious. It’s not possible to remember each and every detail, and you need a place from where you can easily access them later. However, we recommend you not to do so. If someone gets access to your Android phone, it will take him/her no time to reach your personal details and misuse them.
Instead, you can save your necessary details on cloud and access them anytime you want to.
4. Always install apps from the PlayStore
Android lets you install apps from third-party marketplaces. However, the main problem is that not all these download sites are secure and you may accidentally download a malware affected app.
So, always make sure that you install the apps from the PlayStore, not from shady websites you never heard of before.
5. Don’t forget to read user reviews before installing Apps
Many people often ignore users while installing apps. If you are one of those, let us tell that you’re wrong. User reviews are share to let other people know how the app you’re installing works and what problems you may face in future. It hardly takes a few minutes to read user reviews and these few minutes can prevent you from installing a wrong app on your phone. So, make it your habit to read user reviews before installing the app.
6. Enable App permissions
While installing an app on your Android phone, you may have noticed that a window appears on your smartphone screen and asks you to grant permissions to the app to access your device. Now, make sure to read the permissions before you install the apps.
Some apps may ask you for too many permission they don’t even need. If you come across any such app, don’t install it. The app may be malicious.
7. Frequently take backup of your data
Taking regular backup of your device can prove helpful in many ways: You don’t have to worry about storage space as you can backup your data to cloud and delete files from your device,
8. Protect your network with a strong VPN
Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a great option to secure yourself on a Wi-Fi network. It creates a secure connection and prevents other people from accessing your confidential details without your consent. So, it’s always necessary to use a VPN whenever using the Internet on your phone.
There are several VPN apps available on the Google Play Store. You can choose the one you find appropriate.
9. Avoid visiting suspicious websites
The main reason our smartphones get hacked is that we often visit sites that are malicious. Such websites can steal our personal details and misuse them for their own gain. We should always avoid visiting such websites.
10. Clear your Browsing History
To make our web browsing experience more smooth and convenient, browsers store our browsing history, cookies and login details. While most of the times these details are helpful for a seamless web browsing experience, some people may exploit them for their own gain. So, we recommend you to regularly clear your browsing history, cookies and other data. You can even go Incognito if you need to.
11. Use a powerful Antivirus
A powerful antivirus solution safeguards your phone from various kinds of threats and keeps your device in efficient condition. So, it’s important to install an efficient antivirus app to keep your Android phone hacking free.
There are many antivirus apps available on the play store: Avast Mobile Security & Antivirus, Kaspersky Antivirus, and ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus, just to name a few.
In today’s cyber world, it’s much important to be aware and updated. Doing so can protect you from falling victim to the evil intentions of cyber criminals, who’re constantly eyeing on your privacy.
It’s very easy to keep your Android phone hacking free. You just need to educate yourself and follow some precautions. Remember, your privacy is your responsibility and you should take every necessary measure for it.
Bonus: General Security tips
- Never leave your phone unattended
- Use a strong password to protect your phone (Avoid common names, dates and set alphanumeric passwords)
- Never use the same password for all accounts
- Avoid connecting your phone to public Wi-Fi