Android Phone: How To prevent your phone from being hacked.

Our lives revolve around technologies such as mobile phones, laptops, iPad, etc. Due to the increase in penetration of the internet, smartphones are playing a major role in digital life. Smartphones, particularly Android phones, have become the hub of all digital transactions like financial transactions. This is paving the way for hackers to target these tiny yet powerful devices. Let us drill into some essential facets of the Android phone. Later, we will elaborate on the signs of a hacked phone and how to prevent your phone from being hacked.

Mobile phone market share and other statistics

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As per the statista, Android is the leading operating system with a 74.6% market share in July 2020. Therefore, it is becoming the target for hackers. The number of mobile phone users around the world today is more than three billion. The major contributions are coming from India, China, and the United States.

How secure are Android phones?

Android is a Linux based operating system and hence there are no viruses for Linux based OS. There is only malware. One of the major reasons for hackers to attack these phones is that they less hardened (Hardening is done to beef up the security ) as compared to servers or laptops. It is a need for all smartphones to boot up faster and serve the need of the end-user. If the phone has more security features enabled, it will slow down the booting process. Most of the malware comes from the website accessed by the end-user. Some Malware is benign while others are more damaging.

Security in Android Phones

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Each app in the Android phones works in a sandbox type environment. This means that it does not know what other files or applications are installed on the phone. However, the issue might prop up if the user gives certain permission for the application while installing. Moreover, even if you installed something malicious and then granted it permission to do a bad thing then Google is going to stop it from going on. In addition, Google play store is also being scanned for any malicious mobile apps. The company has also made the Android boot loader process more verifiable which means that if the Android Operating system has been tampered with, the phone will not start at all. Google provides patches to fix security issues.

Signs your phone may have been hacked

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There are several indications that will tell that the phone might have been hacked. Here are the top signals of your phone being hacked.

1. Battery getting drained very fast

The phone battery will go down as the phone usage increases. But abnormal battery behavior should be noted. The phone may be hacked. This malicious code scans the information present on the mobile phone and it may be sending the crucial information back to the hacker.

2. High data usage

The increased data usage may result in abnormal data bill. The malware or spyware apps may be sending the data back to the server.

3. Outgoing calls or texts one didn’t send

In the mobile phone, if one is seeing the list of calls or text messages that he/she is unaware of then it is a sign that the mobile phone is hacked.

4. Undesired pop-ups

In some cases, the unwanted popups signal that the phone is hacked and a malware might be present. However, in some cases, it is not always the case.

5. Google play protect has been disabled

Google play protect is a security feature that will scan the device for any malicious app or spyware(For Android 8 and above). Hackers disable this feature to gain unlawful access to the mobile phone.

 6. ‘Apps from unknown sources’ are allowed

This setting can allow apps to be installed on your phone without your knowledge. Especially, vulnerable apps in your phone can be used by hackers to install malicious software like malware or spyware.

7. Hacked phone camera

There might be a chance that hackers have taken control over the mobile camera. For example, one may notice photographs and videos in the gallery that one doesn’t remember taking. Moreover, the phone may get heated up if these hardware resources are in use. This is another sign that the phone is under the control of hackers. In addition, the flashlight may be up when nobody is using the phone , is another sign to look out for.

8. The android phones may be hacked if certain apps are installed

Android smartphone owners have been warned off about certain apps that can take away your personal data including Facebook messages, your browsing history, etc. For example, Trendmicro has given the warning about the apps such as File Manager and third-party camera apps. The apps, named Camero, FileCrypt, and callCam are linked to a hackers group named sidewinder. They specialize in espionage attacks.

These problematic apps use a number of techniques to avoid detection and remain hidden on the mobile. This makes the uninstall bit difficult. For example, CallCam collects the information from the mobile phone like location, battery status, files, installed app list, sensor information, information on the camera, Wifi information, etc. It may also get data from WeChat, outlook, Facebook, Gmail, and google chrome.

9. Website appearance

The companies do change their website with new images or link to make them more attractive and informative. Moreover, if the website looks very different when visited first then completely changes it looks once one of the links is opened on the website then it is a signals the presence of malware. In other words, it indicates a hacking activity.

How to secure your Android phone?

how to increase security
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One should know that smartphones are smart device, capable of doing many things that ordinary phone cannot. Moreover, they are a lot more capable of strong information than ordinary phones. Therefore, we need to be extra careful when using them. Some of the tips for keeping the mobile phone away from hackers attacks are as follows:

  1. Keep the phone updated with patches.
  2. Keep the check of the apps installed on the phone.
  3. Do not give or store sensitive information on the phone.
  4. Run virus scanner periodically.
  5. Be wary of public charging places as malware can be hiding in those.
  6. Do not use unprotected WiFi networks.

In conclusion, smartphones are becoming an intrinsic part of lives and it is becoming more important to ensure the safety of our devices.

Are you looking for a new challenge this pandemic then read our blog on  Tips for online interviews here.”

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