phone hacking

How Do You Know If Someone Is Watching You Through Your Phone?

in Hacking/Privacy
how do you know if someone is watching you through your phone

The unfortunate reality is that your phone camera can be accessed and switched on without your consent. How do you know if someone is watching you through your phone? Find out in this article!

How Do I Know If Someone Is Watching?

It is not easy finding out if someone can see you through your phone camera. The methods used to hack your phone to install spyware are not easily discovered. It takes specialized software applications to detect spyware on devices.

However, there are a few things you should look out for.

1. Your Camera Is Acting Weird

If, for some reason, your camera is acting out of the ordinary, that may be a red flag.  

Things that show your camera has been compromised include sudden photographs in your camera app you did not take yourself. Further, your camera app appears in recent apps even though you have not opened it.

The camera is very sensitive since it works hand-in-hand with built-in microphones and speakers on your phone. Access to your camera by hackers makes it easier for someone to watch you through your phone.

2. Strange Files

can someone see you through your phone camera

Beyond identifying unexpected videos and images among the files on your phone, other strange files signify a compromise. If you see files with unusual extensions you did not install yourself, you should be alert.

You should always check out for files you did not create since hackers need to install software on your device to make their work easier. 

For instance, an app on the ethical hacking platform Kali, called Metasploit, uses Adobe Reader 9 (a very popular document reader) to gain access to devices. 

The hackers behind the program found a way to exploit file installation loopholes to have remote access to devices. 

Hackers can use this method to steal documents, photos, and videos, and upload incriminating content to your device. Always delete strange files as soon as you identify them on your phone.

3. Apps Running in the Background

In some cases, malware is attached to regular looking applications. 

This has happened more frequently on Android devices as bad actors have managed to slip bad applications into the Google Play Store. Also, don’t download apps from unsecured or random websites.

When you identify apps running in the background for no reason, it might be a sign that someone is watching you through your phone.

Apps in the background are also characterized by sluggish device performance, high data usage, mysterious pop-ups, and a decrease in battery life.

Now that you have identified what to look out for, the next step will be what to do to prevent someone from watching you through your phone. 

How to Prevent Someone From Watching You

someone is watching you through your phone

The best solution to preventing phone spies will be to stay away from all applications you are not sure of. However, you cannot be too careful since these attacks evolve frequently.

Here are some ways you can prevent someone from watching you through your phone.

Scan Frequently

It is best practice to scan your device regularly to check for potential compromise or unknown software. For things like this, a manual scan will not be enough.

You will need specialized software like antivirus applications to detect spyware. You should also note that some applications that claim to be antivirus software are spyware themselves. Only use apps that have been reviewed and verified by industry experts.

Check App Permissions Frequently

App permissions have been prioritized by the most popular mobile operating systems, Android, and iOS. These permissions are displayed before you download the app or right before the app is about to use it.

Sometimes app permissions that have been granted in the past are used by applications to track you through your phone. Permissions like access to the camera and location can be used in the background by apps for tracking.

To prevent this, you should reduce permissions granted to apps you do not use frequently. Also, you can disable permissions for apps when you are not actively using them.

In conclusion, it will be very difficult for hackers to gain access to your device if you take your cybersecurity seriously. In the event that the unfortunate happens, being alert will help you detect any changes on your phone. 

Finally, putting small stickers on your phone’s camera lenses is a simple and cheap way to prevent anyone from looking at you through your phone’s camera.

How to Prevent Phone Camera Hacking

in Features/Hacking
Phone Camera Hacking

Phone cameras are the eyes of your mobile devices. They allow us to capture the world around us. However, when compromised, they can be used against us.

In this article, we look at the best ways to prevent phone camera hacking.

What is Phone Camera Hacking?

Phone camera hacking happens when an unauthorized party gains access to your camera. Also, parties with authorization to your phone camera may violate your privacy, amounting to a hack.

How to Prevent Phone Camera Hacking

This type of hack can happen through various means. The most popular phone camera hack is when third-parties have access to your camera and can use it to capture your surroundings.

Some of these hackers use RAT (Remote Accessing/Administration Tools) to monitor your phone camera.

RAT allows hackers to manage your camera and take pictures of you and your surroundings. These tactics are used to spy on you and track important information such as distance, which could be dangerous.

On the other hand, a third-party application on your phone could be secretly backing up all your pictures from your camera or be recording you. 

For instance, Google recently disclosed an Android phone camera hack that allowed applications to access the camera, record video, and access geolocation data embedded in stored photos.

Ways to Prevent Phone Camera Hacking

You can prevent camera hacking through measures that defend your phone from potential attacks and remove attacks in case they bypass the defense.

Here are four ways of preventing camera hacking:

1. Frequently Update Your Operating System

Constant software updates may get annoying but are important. Most updates contain security patches that fix existing loopholes that may allow third parties to hijack your phone.

For instance, the Google Android camera hijack mentioned above was fixed through a security update sent to affected Android phones.

2. Manage App Permissions

Camera hacking may be disguised in an application through app permissions that seem harmless. Due to this, it is imperative that you always monitor every application’s permissions.

For iPhones, go to Settings > Privacy, where you’ll see a list of all apps and the permissions you’ve granted to them. On Android, you’ll find them in Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > Permission manager while on a Samsung Galaxy, you have to look in Settings > Apps > App permissions (using the three vertical dots at the top right).

3. Use AntiVirus Software

You have probably heard this a lot. Using antivirus software protects you from existing attacks or attacks that still manage to affect your phone camera.

What’s more, you should use antivirus software that has been tested and reviewed by industry experts to avoid having false security.

4. Don’t Jailbreak

Jailbreaking has become very popular among iPhone users who want to access software not available on the App Store. However, jailbreaking may expose you to malware and attacks that shouldn’t be possible on regular iPhones.

5. Put Stickers Over Your Camera

Putting stickers over your front and back phone cameras while you are not using them may sound low-tech but is an excellent way to protect yourself. Even the head of the FBI covers his laptop camera with a sticker, so why shouldn’t you cover your phone cameras too?

How to Know If Your Camera is Hacked

camera hacking

There are a couple of signs that may inform you that your phone has been hacked or, specifically, your phone camera.

Your phone gets very slow: If you begin to observe a sudden sluggish response when using your phone, it could be a sign. Malicious applications can run in the background and interfere with the phone’s functions. This interruption causes the phone to slow down.

Strange applications on your phone: If you notice unknown apps that you did not download yourself, especially related to the phone camera, it could be a sign.

Battery drain and hot battery: In some instances, your battery begins to drain faster than usual, and your phone remains hot for more extended periods. This phenomenon could be a sign that you have been hacked.

Data exhaustion: You may also notice that your phone is consuming more data than it usually does. Before you blame it on a hack, you should also check to see if you have not increased your amount of apps, uploads or downloads. 

Other weird activities on your phone: If you see apps opening up without any initiation from your end, it could also be a sign that someone has remotely accessed your phone. 

In the case where you notice any of these issues, you should find the problem and remove it. This can be through an update of the operating system and a scan by an antivirus application.

How to Prevent Falling Victim to Phone Hacking

in Hacking
phone hacking

Smartphones have become a necessity in the 21st century. Despite its amazing uses, the smartphone is a goldmine for hackers. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to avoid falling victim to phone hacking.

How to Prevent Phone Hacking

Safeguard your password

You must keep your password to yourself or only share it with a few people you trust (like your wife). Also, avoid using the same password for different social media accounts.

Use a mix of unobvious number and letter combinations that have a hidden meaning to you, and change them periodically. Alternatively, you could use a password manager.

Avoid using a public Wi-Fi

If you can, you should always use your mobile internet data and avoid public Wi-Fi. That’s because most public WiFi services are susceptible to hacking. They are usually not secure and cannot guarantee your safety.

Another way to stay out of the clutches of phone hackers is to turn off your automatic Wi-Fi connector. You can do this by visiting your mobile setting, thus, preventing you from connecting to any dangerous Wi-Fi network automatically.

Keep your operating system up-to-date

Download and install phone updates as soon as your device informs you that a new one is available. That is important so that phone hackers do not take advantage of an out-of-date operating system. Outdated software is more susceptible to security breaches.

A significant proportion of hacks exploit vulnerabilities that have already been fixed by software providers. So, do not expose yourself unnecessarily.

You should also not use unauthorized tools to unlock your phone – known as “jailbreaking” on iOS or “rooting” on Android – unless you know exactly what you are doing. Security breaches are easier to execute on these kinds of phones as you are no longer legally protected by the software provider.

Be Careful What You Download!

Whenever you install an app on your smartphone, you are often asked to grant it various permissions, including the ability to read your contacts, messages, access your camera or listen in to your microphone. Once you grant an app access, it can pull your personal data from your phone.

There are legitimate applications that need these capabilities, but it could also be open to abuse. Especially, for applications that you are not familiar with. Do not accept any access requests without thinking. That includes even apps you download on your phone’s app store. Sometimes, it takes weeks before malicious apps are spotted and kicked off an app store.

Whenever you are trying to download a third-party app from an app store, always ensure that it is a legitimate application.

How to Remove a Hacker from Your Phone

in Hacking
how to remove a hacker from your phone

Your smartphone is an essential part of your life and contains sensitive information about you. The delicate nature of your phone makes it a prime target for hackers.

In this article, we will explain how to remove a hacker from your phone and how to prevent it from happening in the future. 

What is Phone Hacking?

Phone hacking generally involves spyware like applications or websites that steal information such as passwords and credentials from your mobile device.

These hacks take different shapes and forms. For instance, in 2016, over two million Android phones were infected with malware that was using internet bandwidth in a botnet to exploit phones. 

Furthermore, 25 million Android users were affected by a malware attack that got onto their phones through the downloading of unofficial WhatsApp applications early this year. 

From the examples above, it might seem to some readers that only Android devices are at risk of suffering from phone hacking. This is a popular myth shared online.

iPhones are also at risk of getting hacked even though it hardly happens. This is due to Apple’s strict guidelines for accepting applications on the App Store. Most Android users suffer from phone hacks because they download applications from third-party sources.

How to Identify if Your Phone Has Been Hacked

In most cases, a hacked phone begins to operate slower and runs out of battery quicker. These symptoms, even though synonymous with hacked phones, do not necessarily mean your phone has been hacked. They may also be signs that you have to clean up your storage.

To clarify, you can go through these steps to check and remove a hacker from your phone.

1. Go Through Your Apps

Firstly, go through the applications downloaded on your device to see if there are any applications you don’t recall downloading. If you find any, it is a major red flag that indicates that your phone might be hacked. 

how to remove a hacker from my phone

Most of these hacks that take this form do not target just one user but the masses, in a way to steal important information from several mobile users. For example, the BankBot malware is a Trojan that displayed a phishing screen on several Android devices to steal banking credentials. 

What’s more, some categories of applications are highly known for being compromised. A lot of battery-saver and flashlight applications are frequently used as vessels for attacking Android users. When you suspect that your device is being hacked, check for applications like these as they might be the cause.

If you notice these applications on your phone, you should delete them immediately and find the source application which installed the unidentifiable apps on your device. 

In several cases, most users notice a difference in performance after they uninstall these applications. 

2. Review Your Phone Bill

Not all phone hacks are tied to mobile applications. In certain instances, these hacks affect the charges you pay to your network carrier. 

If you begin to notice that you are sending messages from your phone that you don’t recall sending, it is time to investigate the possibility of a hack. 

You have probably been infected by malware that requires your phone to send or receive texts that produce profits for cybercriminals. To prevent your phone from receiving such messages, you must first text “STOP” to the number. Secondly, you should call your network carrier to block the number for you. 

You should also check to see if you have downloaded any third-party messaging apps recently. These apps may be the reason why you are sending or receiving such texts.

3. Clicked Links

While surfing the internet, certain pop-up ads or hidden links can open up our mobile phones for an attack. Several free download sites are filled with links that hackers use as gateways to attack your phone. 

Likewise, some of these links disguise themselves as anti-virus software alerting you that your phone is hacked and you should take immediate action by clicking the link.

If you remember clicking any link of that sort, you should check it out and delete them. 

4. Public WiFi

Public WiFi is another method hackers use to gain access to your mobile device. Based on research by Kaspersky Lab, 1 in 4 open public hotspots are unsecured. In worse case scenarios, some private WiFi networks in public places are traps to gain access to your mobile phone.

If you connect to public WiFi and begin to realize any symptoms described in this article, you should immediately disconnect from the network.

How to Remove A Hacker From Your Phone

If you are still having issues removing a hacker from your phone, then it is time for more drastic solutions.

Here are two steps to take to remove a hacker from your phone.

1. Run A Scan

You will have to download a trusted anti-virus application to run a scan on your device to identify malicious software. On Android devices, it relatively easier to be affected by spyware that can only be detected by ant-virus applications.

iOS devices are mostly protected unless you jailbreak your iPhone. You might not have done this yourself but someone else might have done it for you. 

To check if your iPhone is intact or not, you can download applications like Sophos to scan your device. 

2. Factory Reset Your Device

If, after running the scan and deleting the malicious files found, you still have problems with your device, you will have to remove a hacker from your phone.

Here is how to perform a factory reset on Android or iOS:

Android: Settings > System > (Advanced) > Reset options > Erase all data

iOS: Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings

Moving forward, even if you do not see these symptoms, you should regularly scan through your device. This is to ensure that your phone has not been compromised by a hacker. 

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