COMPUTER 101–Is Someone Hacking Your Cell Phone?

The Mouse Trap
by Janis Weber

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Think of all the data on your phone is safe in your pocket? Think again. We use our smartphones for almost everything—from paying bills to sending emails. Therefore, they contain highly sensitive information about our lives. And if that data falls into the wrong hands, that could lead to quite disastrous consequences. Here’s how hackers can subvert your phone remotely.

It’s not a secret that hackers don’t need to have your phone in their hands to steal your personal information. They can target any of the data stored there remotely. Passwords, SSNs, bank account details, text messages, photos; almost anything can get into the hands of the bad guys if you aren’t careful enough and well-protected. So how can a phone be hacked remotely? Cybercriminals come up with unique ways to access people’s smartphones and monitor them. Usually, they look for some vulnerabilities in the phone’s operating system to hack it or trick people into downloading malicious software onto their devices.

The scariest part in all this is that with technology constantly evolving, the process of hacking someone’s phone remotely is turning into child’s play. There are various apps out there that can be used to get access to a smartphone with just a phone number. Ultimately, can hackers control your phone? Yes. Unfortunately, they can even hack a phone’s camera. But you can learn how to block hackers from your Android or iOS phone. 

Whether you have an iPhone or Android smartphone, there are some signs that can indicate that your device has been hacked. If you notice these things on your smartphone, there might be a chance that a cybercriminal has targeted you: unusual data usage spikes, excessive battery drainage, takes forever to launch apps, restarts for no reason, weird popups, background noise, apps that you don’t remember installing, strange phone calls, unusual activity on the accounts connected to your phone.

Do you have any of these reasons to believe that your smartphone has been hacked? Then the first thing that you should do is a factory reset your device. If you’ve never done it, be sure to check out the guides to learn about how to factory reset an Android device and how to factory reset an iPhone. Keep in mind that this will not just help you get rid of the hacker but also delete every file stored on your device.

Of course, installing an antivirus application is always a good option. But using it and remembering the following tips can give your iPhone or Android device even more protection from hackers. Lock your smartphone always. Turn off your hotspot in crowded places. If you notice any suspicious apps, uninstall them immediately. Never click on suspicious links. Make sure that your device and the apps installed on it are up to date. Don’t jailbreak your phone. Use two-factor authentication. The risk of getting hacked is extremely high these days. And since it’s that easy to do it, it’s best to be protected from such a possibility.

In summary, be aware of changes in your phone. That is the first hint that a cybercriminal is attempting to steal your data. It’s not only your phone that can be hacked. Your social media accounts, computers, email, contacts, and almost anything is at risk, which is why you should always be careful.

I Make House Calls (I am fully vaccinated and masked)
I will come to your home or office and help you with almost any predicament including repairs, upgrades and general software or hardware issues. I can be your resident “geek.” I have an endless amount of patience and knowledge with years of experience. Give me a text or call at 419-290-3570. Do not forget to sign up for my free newsletter at Subscribers will get a copy of this article plus added hints, tips, and trusted/valuable web links.

Next Sylvania Senior Center Classes
Many classes are open by reservation only. Computer classes are not scheduled yet, but you are welcome to use the computer lab Mondays and Wednesdays 1-4. Check the SSC newsletter and website for the most current information or call Susan Jennelle at 419-885-3913. I hope to hold classes this year. We are getting there. Check the Sylvania Center Newsletter to see what is happing.
I Make House Calls (I am vaccinated and wear a mask)
I will come to your home or office and help you with almost any predicament including repairs, upgrades including software, tutoring or printer issues. I can be your resident “geek.” I have an endless amount of patience and knowledge with years of experience. Give me a text or call at 419-290-3570.

– It’s not if, but when you will lose data!

Janis Weber, B.A., owner of Ohio Computer Training & Support, is a professional computer adjunct instructor. E-mail any specific questions or comments to or contact her for assistance at 419-290-3570. Private tutoring and repairs are just a phone call, text, or email away.


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