Our phones are the number one target for cybercriminals, as we use them to pay for online purchases, send emails, and store our deepest secrets. Every year, though, smartphone users are becoming more and more conscious of these privacy and online security concerns.
To stop Chrome from opening apps automatically, you can go to Chrome’s settings, then click on “Privacy and security.” From there, select “Site settings” and find “Handlers.” Disable the option that says “Allow sites to ask to become default handlers for protocols.” This will prevent websites from launching apps without your permission in the Google Chrome browser.
A big issue and a serious headache is the possible tapping of cell phones. How to sort out this issue and find out if you are a victim of spyware? In general, there are several types of eavesdropping:
- Forwarding calls and SMS messages to another phone without the owner’s knowledge – the most simple and at the same time common method. In this case, in addition to you, the conversation or your messages are also transferred to other devices unknown to you.
- Malicious software installed on a smartphone – in addition to stealing or destroying personal data, it also gives the opportunity to listen to conversations by turning on the microphone and receiving information within a radius of up to 350 feet. These programs can be installed by fraudsters through mobile internet or Wi-Fi connection, SMS messages or via Bluetooth.
- Application of special wiretapping techniques – this method is quite expensive and is considered professional. Specialized equipment and phones with expert modifications, which are sold semi-legally, are used for this kind of wiretapping. This technique allows criminals to listen to other people’s conversations in real time.
Signs of eavesdropping
Even though the problem may seem suspenseful and intimidating, even pro fraudsters can’t escape the fat that wiretapping can be noticed. Safety experts recommend paying attention to the following signs:
- Unusual sounds during calls. If you hear unusual sounds like echoes, clicks or beeps, it could mean that your calls are being recorded. There’s also a chance that your device may have malicious call recording software on it.
- Unusual text messages. Text messages with unclear content, such as some weird links, can be a sign of spyware on your smartphone. The malware of this type will try to send instructions to your phone and the detectable tail of this exchange shall come in the form of SMS messages.
- Camera turning on for no reason. Watch out for accidents of your camera or microphone turning on all of a sudden. If the camera light turns on by itself, your phone may be broken, of course. But it is also possible that it is hacked – this way hackers activities can manifest themselves when they use malware that gives access to your camera. Thus, one should always be on the lookout regarding this issue.
- Unexpected traffic charges. Spy apps often transfer data to external servers which can affect the amount of your mobile data. Simply check your traffic consumption at the end of a payment cycle to see if your costs have jumped without any objective reason.
How to protect yourself from wiretapping
Keep your operating system updated regularly. Developers often issue updates that include security features, and this simple measure can really help in many cases.
Also, only install apps from official stores. App Store and Google Play have their own verification systems, although they are not always perfect either, so be careful about the permissions you grant for apps if you don’t need them on a daily basis.
Install a reliable antivirus or program. For Android, these are Avast, Kaspersky, and Norton; for iOS, Avira and Lookout. They will analyze your device’s files and processes to detect any signs of eavesdropping or malware. They may also offer the ability to view and control running apps and processes – review their list to identify any suspicious apps or processes. They may be running quietly but will still transfer certain amounts of data.
If you don’t trust special apps, contact your mobile operator with this issue. They will check the line with professional equipment and determine if conversations and messages are being transmitted to third parties. However, there are disadvantages to this method as well: the operator may not take your request seriously, and report that the phone is not tapped without proper verification.
In any case, the best solution is to consult a security expert or do a full factory reset of your phone. In this case, just don’t forget to back up your data.
The problem of wiretapping, data loss and the security of your mobile in general is quite a serious one in today’s global and digital world. Nevertheless, in most cases you can rely on simple and affordable measures, as most of the hackers involved are not some special agents of secret organizations.
And remember that in any case, even a phone that is fairly well protected from hacking and tapping needs maintenance. New Yorkers and visitors of the Big Apple are more than safe around this issue, as they are able to use the services of the Repairs Bay team – professionals who provide expert-level iPhone repair in Brooklyn. Take care to find out who is the best specialist in this field within your locality.