I’ve heard from many people who have been stalked online over the years. Unfortunately, today’s technology makes it very easy.
Take Apple AirTags, for example. It’s cheap, small and easy to hide – and it can tell the owner exactly where you are. Here are six signs to look out for if you suspect that someone is tracking you in this way.
Then there are people who are convinced that someone is listening to their calls or reading their texts. Sometimes, I think something is going on. Other times, paranoia kicked in. Here’s how to tell if you’re being stalked or if you’re paranoid.
It is not always easy to tell if your phone has been hacked. Here are some tips for diagnosing a hacked phone:
How does this happen in the first place?
The person doesn’t have to be a hacker to get into your phone. Anyone can hold your phone to your face when you’re sleeping and unlock it. This single act allows them to snoop through your device without your knowledge.
Then there is a program that does the job. Stalkerware is designed to track you using GPS, call logs, messages, photos, browser history, and more. This program can be hidden behind another seemingly harmless application. Tap or click six signs that stalkerware could be on your phone.
There are malicious files and malicious links that can infect your phone without your knowledge. Something as harmless as a PDF file can carry some toxic data. That’s why it’s so important to be careful when clicking.
What about applications? Simple downloads can mimic well-known apps or try their luck to trick you into downloading and running them. Once you do that, your phone becomes infected with malware.
There is also a method called SIM swap which is more targeted. A criminal calls the phone company and pretends to be you, asks for a new SIM – disconnect the old line and transfer everything to the criminal’s device.
look for tags
How do you know that your phone has been hacked? Here are some red flags:
• There are many processes running simultaneously that slow down your phone, or the only reason can be in the form of malware that consumes a lot of resources. This can cause your phone to overheat.
• Your battery is draining more quickly than usual.
• A significant increase in data usage may indicate the presence of adware or other malware running in the background.
• Unwanted pop-ups are a good indication of a malicious app on your phone.
• Malware can slow down your Internet by redirecting your traffic to unsecured servers or simply exploiting your bandwidth to steal more information from you or target others.
Some signs will appear on your phone, such as emails you don’t remember sending or strange posts on social media.
How to protect your phone from hackers
Putting in just a little effort can make a big difference in keeping hackers and malware out of your phone.
• First, keep your phone up to date with the latest security fixes and patches. We alert you to those on Komando.com. Tap or click here to try our free email newsletters to get alerts straight to your inbox.
• Enable two-factor authentication with each account provided. Read my guide to all things 2FA.
• Do not click on unwanted or suspicious links. This includes messages from your acquaintances, advertisements you see online and in emails.
• Don’t forget your home network. Tap or click here for tips on securing it to prevent snooping and bad actors.
Keep your technical knowledge going
The popular podcast is called “Kim Commando today. It’s 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from across the country. Find it wherever you get your podcast. For your convenience, click on the link below for an up-to-date episode.
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Listen to the podcast here Or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Commando”.
Learn about the latest technologies available on Kim Commando Show, the country’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and provides advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data breaches. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at commando.
The opinions and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of USA TODAY.