How Secure Is Your Windows Phone from Hackers?
As of July 11, 2017, Microsoft stopped providing security updates and bug fixes for Windows Phone 8.1. It continues to do so for Windows Phone 10. If you own the former or any earlier device, your Windows Phone may be at great risk from potential hackers.
However, even if you’re using a phone with Windows 10, it may not be as secure as you may think. Luckily, some telltale signs could show that someone may be hacking your phone.
Phone-Hacking Warning Signs:
- background noise during phone calls
- frequent low battery, which could be because of hidden malware running in the background
- extreme data usage increase, which could also be because of potential malware
- suspicious emails that contain typos and punctuation errors, which is a sign of phishing
- suspicious downloads, which could mean someone accessed your phone via Bluetooth or public Wi-Fi.
This is why you should take preventative measures to ensure your phone’s security. Here are all the steps you should take.
Lock Your Phone and Apps with Passwords and PINs
This is extremely important. Even if no one gets their hands on your phone, they could still access it remotely. Hackers use advanced pieces of software that can give them access to virtually any device, so use PINs and passwords.
However, you must use strong passwords that are close to impossible to crack. It’s smart to use a password manager, as it gives you one master password for all your other passwords.
That way, if a hacker manages to crack your master password, it would take them a while to crack the others. In the meantime, your password manager will generate a new master password, making it impossible for anyone to access your phone.
Never Install an App from an Untrusted Source
Installing an app before checking its credibility may put your phone at risk of malware. Hackers could easily steal or misuse your personal information that way.
How can you know which sources to trust? Check online reviews, the app store’s credibility, and the app’s official website. You can also install security apps that will alert you in case of any security risks.
Check the Permissions and Privacy Settings Before Installing an App
Sometimes, an app may seem legit, but it could be stealing your personal information or controlling some phone functions. To avoid this, always check the privacy settings of an app. Most importantly, check permissions that could grant access to your personal and sensitive information.
Don’t Tamper with Your Phone’s Security Settings
Just like any other mobile device, your Windows Phone has default security settings for a reason. Changing them may lead to security issues that take potential hackers right to your data.
Therefore, never tamper with your built-in security settings. Also, don’t root your phone because that will also make it more vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Always Sign Out After Using Public WiFi
They can also show you a fake website to get your sign-in details because public WiFi networks aren’t encrypted. This is why you should never enter your credit card details over open WiFi networks.
What’s also alarming is that hackers often duplicate public WiFi networks by setting up fake access points. You could think you’re connecting to your well-known hotspot, when, in fact, you would be connecting with hackers’. So, if you see two or more connections with the same name, avoid them.
Use a VPN
Using a VPN is the best way to successfully protect your Windows or Android Phone from potential hackers. A VPN will encrypt all your online activity, hiding your web sessions and your IP address. It even hides your IP from your internet service provider, as it replaces your real IP with a fake one.
All of the previous steps will enhance your security, but what if a hacker manages to access your phone somehow? They could be monitoring your internet traffic to find out your passwords. With a VPN, there’s not a chance of them monitoring your web traffic. You can browse the internet completely anonymously.
Back Up All Your Data
Backing up your data won’t exactly secure your Windows Phone from hackers, but it will help you keep your data. In case you lose your sensitive information, or someone steals it, you can always restore it if you back everything up.
Again, this doesn’t enhance security, but it’s a crucial step for data protection.
Is your Windows Phone safe from hackers? Are you perhaps already following these tips? If not, now’s the time you finally start.