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5 Ways to Stop Hackers From Accessing Your Phone Remotely Before They Steal Your Information

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Writer, Smart Home

For years technology has been a big part of Gardy's life. He's an Android guy with a secret love for Apple products. When not at work, you can usually catch him drawing with a pencil. He is a writer at Gotechtor covering streaming media, TVs, and everything smart-home related. 

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There is a reason our phones are one of our most prized and cherished possessions. After all, they contain a ton of important information, sensitive data, and access to our financial means.

While we would love to guard all of these aspects in some type of digital fortress, our phones offer only a fraction of our desired security measures.

That means that our information can fall into the wrong hands. In certain instances, our phone’s security violation can happen when nefarious actors or hackers can access it remotely, stealing our precious data.

Needless to say, we need to take every necessary measure to protect ourselves. In this post, we will discuss how to stop someone from accessing your phone remotely and compromising the device’s security.

1. Choose Unique and Strong Passwords

Perhaps the most crucial step in preventing someone from accessing the phone remotely is one of the simplest and most basic: setting a unique and strong password or PIN.

So, What Constitutes a “Strong” Password, Exactly? 

Imagine your phone is a lock on a gym locker door for a moment.

If there are 10 possible number choices, and you can only use three numbers to lock it, given enough time, someone determined to get in will be able to try the 720 possible combinations, and eventually, they will get in.

Now imagine how fast a computer could try such a small number of possible combinations.

Consider that same scenario, but the locker has 30 numbers to choose from and is 5 digits for a full combination.

That is 17,100,720 different combinations, and even for a computer, that is more of a challenge. So, the first aspect of a good password is to make it long (at least 12 characters are recommended).

But what if you used a 12-character password, but it was 123456789000. That would probably be one of the first things a hacker would try, so it’s important not to use common number patterns.

Use Mixed Character Types

It’s also not wise to use something simple like “password” or “mypassword” because it would be the first thing someone trying to get into your phone would try.

The more random the mix, the better. Now factor in uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

Even a powerful password cracker program is unlikely to succeed because the number of possible combinations is incredibly large.

Many users opt to use password manager apps to generate strong passwords and securely store them in a place accessible only to them.

Make It Memorable, and Do Not Share It

Needless to say, a password should be something you can remember or have secure access to so you are not the one locked out of your phone.

However, sharing it with anyone is never wise. Avoid writing it on paper or storing it on an unencrypted phone file either. 

PINs are also used because they are easier for a user to remember. Still, they fall into the same type of problem bucket as the locker example from earlier unless the numbers are randomized enough.

You would never want to use a sequential pattern like 1234 or a repeating one like 8888. The more random the PIN, the harder it is to crack. 

2. Set Up 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication)

When trying to secure a bank loan, you are asked for multiple identification methods.

Banks want to protect their investment with you, so they need to know that you are who you say you are.

This dual protection layer can also be used on phones as a matter of two-factor authentication, or 2FA. 

This method requires users to provide more than just the password to get into their phone.

Correctly entering the password triggers a code being sent to another device. Only if that code is correctly processed can the user access the device.

So if someone cracks a password, they have to know the code, but as a remote intruder, they do not have the other device the code would be sent to, locking them out of unauthorized access.

You can set up 2FA on your phone by:

  • Entering the phone’s Settings menu.
  • Selecting the Privacy & Security tab.
  • Choosing 2-Factor Authentication.
  • Following the directions to set the feature up.

Here’s how to turn on an iPhone’s two-factor authentication (2FA).

  • Go to Settings.
  • Tap your name.
  • Tap Sign-In & Security.
  • Tap Turn On Two-Factor Authentication.
  • Tap Continue.
  • Enter a trusted phone number, then tap Next.
  • Enter the verification code sent to the phone number.

Once 2FA is enabled, a unique code will be sent to the registered device whenever the phone is accessed.

3. Keep Your Phone’s Operating System Up to Date

Keeping the latest and greatest updates for the phone and all of its apps may not seem like a priority, but for security purposes, it is pivotal.

Many updates bring in bug fixes for identified security vulnerabilities, so the latest updates protect users better.

If you aren’t certain whether your phone is updated, you can check this under the System Update or Software Update settings area on your phone.

If an update is available, you will be prompted with an option to download and install.

The process could take several minutes, but it is important, so it is worth the wait. It is also recommended that you check for app updates daily.

4. Avoid Untrusted Apps

Speaking of app security, it is also important to only use verified and reputable apps.

Many apps that pop up in app stores look innocent enough but are loaded with malicious flaws that allow users to access your phone on the back end.

If you aren’t sure, you should consider reading reviews, never download from anything but an official app store, and see what permissions the app requests at installation time.

Many apps want access to your location, messages, contacts, etc., so it’s important to be cautious about what you allow.

5. Other Security Measures

Many phone users make connecting to WiFi almost second nature, but when the WiFi networks are unsecured (such as at malls, hotels, airports, etc.), connecting to them makes accessing your phone easier for unauthorized persons.

Make sure the network name matches the location you are in, and avoid connecting to random networks.

If you have to, do not access any sensitive account, financial account, or anything that prompts the need to type in your password.

When you access websites, make sure that their names start with HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), which ensures that the website is encrypted from outside parties.

When possible, consider also using VPNs (Virtual Private Networks). These networks encrypt transmitted data, making it hard for hackers to access it.

Wrap Up

Practicing good security habits is a great way to greatly minimize the chances of an unauthorized remote intrusion into your phone.

None of these methods is 100% secure, but the combination of their utility significantly decreases the chances of someone accessing your phone remotely since it becomes too challenging for a hacker to break in.

And before you worry about more sophisticated hackers, don’t worry, they have much bigger targets in mind.

For any thoughts and questions, please use the comment section below.

Writer, Smart Home

For years technology has been a big part of Gardy's life. He's an Android guy with a secret love for Apple products. When not at work, you can usually catch him drawing with a pencil. He is a writer at Gotechtor covering streaming media, TVs, and everything smart-home related. 

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