What to do when your phone has been hacked

In this rapidly paced digital world, our lives have been inevitably intertwined with smart tech and have made things more convenient and more effective. From accessing business emails to paying bills on your phone, there are so many things you can do with that smartphone. However, this connection has made us particularly vulnerable especially when our devices are stolen or hacked.

Getting hacked is a nightmare and the consequences can be serious. Apart from private information, businesses are now becoming a target for hackers as well. Regardless of whether you’re the CEO of an interior design company or automobile firm, it is important to take action immediately in the event of a data breach.

Just because your smartphone has been comprised, doesn’t mean you should box it up or throw it into the Pacific Ocean. Instead, you can follow these tips to regain control of your device.

 

Remove Bad and Useless Apps

If all signs point to a security breach on your device, it’s time to get it fixed. Firstly, get rid of bad and unnecessary apps on your smartphone. If you have carelessly installed apps from unknown sources, remove them immediately. Look for apps you didn’t install yourself or any that seems suspicious. You can also download an anti-virus software to scan your device for malware. However, be careful with what you uninstall as some are pre-installed and you may end up losing important apps.

 

Erase Everything IF You Have To

Removing suspicious apps or using anti-virus software may not be a cure-all. If this method doesn’t solve the problem, you can opt for a factory data reset. This involves erasing everything on your device’s storage drive and starting again from scratch. You can back some of your data up before doing this. This may sound extreme and difficult, but it is probably the best solution.

 

Reset Your Passwords

You should also reset and improve your online passwords. We recommend you do it from a different device that has not been compromised. Switch to passwords that are unique to you and difficult to guess for the hacker. Upgrade your passwords with complicated characters like hashtags, question marks, exclamation marks, and asterisks. Some online accounts will also allow you to set up two-factor authentication which provides an extra layer of security. Doing all these will ensure no one else can login to your account and access information apart from you.

 

Change Your PINs

Just like password changes, upgrade your Personal Identification Numbers as well. It is a known fact that 20% of all PINs can be cracked by hackers. Thus, it is important to choose difficult combinations and make it hard for them to get hold of. It is also recommended that you do this on a device that has not been hacked.

 

Raise the Alarm

Don’t sit back and wait for things to get worse. Once you suspect a hack, inform your financial institutions immediately. Your bank will check your account history and activity for any fraudulent transactions. Your credit card company will also review your account and may restrict access to your account. If necessary, they may completely close it and open a new one. Also, tech companies you use such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple, will check your account for any suspicious activities. If your accounts are still safe, these companies can ensure that no one uses them without your knowledge.

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