Cybercrime has been on a steady rise for quite a while, even more so ever since the COVID-19 pandemic. The sudden shift to everyone working from home has led to an involuntary decrease in safety nets across networks, making people more vulnerable to being spied upon.
With tools like spyware, hackers can easily gain access to your calls, text messages, social media chats, GPS locations, passwords, and a lot more. However, when hackers gain access to your text messages, this could be a sign of grave danger as most important information is usually provided to us via text. This could be financial details like your bank balance, a change in your financial app passwords, OTPs, and a lot more.
This makes it ever so important that you know how to keep your text messages safe from spyware. This article will guide you through some best practices that you can implement from a hacker who might intercept text messages, along with the signs to look out for when you suspect that someone is spying on you.
What are the Signs That Someone is Spying on Your Texts?
Your Notice Your Phone Hanging a Lot
One of the first things you’ll notice when someone hacks your phone using spyware is that your device will slow down a lot, resulting in it hanging from time to time. This might particularly happen when you open your SMS application, indicating that someone is monitoring it without your consent. This is despite the fact that there are several other causes for smartphone hanging.
Your Phone Heats Up Without Any Activity
Another sign that someone could have hacked your phone is that your phone will start heating a lot, and sometimes even when it’s not being actively used. On other occasions, it might even overheat when you use the SMS app on your phone, which could be another sign of a hacker reading your messages.
Your Battery Drains Out a Lot Faster
The third key sign to look out for is that your device’s battery might start draining out much faster than it usually does. This could be another indication that someone’s hacking text messages.
How to Keep Your Texts Safe From Spyware
There are several ways to keep your text messages safe from being spied on. These include some basic steps and other advanced ones. However, they can go a long way in ensuring your privacy and digital safety.
Set a Strong Password On Your Device
The first and most important thing to do is to set up a strong password or PIN on your phone to keep anyone from unlocking it. Alternatively, you can also use your fingerprint or make use of the Apple Face ID feature. This step is particularly important if you often spend your time with large groups of people where there’s a chance that someone might get a hold of your device.
However, when doing so, remember to avoid numbers such as important dates like anniversaries, birthdays, and so on. Other than that, simple combinations like 1234 or 9999 are also the easiest to crack and must be avoided.
The ideal password should check the following requirements:
- It should be alphanumeric, i.e., it should contain both alphabets and numerals
- It must also contain symbols such as an exclamation point (!) or a colon (:)
- It should contain upper and lower case characters to make it harder to crack
With these requirements taken care of, you can be sure to have a password that nobody will ever be able to crack unless they’re specifically told what it is.
Install a Password Manager
Other than setting up a password or a PIN for your phone, it’s also essential that you password-protect all your apps and social media accounts. However, the problem with this is that it becomes tricky to remember so many different passwords all at once. An alternative to this is to use a password manager.
This is a tool that generates and saves complex passwords for all your apps and accounts, allowing you to log in with ease while preventing someone else from doing so. This is because you need to know the password to the password manager for it to log you in.
Use a VPN When Browsing Using a Public Wi-Fi Network
A VPN or a Virtual Private Network is another effective tool that you can use to keep your device safe from being hacked with tools like spyware. A VPN creates a network within a network when you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, which is often a hotspot for hackers.
This private network allows you to access the web without a hacker being able to use it to read texts without installing it on the target phone.
Install an Antivirus Software On Your Device
Antivirus software is a common tool that people use on their computers and mobile devices alike to prevent hacking through text messages and other mediums. It keeps your device free from viruses that might be accidentally or unknowingly installed from the web or from malware like spy apps.
A lot of antivirus software also serves as anti-malware tools. These tools scan your device to detect malware of any kind, remove it and repair any damage it might have caused to your device’s software or program files. There are some practical antivirus tools for Android and iOS available online, so you should install one to protect your device.
What to Do if Your Device is Already Hacked
If your Android or iOS device has already been hacked, and an anti-malware program hasn’t been able to get rid of the program, the best solution is for you to factory reset your phone. This step will erase all the data on your device and restore it to its default factory settings. This will also get rid of all your media files, and WhatsApp chats, so it’s important that you ensure a backup of these before you reset your device.
As you have seen, there are several ways in which you can protect your device from a hacker or from spyware. Your text messages are a treasure trove of information for a hacker to exploit, making it essential that you do everything you can to keep them safe and protected. Several reports by Angelica Rivera show how these apps can be used to monitor your device, thereby affirming the need for protective practice.
These are the best ways to keep your devices and text messages safe in 2022, so don’t waste any time and implement them right away.
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