Protect Your Phone from Secret Spyware

For millions of Americans, the smartphone has become one of the most important tools in their lives. Your phone tracks your movements, absorbs emails and text messages and notifies you of every birthday and appointment. Every second, information floods your smartphone. Unless you switch them off, your apps are working round the clock, obeying your every setting and preference.

All day long your phone is churning private data through its circuitry, and if criminals can break into your phone, they can steal all kinds of things, from banking details to compromising photos and video. These thieves don’t have to steal your actual phone. They may not even be located in the same country.

How do they do it? Spyware, which is kind of like a computer virus, except instead of messing up your hard drive, it enables strangers to snoop on you. Skilled hackers can install spyware on your phone without you even realizing it.

Once it’s on your phone, spyware can record everything you do, from sending text messages to shooting video of your family reunion. Hackers may break into private accounts, commandeer email and even blackmail their victims.

Keep in mind, “spyware” is a vague and multi-faceted term, and it’s not always malevolent. Some parents install a kind of spyware on their kids’ smartphones in order to keep track of their activities. Managers sometimes keep tabs on their employees by watching what they do on their company computers. I don’t endorse this behavior, and I think there are much healthier ways of watching kids and employees, but this kind of spyware isn’t intended to ruin your life.

Don’t click strange links. The easiest way to avoid contracting spyware is this: Don’t click strange links. If you receive an email from a suspicious stranger, don’t open it. If you receive an email or text…

Share