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6 Ways That Cybercriminals Try to Take Over Your Device

Learn the methods that hackers use to exploit your smartphone and steal your personal information. It’s scarier than you think.

Cybercriminals are always on the hunt for new ways to hack into your device in order to record your phone calls, read your text messages, gain access to your photo library and use this information against you. It’s clear there are many ways malware can reach your device. A great way to protect your device from phishing scams and malware is by using dfndr security’s anti-hacking feature:

The anti-hacking feature stops cybercriminals in their tracks, by alerting you to a suspicious link even before you click on it. To understand how cybercriminals really work, here are 6 ways they target your smartphone.

Read More: Here Are a Smartphone Thief’s 3 Dirty Secrets

1) Public Wi-Fi “Honeypots”
Not all Wi-Fi networks are secure, and one popular method used to reel you in is through unsecured wireless Internet networks, which you can find in many public places. Scammers use “honeypot” names such as “Airport Wi-Fi” or “Coffee Shop” to lure you into their network, paving the way for a cyber attack. You can avoid this scenario by turning your Wi-Fi off in public places, and use your mobile data plan instead for short online interactions.

2) Hidden Bluetooth Vulnerabilities
If you own a smartphone, chances are it has Bluetooth capabilities to connect with other devices. Security researchers have found airborne vulnerabilities in unpatched versions of Android operating systems. This allows hackers into a device without you clicking on any links or downloading content. You can avoid this attack is by turning off Bluetooth in public places.

3) Fake Apps With Malware
Hackers often spread malware by designing apps that look identical to popular social media networks, games, and other apps that are frequently downloaded. In some cases, these apps are advertised via email or text, encouraging you to download what is often indistinguishable from the real thing but has malicious coding built into the design. Once you download the malicious app, hackers can control your phone and steal your personal information or “ransom” your device until you pay them.

4) Facebook Messenger App Backdoor
Real apps can be dangerous too as security researchers discovered a hacking backdoor in Facebook Messenger. The technology allows hackers to launch a man-in-the-middle attack in Messenger, using your personal messages to set you up for a crime or speak to friends and family on your behalf.

5) Malevolent Product Barcodes
Today’s technology allows us to scan barcodes in order to pay for products or services with our phones. However, cybercriminals have created a series of QR codes that allow them to infiltrate your device through cameras or sensors. A simple email with a message offering you a good deal on an item or a phishing scheme with a barcode is all it takes to compromise a smartphone.

6) Subtitles in Streaming Apps
Any device using popular streaming apps VLC, Kodi (XMBC), Popcorn-Time, or could be vulnerable to an attack while watching content. Hackers create fake subtitles, which users download to their streaming service and introduce malware to their phone. 

Just knowing what cybercriminals are up to is half the battle to ensure your Android phone is safe, along with having an advanced antivirus app installed. Those 2 combined means you’re on the winning side.