Before you settle on the idea of having a SmartPhone stalker you need to know a bit more about how information is used and accessed on your SmartPhone.
There are more ways your information can be compromised on a SmartPhone. There are also ways that some of your information can be compromised without necessarily compromising all of your information.
Please keep in mind, I am not a hacker nor do I have the know how to hack phones. I have had more experience with picking up the pieces when it has happened to me so, the information in this article is coming from that point of view.
The intent is to help others pick up the pieces faster and more effectively than I did.
A solid understanding of passwords and the security settings on your Smartphone will help keep unauthorized users off your device and out of your online accounts.
Your phone has multiple applications and accounts connected to the device. Each of these has some portion of your personal information along with whatever services you are utilizing on your SmartPhone.
We will be covering how your information is used, accessed and can be kept secure on your SmartPhone.
How Your Information Can be Accessed on a Smartphone
We all have multiple accounts and use multiple applications everyday. These include but are not limited to:
- Online Applications
- Social Media
- Business Applications
Many of these have more than one way to access them. Often information can be accessed through an app for the Smartphone and an online account.
These accounts are often linked and will synch up with each other to give you the most up to date information in both locations. Many people often have multiple apps on a SmartPhone at any one given time. Email can be accessed through an email server as well. (People who use Company email on a device often will have a company IT team which can help recover access to email.)
Add to this, Android links to a Gmail Account which is another login. Further, depending on the manufacturer of the device you have you may also have an additional login with backup and restore capability.
Samsung, LG, Huawei, ZTE and many others provide some kind of online account with backup capability.
Cell phone carries may also have their own online account capacity or a backup and restore capability. AT & T, Verizon are 2 I know which have this ability.
Browser Access on your SmartPhone
Your Smartphone has access to the Internet via browsers so use common sense and close out browsers often if you have been using the Internet on your SmartPhone.
All of the risks you face browsing on a laptop, desktop or workstation also apply to your Smartphone.
Getting a Stalker Out of Your SmartPhone
Getting a stalker out of your SmartPhone (these methods will also pinpoint ANY unauthorized SmartPhone access and how or which app/account has been compromised) can happen in a few ways:
- Recover and restore a backup from your carrier or Smartphone manufacturer.
- Your carrier may also have Restore or ‘Factory Reset tools available. This will wipe your phone and a backup will have to be re-installed or you will have to sign in and manually re-install all of your email, apps and online accounts(speak with your carrier about these options as it may be required they do this for you on site or follow particular procedures.
- Keep your Bluetooth off, and/or make sure it is set to ‘undiscoverable’ so your device cannot be found. This is called ‘bluesnarfing’ in case you are not familiar.
- Use a VPN service for your Smartphone browsing. There are many of them and reasonably priced if not downright cheap.
- Android Users: From your Google Account change your password and click the ‘Log Out of All Sessions” button in your Google Account. Google provides tools which help you view any Google account access and activity.
- Apple Users: Change your password from your iTunes/Apple Account and if you have been creating regular backups restore one on your iPhone.
If you have not been using the same password for all of those accounts you may be able to recover account access and lock out any SmartPhone stalker you may have been dealing with.
If you are having weirdness or flat out stalking, or hijacking your SmartPhone then a few things to remember in conclusion about how to keep your information safe and what to do if you have a stalker creeping on your phone.
- Always use different, complex passwords for each app, online account and account associated with your device.
- Take advantage of any resources your cell phone provider has to offer to restore/reset and recover your device and corresponding accounts.
- Keep device backups(even partials) and make use of restore tools on your platform (Apple, Android).
*Article updated July of 2021.*