How to find who is tracking your mobile phone: Ever wondered whether your phone has been hacked, or being tracked? Surely, there have been instances when you thought so. So, even as the rapid spread of mobile telephony has eased people’s lives in many ways, the accompanying rise of cyber crimes has become one of the biggest present-day concerns. Nowadays, hackers can remotely install a piece of software in your mobile phone to steal personal data, which may include bank account details and private photos. Hackers can do this by sending a text or email posing as a promotional message to lure individuals. For example, you may receive a text along with an online link asking you to claim awards, easy loans, shopping offers etc. The message may ask you to click on the link to claim the offer. Irrespective of the kind of phone you are using, you should avoid clicking on such links.
How phones are hacked
– Researchers have found that criminals can steal a phone’s PIN by tracking the motion of the phone. Cyber experts at New Castle University in the United Kingdom had shown in a research report published in April 2017 that it was possible to “crack four-digit PINs with a 70% accuracy on the first guess – 100% by the fifth guess – using just the data collected via the phone’s numerous internal sensors.”
Dr Maryam Mehrnezhad, a Research Fellow in the School of Computing Science and lead author on the paper, had said, “Most smartphones, tablets, and other wearables are now equipped with a multitude of sensors, from the well-known GPS, camera and microphone to instruments such as the gyroscope, proximity, NFC, and rotation sensors and accelerometer. But because mobile apps and websites don’t need to ask permission to access most of them, malicious programs can covertly ‘listen in’ on your sensor data and use it to discover a wide range of sensitive information about you such as phone call timing, physical activities and even your touch actions, PINs and passwords.
“More worrying, on some browsers, we found that if you open a page on your phone or tablet which hosts one of these malicious codes and then open, for example, your online banking account without closing the previous tab, then they can spy on every personal detail you enter. And worse still, in some cases, unless you close them down completely, they can even spy on you when your phone is locked.”
– The hacker can change the passwords of your device and access confidential business and private data. The can install malicious code on the phone, which will allow them to read your messages, access personal photos and even turn on the microphone.
– Several unverified apps on PlayStore can be an easy conduit for malware. Several apps use big terms of agreement to sneak into your phone by making you grant permission for access.
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– A hacked phone can become a part of a network of computers involved in mining cryptocurrency.
How to know who is tracking your phone
You can immediately check if your phone has been compromised, or if your calls, messages etc have been forwarded without your knowledge. All you need to do is dial a few USSD codes – ##002#, *#21#, and *#62# from your phone’s dialer.
Watch this Zee Business Video explainer
##002# – If your voice call or data call, or SMS call has been forwarded, dialling this USSD code will erase them.
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*#21# – By dialling this USSD code, you would get to know if your calls have been diverted somewhere else or not.
*#62# – With this, you can know if any of your calls – voice, data, fax, SMS etc, has been forwarded or diverted without your knowledge.
Needless to say, you can rest easy after stopping your phone from being tracked by hackers.