We live in a world where most of the services and applications we use on our phones are free. We rarely pay, but at the same time we rarely worry about why all this stuff is free!
Usually it’s because your personal information is being shared. Facebook and Google Maps are two great examples where your personal information and location is used to gear services and adverts to your preferences. This all happens under the hood, and you’ll only ever notice it when it clever and nice things start happening.
However, if you start to install apps from outside the Google Play store or you head to shady parts of the internet, it’s not nice things that happen, it’s bad things. Sure, you might be able to find an APK for a paid-for app and you’ll pay nothing for it, but you’re opening yourself up to some harmful background tasks that are hard to notice. While you’re happily plugging away talking to friends on Facebook, writing a new blog post, or shopping for some shoes, they are exploiting holes in the defence of your smartphone to pull out personal data, financial records, while also planting trackers and malware into your system to track where you go, your contacts, your purchase history, and other critical identifiers. If you’re in New York, you can ask a Private Investigator in NYC to investigate further as they have a large amount of knowledge in this area.
Smartphones come with their own set of defences now including Google Play Protect, however you can also check to see if an app had altered your call settings too. There are certain codes that you can put into your phone dialer which help to identify your call settings. You can find out if your phone has been compromised and the dial settings have been altered.
This is just part of it of course, because you should also check into smartphone antivirus software.
Know Your Codes
Smartphones come in all shapes and sizes, but they have a few universal codes that can be used to determine who might be eavesdropping on your life.
- *#21#: This code shows the settings of your call forwarding, including voice, data, fax (remember that!), SMS, sync, and more. If someone is moving your data along, this how to find you about it.
- *#62#: This code is just for where calls are being redirected when your phone doesn’t have service. Messages and data are also revealed.
- ##002#: If you think there’s illegal call forwarding going on, this is the way to turn it all off.
- *#06#: This code delivers your International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI), which is unique to that one piece of hardware. Even if a new SIM card is put in, this code will tell your network operator where your phone physically resides.
Invest in Antivirus Software
Plenty of people will tell you that your phone doesn’t need antivirus software and that the built-in editions are plenty fine for keeping your device safe. The truth is that most malware that gets loaded onto smartphones is a lot less aggressive than the stuff that plagues laptops and desktops, making it harder to recognize. You might consider yourself safe, but that doesn’t mean the manufacturer of every app on your phone is as vigilant. Plus, if you are downloading and sideloading APK’s, it’s even more important to get AV.
Just because you live in a gated community with security guards – would you still leave your doors and windows unlocked when you weren’t home? Check out your antivirus options.