If you’re using your Smartphone right now, you’re being hacked and don’t even know it. A new type of malware called ransomware has been designed to infiltrate your mobile device, encrypt all your personal files, and then hold them ransom until you pay the criminals off in Bitcoin currency. Just this week, two British hospitals were forced to postpone operations and appointments after they were targeted by ransomware hackers—who demanded payment of $13,700 to restore the hospital’s IT systems so that patients could be treated again. You Could Be The Next Victim
Check to see if you’re hacked
Although there are several warning signs that your device has been hacked, it’s difficult to tell for sure. If you’re worried about whether or not your mobile device has been compromised, do a quick search for how to check if my phone is hacked. If you find an error message, don’t click any links—leave it alone
Change your passwords
Hackers often target large companies with tens of thousands of users. These companies, even if they have strong security measures in place, get hacked once or twice a year. If you’re running an older version of Android or iOS, you should also change your phone password immediately.
Monitor your credit score
If you find out your credit score has been affected by fraud, take immediate action. If you wait too long, there may be little you can do. Get copies of all of your credit reports, review them for suspicious activity and then call one of these three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion) to place a fraud alert on your account. You Could Be The Next Victim
Deactivate all accounts
Once your accounts are breached, there’s no telling how far that data could spread. Log into your account settings, look for a security or privacy section and deactivate all access from third-party applications. This is especially important for any apps that you downloaded a long time ago and haven’t used in a while—you don’t want any apps accessing data if you aren’t using them anymore.
Contact banks and card issuers
In some cases, your bank may be able to put a freeze on your account until you can get new cards issued. It’s possible that thieves will still be able to use your credit before then, but it’s one way to prevent additional purchases and limit your losses. To do it: Call up your bank or card issuer and ask them to put a fraud alert or security alert on your account.
File a police report
When you’re hacked, it’s not only embarrassing; it can be costly and potentially dangerous. If you suspect your phone has been hacked, file a police report as soon as possible so that you have some recourse if things go south. It’s also worth alerting any credit card companies or banks that could be compromised—reporting credit card fraud quickly is your best bet for minimizing potential losses.
Update software on all devices
The best way to protect yourself is to ensure all of your devices—phones, computers, and tablets—are running up-to-date software. The newest version will likely have all known security flaws patched. It’s also a good idea to regularly change your passwords and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. This adds an extra layer of protection by requiring you to enter a PIN number in addition to entering your password when logging into sites and apps.