Protect Your Google Account
If you have a Google account, its important to check your location settings to ensure that you arent sharing your location with unwanted parties. If youve shared your location with someone in the past, they may still be able to access it through Google.
Google also has a feature that allows you to track all of your past movements even when you dont have a Google application running. This can be helpful if you want to see where youve been or remember how to get somewhere, but it also leaves you vulnerable if someone hacks your Google account.
To keep your Google account secure and protect your location information from attackers, remember to update your password and privacy settings regularly. You can also turn off Google location tracking or delete your movement history in your phones settings.
Update Your Device System And Don’t Download Files From Unknown Sources
Tom Malka, a cyber-threat intelligence researcher, said that “in order to stay as safe as possible, I would, first of all, recommend continuing to update the smartphone system frequently. These updates contain security updates that close off potential security vulnerabilities once they have been revealed.”
Did you receive a suspicious message with a malicious link to download an app? Do not rush to click it.
“Remember that oftentimes, ‘free’ is expensive and if the temptation calls for you to download apps outside of the app store, the exposure to risk increases,” Malka added. “It is important to be careful not to fall into a clickbait trap out of fear of spyware in particular, malware in general and of course a waste of time.”
“Most exploitations are carried out through vulnerabilities in existing apps that are downloaded broadly or are default apps on the devices, such as iMessage in the case of NSO’s spyware,” said Kayran CEO Sahar Avitan. “It is therefore crucial to update one’s device, which will make it difficult to carry out malicious operations on devices in contrast to outdated systems that have not been updated.”
How Does Nso’s Pegasus Work
The spyware carries out an action that, if someone without permission to do so activated it, would be considered a criminal act and a violation of law. It is an “offensive cyber” software it does not perform defensive actions, but rather offensive ones which are intended to compromise the existing defenses of devices and operating systems.
Pegasus exploits a number of vulnerabilities in the software – but mostly so-called “zero-day vulnerabilities.” These vulnerabilities have been given this name because they are loopholes in the software and operating systems of our devices that have not yet been discovered and have not been closed off by the companies producing the equipment or operating systems like Android by Google. It usually takes some time before these vulnerabilities are discovered and sealed.
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Control Permissions On Your Apps
Before you install apps, you should always check the permissions they will require on their Google Play or Apple App Store app page. Android phones will also give you a rundown of the permission requests upon installation of an app. iOS apps will typically show you a permission access pop-up upon using a feature that requires specific access to your gadget.
Sometimes apps ask for more information than they really need. That information can then be sent to companies who might use it for advertising.
This is why checking your app permissions regularly is good practice. Not only will it give you more privacy control and stop apps from potentially from spying and abusing your trust, but it can also weed out apps that are constantly running in the background, which can, in turn, improve your gadgets battery life.
Can Vpns Protect You From Other Cell
Partially, yes. Although a virtual private network will garble any data or traffic thats picked up by IMSI catchers, such as a StingRay device, it wont be able to hide your physical location .
Standard text messages also wont be protected, so make sure you use an alternative messaging app like WhatsApp, Signal or even Facebook Messenger if you want your messages covered by the VPN.
That said, protecting the contents of your data is probably more important than the fact that your device was located somewhere, unless youre currently evading a manhunt. Besides, law enforcement doesnt even need a cell-site simulator such as a StingRay if all they need is your location, as this can be found out by triangulating regular cell-phone towers or your GPS signal.
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How Much Do App Companies Know About Me
Smart phones are ubiquitous. We use them for navigation, banking, shopping, social media and so on.
Some of these applications use the GPS technology in your phone to make their features more useful to you .
Info: Sometimes they use your GPS to serve you ads for goods or services you are more likely to say yes to buying. But often times, apps have no need to access your location data, but do so anyway.
Regardless of how justified an apps access to your location data may or may not be, that data must be sent somewhere – the app company.
So, if you are wondering is my phone being tracked? the answer is **yes**.
Your phone is being tracked by dozens of companies and agencies and it is all entirely legal because you gave them permission to take this data from you when you downloaded their app and implicitly agreed to their terms of service.
Knowing this, it now makes a lot more sense that these companies can give these apps away for free. As the saying goes, If you didnt pay for the product, you are the product.
Warning: If you use a smartphone with a GPS, there is someone who is always keeping an eye on you virtually.
This goes for individuals, companies, and governments.
Lock Your Sim Card With A Pin
Another way to protect against certain forms of mobile phone spying is to lock your SIM card by setting a four- to eight-digit passcode known as a SIM PIN. Each time your phone reboots, youll need to enter this PIN if you want SMS, voice calls, and mobile data to work.
An iPhones SIM unlocking screen
If you type the wrong PIN three times, your SIM card will get blocked, and youll need to call your phone carrier to receive a Personal Unblocking Key to unblock it. If you enter the wrong PUK eight times, the SIM card will permanently disable itself.
With a locked SIM, youll still be able to use apps and Wi-Fi but not mobile data or cellphone service. So make sure that you securely record your SIM PIN somewhere safe, such as a password manager like Bitwarden, 1Password, or LastPass, and never try to guess it if you cant remember it.
If you want to lock your SIM card, first youll need to know the default SIM PIN for your cellphone company. For AT& T, Verizon, and Google Fi, its 1111 for T-Mobile, Sprint, and Metro, its 1234. If you use a different phone carrier, you should be able to search the internet to find it.
Once you know your default PIN, heres how to you set a new one:
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Ways To Block Your Phone From Being Tracked
1. Turn off Location Services
You probably do not know, but your phone is being tracked right now if not by hackers, then by the apps you use. And while every app that gains access to data about your location wont use it against you, you still need to keep a tab on which apps can access your whereabouts and how they use it.
If you suspect that someone might be tracking you, the first solution is to turn off your devices location. Doing that blocks the tracker, and every app on your phone, access to your location data.
To turn off your location on iOS and Android phones, all you need is to toggle off the location shortcut in your Control Centre or Quick Settings panel. Otherwise, you can go to the Location section of your devices Settings app to turn it off.
If, however, you dont want to turn off your Android devices location for specific reasons, you can assign which apps can get the location data when they can get it, or if they can get it at all:
- Open the Settings app
- Tap Location
- Select App access to location
- Assign which apps can get your location always when opened, or not at all.
2. Put Your Phone on Airplane Mode
Just open your devices Control Centre or Quick Settings panel and turn on Airplane mode to cut you off from the network.
Also, if you’re in a store, café, or where there are many people, you may need to disable your Bluetooth to ensure no one is getting your devices unique fingerprint.
3. Check Your Google Location Sharing
Tweak Your Phones Location Settings
Apple and Android devices that you might not be aware of. The feature is buried inside privacy settings, and unless you turn it off, it will record your daily routine.
Known as Frequent Locations, it keeps track of where you are and how long you stay there. It even knows where you live and work based on how long youre there and the number of times you go.
If you find this unsettling, turn the feature off:
Turn off location settings on Apple Devices
You can also clear your history here by clicking Clear History.
Change location settings on Android Devices
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Your Phone Has Been Jailbroken Or Rooted
Jailbreaking or rooting is the process of removing manufacturer restrictions in order to gain access to areas of the phone that would normally be protected. It is a practice commonly used by hackers in order to install spyware. It can be difficult to spot, but look out for a strange app called Cydia or SuperUser suddenly appearing on your home screen, says Kent-Payne. Heres why you should be worried about your cell phone catching a virus.
Turn Off Significant Locations
Your iPhone keeps track of the places you visit frequently. This information is used to help you navigate through traffic better, among other things. But its invasive. You might want to turn this feature off.
How do you turn off Significant Locations? Follow these steps:
- Go to Settings> Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Significant Locations.
- Slide off Significant Locations
- Tap Clear History
This will both stop Apple from tracking you and wipe your location history clean.
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Do Police Listen To Phone Calls
Can police listen to phone conversations on your landline or cell? Yes, they can potentially listen in on both under certain conditions. Wiretaps can provide supportive evidence against people suspected of criminal activity. Police may also seek a warrant to obtain location information through cellphone data.
If You Refuse To Offer The Password Can Police Still Search Your Cellphone
Yes, even if you refuse to give police the password to your phone, police have ways to get to the information inside. As one man with an extremely well-protected phone found out in a case out of Richmond, police have specialized branches that can crack into the toughest phones.
The case involved two BlackBerry phones that Richmond RCMP sent to the Mounties Technical Crime Branch in Ottawa. Despite not having a warrant to search the phone, the Mounties seized it and spent two years trying to crack one of the phones due to technology restrictions at the time. The RCMP ended up accessing the phone by bypassing the password and creating an exact copy of the devices memory, and the evidence inside was later determined to be admissible in court.
One of the issues raised was whether police were right to send the phone off for a thorough examination at a laboratory and the length of time police spent trying to get inside the phone. After all, seizing the phone and then sending it to a lab is no longer just a simple search by the side of the road. The court, however, determined that police were allowed to take their time to send the phone away to have it analyzed, and said this:
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Use A Private Browser On Your Phone
For those times when web anonymity is your primary priority, it doesnt stop even when youre on the go. You can get comparable anti-web tracking tools on your smartphone, too.
One such app is Mozillas free Firefox Focus app. This anonymous mobile web browser blocks all advertising, analytics and social trackers by default. It also erases all passwords and browsing history after each session.
The mobile versions of And Microsofts Edge also have incognito and InPrivate modes you can use.
If you dont want a mobile browser thats associated with the big data brokers, you can try the third-party app Dolphin browser. Aside from a Private Mode, this browser has great features that specifically enhances the mobile browsing experience.
If youre on a Samsung smartphone, you can also use the companys very own Samsung Internet app. This browser has a built-in ad tracking blocker that will keep other sites from tracking your online activity.
If you dont like the idea of Google recording all your search terms, alternative engines such as Yippy, DuckDuckGo and Ixquick dont track you as aggressively. .
Can Police Tap Your Phone Without You Knowing
Yes, your cell phone can be tapped by the police without you ever knowing. There are a couple of different ways they can go about it putting a physical bug on your phone or connecting to your ISP and gathering all your calls and SMS data. However, there are certain rules they must follow before they can tap your phone. Unless theyre certain that collected data can be used as evidence in court, they probably wont be able to get a warrant to tap your phone.
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Youre Hearing Background Noise Or Electronic Interference
If youre hearing background noises coming from your phone such as echoes, static, or clicking sounds, this may be a sign that someone is listening in on your calls, said Kent-Payne. This one is pretty rare since most newer tracking software is completely quiet, but it is still something to look out for.
Can You Fake Gps Location On Your Phone
Android and iOS phones dont have settings that allow you to spoof your real location. Without your correct GPS information, many apps, including ride sharing, dating, and food delivery services wont work properly. Thats why no manufacturer makes it easy to play around with location settings.
Youll find third-party services that work as GPS spoofers. Just keep in mind that they dont hide your IP, so services can still pinpoint your real location. Use CyberGhost VPN in conjunction with these services to really hide your location.
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How To Tell Or Identify If Your Phone Is Tapped By Police
Are you wondering how to tell if your phone is tapped by the police or law enforcement? Finding out if police are tapping your phone is more accessible today with the advancement of technology. While its challenging to identify wiretapping over landline phones, for a cell phone, there are companies and apps that can assist in identifying a phone tapped by the police.
Certain companies can inform you if a fake antenna is tapping your phone, or if the police are trying to hack your phone to get into your private conversations and messages.
However, the antenna that is being used to identify if police tap a phone doesnt involve encrypting your calls or text messages. These antennas will only inform you that your phone is being tapped.
How To Prevent A Remote User From Accessing Your Phone
Someone would need to install spy software on your phone to access it remotely. Apple makes it tough to install harmful software since you can only download apps from the App Store.
However, if you use an Android phone and think someone is remotely accessing it, you should scan it for spyware. However, the procedure can be a little complicated.
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Turn Off Parked Location
Did you know your iPhone knows where you parked your car? It keeps track of the parking spot to help you find it again. This feature is useful, but it also compromises your privacy. Heres how you can turn it off:
- Go to Settings> Maps
- Scroll down and find Show Parked Location
- Slide it off
Note that Parked Location only works if your car has Bluetooth or a Car Stereo to connect to your phone. If it doesnt, you dont need to toggle off this feature.