Do you know that someone having remote access to your phone is like taking over an entire half of your life? Let me explain myself. Most of us manage our lives, works, relationships, and almost everything via our smartphones. This means you're exposed to the hands of the bad ones once they can access your phone remotely. You don’t have to panic, though, because we’re about to show you how to stop someone from accessing your phone remotely. Relax.
How to stop someone from accessing your phone remotely
Especially if you're famous or have some social connections, chances are some people are working awfully hard to hack you down. Once they get access to your devices and your data are in their hands, they can do anything with it to tarnish your image. Maybe not that; they might use your sensitive data to blackmail you or do all sorts of ridiculous things with it.
If you’re privacy conscious and worried if your phone has been hacked or gotten access to your personal information, here’s how to stop someone from accessing your phone remotely.
1. Sign out your Google account from unrecognized devices
The first thing to do when you realize someone is accessing your Android device remotely is to secure your Google account. And by this time, you probably know that once someone can access your Google account, it can access almost everything on your phone. Talk of your Gmail, Calendar, Photos, Drive files, Notes, and almost everything, including your saved passwords, histories, etc.
Nonetheless, one way to tackle that is to check if your account is logged in on another unrecognized device, then secure it.
- Open Settings on your phone
- Select Google
- Tap Manage your Google Account
- Go to the Security tab
- Scroll down to Your devices
- Tap Manage devices.
- From there, you'll see a list of devices your account is currently signed in to.
- If you find any unfamiliar device, click on it.
- Select “Don’t recognize this device” to sign out from there and secure your account straightaway. Usually, all you must do is change your passwords.
Note: if you have multiple Google accounts on your device, you'll need to check them separately for the same issue.
2. Change your passwords ASAP.
Now, if you think someone is accessing your social media accounts or phone remotely but not from your Google account, you should change your passwords as soon as possible.
Start by changing your phone’s lock screen password/pin/pattern to a new one.
After that, you can go ahead to your social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others. Remember to use a strong password that you don’t use on any other platform.
3. Get rid of suspicious apps.
Beyond your Google account and social media accounts, another way scammers and hackers can tap your data is by tricking you to install spyware on your phone. And by “tricking you,” the app could be anything on your phone outside of the Google Play Store.
Scammers now insert spy codes into some "hacked" apps to steal your data. If you recognize any of them on your device, remove them now!
Here’s how to stop someone from accessing your phone remotely by removing their spy software:
- Open your Android phone Settings
- Go to the Apps & Notifications
- Tap See all apps or Manage apps.
- You'll see a list of apps installed on your phone. Scan them to find the ones you don't remember installing or didn't install from the Play Store (they might have spy codes).
- If found, click on the suspicious app, then tap the Uninstall button to remove it.
- Repeat the same for all other third-party apps till you get rid of them all
Some malicious Android apps go the extra mile to obtain admin privilege to prevent you from uninstalling them. If you meet an issue uninstalling a suspicious app on your phone, follow these steps to disable its administrator privileges first.
- Open the Settings
- Click on Security & Location.
- Tap Device admin apps.
- Choose the suspected app, then disable it.
- You can now uninstall the app safely.
4. Disable call forwarding
Another means someone might be spying on your cell phone is by forwarding your calls and text messages. Once they do that, they receive all your phone calls before they get to you.
If you think your call has been forwarded, our comprehensive article on How To Cancel Call Divert On Android Phones will help you out.
5. Factory reset your phone.
If you see some sign that someone still has remote access to your phone after doing everything said above, it’s time to reset your phone. Doing that will drop all sorts of tracking codes or apps installed on your phone.
But first, you should back up your Android device because you’ll lose all your data after wiping your phone. Once that’s solved, follow these steps to factory reset your mobile phone:
- Launch the Settings
- Search for Factory reset
- Select Erase all data (factory reset)
- Tap on ERASE ALL DATA, then confirm your phone security.
- Once again, tap ERASE ALL DATA to start the wiping process.
It’ll take a while before your device reset and restart. Once it does, you can restore your backed-up data and keep enjoying your phone.
Now that you've wiped your phone, learn how to keep it safe.
How to keep your smartphone safe
Learning how to stop someone from accessing your phone remotely isn't enough; you've got to prevent them from returning. Here are several ways to deny scammers access to your mobile device and the information stored on it.
1. Stick to the official store for installing apps
If you use an Android device and only install apps from the Google Play Store, the chance of a hacker getting a hold of your phone through spyware is slim. Even if you need to install apps outside the Play Store, ensure it's a trusted site like APKMirror.
2. Turn on two-factor authentication
To keep your accounts secured from now on, we recommend you set up 2-way authentication. With that, you have extra authentication when signing into your accounts, and that’d block anyone from accessing them, even if they eventually get to know your password.
You can set up two-factor authentication on all accounts from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, Google, and many more. Just check their Security settings page to see how.
3. Get a reliable antivirus.
Antivirus can always scan your device for new threats and install spyware. To keep your phone secured, investing in good antivirus software is great.
4. Keep your phone’s software and apps updated.
It’s not just about introducing new features; developers often send out security patches to keep your phone immune to security threats. So, it’s advisable to keep your phone and installed apps up to date to avoid those threats.
5. Review your accounts and change your password
Another way to keep your phone out of the reach of scammers is to review your account security issues regularly and make changes when needed. Usually, Google and other platforms like Facebook, Twitter will often send emails to you when there’s a security threat on your account. Always attend to those emails and make crucial changes when needed.
If you find out that your password is no longer secure, you should change it.
6. Desist from opening suspicious links
You probably have received an unusual message from someone asking you to open a link to win something or so. Well, some of these links are dangerous and could harm your phone when you do so. Before you click any link, think twice, and confirm whether it’s genuine or not.
How to stop someone from mirroring your phone
Stopping someone from mirroring your phone is the same as preventing them from accessing it remotely. So, when you notice that what you do on your phone is no longer visible to you only, use the aforementioned tips to stay secure. For a recap, here is all you can do:
- Only install your apps from the Play Store
- Turn on two-factor authentication
- Get a reliable antivirus
- Keep your phone’s software and apps up to date
- Review the security of your account and change your password when needed.
- Try not to open suspicious links.
How do I find out if someone is remotely accessing my phone?
Most times, your phone shows some signs that it has been hacked and is being accessed remotely by someone. However, you probably won’t notice unless you know the symptoms.
Here are some ways to find out if someone is accessing your phone remotely.
- Abnormal performance and poor battery life
- Apps take forever to launch.
- Unusual data consumption
- You notice strange apps
- Too many background processes
- Unusual activities on your social accounts or, most dangerously, your bank account
- Abnormal pop-ups
Although some of these things can happen naturally as your device grow old, you’ll still be very much aware if it’s normal or related to someone tapping your phone.
The risk of losing your personal information to hackers/scammers is exceedingly high. But you shouldn't worry since you can prevent it if it has not happened or stop it if it's happening already. Whenever you perceive that someone is accessing your mobile phones remotely, try the things mentioned in this article to stay secure.