Cell phone hacks: What you need to do now to protect your phone and accounts

When it comes to important possessions, there’s not much that ranks higher than your cell phone. But few of us protect our phones from hackers, beyond just the basics.

Cyber security experts say that has to change. And they’re calling on you to “lock down your logins,” to protect your private information.

Scam texts are the main way hackers get into your phone. And they have one thing in common, they need you to click in order to work.

Brandon Worley explained how deceptive the scammers can be.

“My buddy’s phone has been hacked and people were able to access his old messages, all his accounts, and they were actually able to put out messages with his number, and at the same time, he has his phone, he’s working it fine, not knowing all this is going down,” said Worley.

John Austin who owns Computer Doc in Spartanburg says that scenario is more common than you might think.

“We’re getting a lot more people coming in with hacked phones and most of the customers don’t even know they’re being hacked and they’re actually sending out texts to people without knowing,” said Austin.

To protect your phone never respond to texts from unknown numbers, and certainly, don’t click on the links. If you think that a text is suspicious you can forward it to 7726 to alert your carrier, and then delete it.

It’s also crucial to get anti-malware software, and safeguard the accounts you access on your mobile with a 2-step verification process.

Take Gmail, for instance. You can request that on top of a password, it also sends you a text if a login occurs from n unknown device.

With banks, you can add a pin or personal question for each login. Check here to see if your bank, or any other organization has a 2-step verification process. If not, the site will allow you to request it on social media.

7 News asked Luke Vanwingerden, an IT expert with USC Upstate how you can tell if you have a virus or malware on your phone.

“Typically you start to see strange behavior, whether it’s your home page has been changed, or you may get popups, or your phone may slow down. And other times you may not know. Hackers are absolutely testing it to make sure it goes undetected if they want it to be undetected,” he said.

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