If you’ve ever tried searching online about whether or not it’s possible for someone to hack your mobile device with just your number, you might have come across several articles and blog posts claiming that it’s possible.
It’s alarming to think that if someone wanted to hack your phone, all they would need is your number. You’d be forgiven for thinking this is a very real threat to your mobile security.
But is it actually true that someone could hack my phone only by knowing my number?
Quite simply – no, it isn’t. Based on our research, we found this to be false and most of the search results related to this enquiry are largely using the discussion of the method in question to promote and sell spy software designed to be physically installed on a victim’s device. This type of software is also commonly referred to as ‘monitoring software’ but is really just a thin veil for what is widely known as spyware.
Let’s look at an example from a search using the keyword “is it possible to hack someones cell phone number”:
At the beginning, this article claims “Yes, if you know about the right tools, you can do this”. However, as you read on it becomes clear that the entire point of the article is to promote their spy software Spyic, a tool that in no way works just by knowing the victims phone number.
If you look closely at any article claiming that a phone can be hacked just by knowing it’s number, you’ll find that they all have one thing in common – promotion of a spyware tool that requires more than just the number to install, i.e. physical access to the device or iCloud login details.
Whilst these spyware tools can certainly do an extreme amount of damage and essentially steal all of the private information on your device, fortunately the claim that they can be installed with just a number is simply not true.
How hackers can use your number to get access to your personal information
That said there are a few ways a hacker can use your phone number to help get extra access as part of a larger attack:
- ‘Phishing’ for personal data. It’s common for hackers to send fake text messages to their targets in order to gain username and password information (this is known as phishing). The text will typically contain a link to a fake website that will look almost identical to the legitimate version, but this fake version will record any inputted data and send it back to the hacker.
- Sending links to malicious apps. One of the ways that hackers will try to hack devices is by sending links to malicious apps via SMS messages. The hacker might be posing as a legitimate company providing an seemingly genuine app (a fake dating app, for example). The aim is to get you to download and/or install the app onto your device, opening up access to the hacker without your knowledge.
- Two-factor authentication. This is when a company will confirm your identity by sending you an SMS code to input when logging into your account. A hacker could access this code if they have spyware installed and get full access to the account in question.
It’s important to reiterate that it’s not possible for someone to just simply type your number into some shady software and click “HACK”. There is usually a process of tricking you into doing something as mentioned above.
The REAL ways your phone can be hacked
On top of these methods, there are other ways that someone can hack your cell phone. There are a few different ways of doing this depending on the type of phone you have. Below we’ve listed the common types of hacking that could happen to you, along with a way to easily protect yourself against them:
Apple devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch) are usually much harder for a hacker to hack due to Apple’s tougher security measures. However, there are a few ways that hackers can steal data from your iOS device. Firstly, a hacker could compromise your iCloud account. If you backup your device to iCloud then hackers could access this data if they are able to break into your account, allowing them to see to everything on that device, including contacts, chat and messaging history, photos, etc.
Secondly, spyware can be installed onto an iOS device, but requires the hacker to jailbreak the device in order to bypass Apple’s in-built security. If they do that, they will have access to everything on your device, be able to track your location and may even be able to monitor you via the microphone and cameras.
The best way to protect yourself from someone installing spyware onto your iPhone is to regularly scan your device. Unfortunately, Apple don’t allow spyware-scanning apps onto the App Store, so you will have to do this via a computer.
Luckily, we’ve made it extremely easy to do this using Certo AntiSpy. This will allow you to easily check your device to see if there is spyware installed. Currently, our industry-leading software is the best defence against spyware for Apple devices.
Android devices offer considerably more opportunity for hackers since their system is much more open to control by the user. This means that it’s easier for a hacker to find ways to exploit this system.
By far the most common way of hacking an Android device is using spyware. This software can be purchased for as little as $30 and can be very easily installed directly onto the device with little to no actual ‘hacking’ required.
It’s also possible to hide this spyware from the victim, so you could be using your phone as normal, completely unaware of the fact that someone is remotely monitoring your actions, stealing your data and potentially even watching you via the device cameras.
Unlike Apple devices, Android let’s users install their own security software directly onto their device. That’s why we’ve developed our FREE app – Certo Mobile Security.
Our app will let you check whether there is any spyware installed on your device with just a simple ‘tap’. Any spyware that is installed onto the device can easily be removed.
Hopefully this has helped put your mind at ease that when it comes to whether or not someone can hack your device just with your number – the answer is a resounding NO!
Please remember to stay safe whilst using the internet, hacking is a very real threat and it pays to ensure you are fully protected – especially considering how much sensitive and private information we keep on our mobile devices.