Protect your phone from these seven hacking tricks

Any American without a mobile device is in the minority. Only 3% of Americans don’t own a cellphone, the Pew Research Center says. Mobile devices play a central role in our daily tasks, as conduits for alarms, messaging, navigation and even grocery shopping.

They’ve come a long way from phones of the past. Tap or click here for 10 valuable tips and tricks hiding in your phone’s accessibility settings. However, there’s a downside to all its rapid growth: Criminals want a piece of the pie.

The RSA says 70% of online fraud is done through mobile platforms. A single fumble of your finger against a dangerous hyperlink could download malware that locks you out of your phone, so you must be careful. Here are seven ways cybercriminals try to break into your phone.

1. In-person hacks

Not all attacks are made remotely. One man forced his way into his sleeping girlfriend’s phone. She used facial recognition to open her phone, so he drugged her, lifted her eyelids and held the phone up to her face. Once the phone unlocked, he stole almost $24,000 and blew it all gambling, the Daily Mail reports.

As you can tell, camera ID can be easy to fool. That’s why we recommend using passcodes or pattern locks to protect your phone. Tap or click here to password-protect individual apps.

2. Stalkerware

One creepy trend is stalkerware. That’s when someone installs an app on your phone to track you. These apps provide your stalker access to the GPS location of your device, along with images, call logs, images and even your browser history.

Since these tools are designed to be hidden, it can be difficult to spot them. Checking your battery should be your first step if you think your phone is compromised. Reduced battery life could mean a secret app is running in the background. Tap or click here for six more signs your phone has stalkerware — and what you can do about it.

3. Bad downloads

Treat your phone with the same caution you would your computer. You may download a PDF or some…