How to Stop Someone From Accessing Your Phone Remotely

Enabling 2FA is a great first step, but there are two other things you should do

What to Know

  • Enable 2FA: Your Google account > Security > 2-Step Verification > Get Started > Follow steps > Turn On.
  • Remove devices: Settings app > Google > Manage your Google Account > Security > Manage devices > Don't recognize this device
  • Change Android password: Settings > Lock screen > Screen lock type > Password > enter new password.

This guide will show three steps to take to prevent some bad actors from accessing your Android phone remotely. You don't have to do all three, but you should in order to maximize your protection.

Option 1: How to Turn On 2FA on Android With Google

Two-factor authentication (often referred to as 2FA) is a great form of protection to prevent sensitive information from being stolen.

  1. Start by going to your Google account page and selecting Security in the left-hand menu.

    Google account with Security highlighted
  2. Scroll down to the Signing in to Google section. There, click the 2-Step Verification section. It will appear turned off.

    2 Step Verification section in Google
  3. Scroll down to the bottom and click Get Started.

    Get Started button in 2-Step verification
  4. Then, sign in to your Google account to verify your identity.

  5. Next, you will see a list of all the devices connected to your account that can be used for 2FA.

    A list of all devices for 2-Step verification
  6. Click the Continue button at the bottom of that page.

    List of devices available for 2FA and Continue button
  7. Next Google will ask you to enter your phone number. After you finish, hit Send.

  8. You'll get a text message to that phone number containing a code. Enter the code into the space and then click Next.

    Field to enter a 2FA code
  9. Next, you will be asked to turn on 2-Step Verification. It will tell you how you'll get the verification prompt and the backup option.

  10. Select Turn On in the corner.

    Turn on 2FA button

Option 2: Remove Unrecognized Devices

It's recommended you browse through your phone and remove any devices you don't recognize that are connected to your Google account.

  1. Open the Settings app on your phone. Scroll down and select the Google entry.

  2. Tap Manage your Google Account.

  3. Then, go to the Security tab.

    Android steps for Google unrecognized devices
  4. Scroll down to the Your devices section.

  5. Tap Manage devices at the bottom of the section.

  6. You will see a list of devices signed your account is signed into.

  7. Tap any device you don't recognize.

  8. Select the option Don't recognize this device? to sign out from there.

    Google other devices list
  9. After you do this, it's recommended you change the password on your phone.

Option 3: Change Your Android Phone's Password

It's recommended you change your phone's lock screen password after making changes to your Google account.

  1. Open the Settings menu and tap Lock screen.

  2. In the next window, tap Screen lock type. Enter your password when it asks.

    On some Android devices, it's Settings > Security > Screen lock.

    Selecting Lock screen type on Android
  3. Under Screen lock type, it's recommended you select the Password options for the highest level of security.

  4. Tap Password and enter a new password. Enter it again to confirm it.

  5. It's also recommended you enable the Smart Lock feature which will keep the phone unlocked when the device detects it's on you and locks it when apart.

  6. Back under the Lock screen menu, tap Smart Lock.

    On some Android devices, this is in Settings > Security > Advanced settings > Smart Lock.

  7. Under Smart Lock, turn on on-body detection by tapping the entry and toggling the switch.

    Lock screen menu options for On-body detection
  8. Trusted places allows you to set locations where the phone can be unlocked.

    Trusted places and devices settings on Android phone

Is My Phone Being Accessed Remotely?

You can tell if your phone is maybe being accessed remotely if it begins acting in ways you've never experienced before. Here are some possible signs:

  • The phone is warm even when not using it
  • Battery drains much faster than before
  • Apps appearing you didn't install (and weren't there before)
  • New accounts you didn't create are present
  • How do I set up two-factor authorization on Facebook?

    On the website, click the down arrow in the upper-right corner, and then go to Settings & Privacy > Settings > Security and Login and click Edit next to Use two-factor authentication. In the app, go to Menu > Settings & privacy > Settings > Password and security > Use two-factor authentication. You can use an app like Google Authenticator, or receive a code via SMS every time you log in to stop someone else from accessing your account, even if they have your password.

  • How do I set up two-factor authorization in Snapchat?

    First, tap your profile image in the upper-left corner. Tap the Settings gear in the upper-right of the next screen. Select Two-Factor Authentication, and then choose whether to use an SMS code, an authentication app, or both.

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