HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOUR PHONE HAS BEEN HACKED

by Natasha Stokes on May 01, 2019

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From email to banking, our smartphones are the main hub of our online lives. No wonder that smartphones are starting to stack up to computers as common targets for online hackers.

Security researchers recently revealed one attack campaign that released malicious Android apps that were nearly identical to legitimate secure messaging programs, including WhatsApp and Signal, tricking thousands of people in nearly 20 countries into installing it. These apps were downloaded via a website called Secure Android, and once installed, gave hackers access to photos, location information, audio capture, and message contents. According to EFF Staff Technology Cooper Quentin, of note is that the malware did not involve a sophisticated software exploit, but instead only required “application permissions that users themselves granted when they downloaded the apps, not realizing that they contained malware.”

Malware is often downloaded from non-official sources, including phishing links sent via email or message, as well as malicious websites such as the Secure Android site mentioned above. (While security experts recommend always downloading from official app stores – like the Apple App Store or Google Play – some countries are unable to access certain apps from these sources, for example, secure messaging apps that would allow people to communicate secretly.

Across the board, mobile malware has been on the riseup – in part due to an increase in political spies trying to break into the devices of persons of interest. Once this malware is online, other criminals are able to exploit compromised devices too. Malware can include spyware that monitors a device’s content, programs that harness a device’s internet bandwidth for use in a botnet to send spam, or phishing screens that steal a user’s logins when entered into a compromised, legitimate app.

Then there are the commercial spy apps that require physical access to download to a phone – often done by those well-known to the victim such as a partner or parent – and which can monitor everything that occurs on the device.

Not sure if you may have been hacked? We spoke to Josh Galindo, director of training at uBreakiFix, about how to tell a smartphone might have been compromised. And, we explore the seven ways your phone can be hacked and the steps you can take to protect yourself.

6 Signs your phone may have been hacked

1. Noticeable decrease in battery life

While a phone’s battery life inevitably decreases over time, a smartphone that has been compromised by malware may start to display a significantly decreased lifespan. This is because the malware – or spy app – may be using up phone resources to scan the device and transmit the information back to a criminal server.

(That said, simple everyday use can equally deplete a phone’s lifespan. Check if that’s the case by running through these steps for improving your Android or iPhone battery life.

2. Sluggish performance

Do you find your phone frequently freezing, or certain applications crashing? This could be down to malware that is overloading the phone’s resources or clashing with other applications.

You may also experience continued running of applications despite efforts to close them, or even have the phone itself crash and/or restart repeatedly.

(As with reduced battery life, many factors could contribute to a slower phone – essentially, its everyday use, so first try deep cleaning your Android or iPhone.)

3. High data usage

Another sign of a compromised phone is an unusually high data bill at the end of the month, which can come from malware or spy apps running in the background, sending information back to its server.

4. Outgoing calls or texts you didn’t send

If you’re seeing lists of calls or texts to numbers you don’t know, be wary – these could be premium-rate numbers that malware is forcing your phone to contact; the proceeds of which land in the cyber-crim’s wallet. In this case, check your phone bill for any costs you don’t recognise.

5. Mystery pop-ups

While not all pop-ups mean your phone has been hacked, constant pop-up alerts could indicate that your phone has been infected with adware, a form of malware that forces devices to view certain pages that drive revenue through clicks. Even if a pop-up isn’t the result of a compromised phone, many may be phishing links that attempt to get users to type in sensitive info – or download more malware. The vast majority of such pop-ups can be neutralised simply by shutting the window – though be sure you’re clicking the right X, as many are designed to shunt users towards clicking an area that instead opens up the target, sometimes malicious, site.

6. Unusual activity on any accounts linked to the device

If a hacker has access to your phone, they also have access to its accounts – from social media to email to various lifestyle or productivity apps. This could reveal itself in activity on your accounts, such as resetting a password, sending emails, marking unread emails that you don’t remember reading, or signing up for new accounts whose verification emails land in your inbox.

In this case, you could be at risk for identity fraud, where criminals open new accounts or lines of credit in your name, using information taken from your breached accounts. It’s a good idea to change your passwords – without updating them on your phone – before running a security sweep on your phone itself.

SOS steps

If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms of a hacked smartphone, the best first step is to download a mobile security app.

For Android, we like Avast, which not only scans for malware but offers a call blocker, firewall, VPN, and a feature to request a PIN every time certain apps are used – preventing malware from opening sensitive apps such as your online banking.

iPhones may be less prone to hacks, but they aren’t totally immune. Lookout for iOS flags apps that are acting maliciously, potentially dangerous Wi-Fi networks,  and if the iPhone has been jailbroken (which increases its risk for hacking). It’s free, with $9.99/month for identity protection, including alerts of logins being exposed.

Who would hack your phone?

By now, government spying is such a common refrain that we may have become desensitized to the notion that the NSA taps our phone calls or the FBI can hack our computers whenever it wants. Yet there are other technological means – and motives – for hackers, criminals and even the people we know, such as a spouse or employer, to hack into our phones and invade our privacy.

7 ways your phone can be hacked

From targeted breaches and vendetta-fueled snooping to opportunistic land grabs for the data of the unsuspecting, here are seven ways someone could be spying on your cell phone – and what you can do about it.

1. Spy apps

There is a glut of phone monitoring apps designed to covertly track someone’s location and snoop on their communications. Many are advertised to suspicious partners or distrustful employers, but still more are marketed as a legitimate tool for safety-concerned parents to keep tabs on their kids. Such apps can be used to remotely view text messages, emails, internet history, and photos; log phone calls and GPS locations; some may even hijack the phone’s mic to record conversations made in person. Basically, almost anything a hacker could possible want to do with your phone, these apps would allow.

And this isn’t just empty rhetoric. When we studied cell phone spying apps back in 2013, we found they could do everything they promised. Worse, they were easy for anyone to install, and the person who was being spied on would be none the wiser that there every move was being tracked.

“There aren’t too many indicators of a hidden spy app – you might see more internet traffic on your bill, or your battery life may be shorter than usual because the app is reporting back to a third-party,” says Chester Wisniewski, principal research scientist at security firm Sophos.

Likelihood

Spy apps are available on Google Play, as well as non-official stores for iOS and Android apps, making it pretty easy for anyone with access to your phone (and a motive) to download one.

How to protect yourself

  • Since installing spy apps require physical access to your device, putting a passcode on your phone greatly reduces the chances of someone being able to access your phone in the first place. And since spy apps are often installed by someone close to you (think spouse or significant other), pick a code that won’t be guessed by anyone else.
  • Go through your apps list for ones you don’t recognize.
  • Don’t jailbreak your iPhone. “If a device isn’t jailbroken, all apps show up,” says Wisniewski. “If it is jailbroken, spy apps are able to hide deep in the device, and whether security software can find it depends on the sophistication of the spy app [because security software scans for known malware].”
  • For iPhones, ensuring you phone isn’t jailbroken also prevents anyone from downloading a spy app to your phone, since such software – which tampers with system-level functions – doesn’t make it onto the App Store.
  • Download a mobile security app. For Android, we like Avast and for iOS, we recommend Lookout for iOS.

2. Phishing by message

Whether it’s a text claiming to be from your financial institution, or a friend exhorting you to check out this photo of you last night, SMSes containing deceptive links that aim to scrape sensitive information (otherwise known as phishing or “smishing”) continue to make the rounds.

Android phones may also fall prey to messages with links to download malicious apps. (The same scam isn’t prevalent for iPhones, which are commonly non-jailbroken and therefore can’t download apps from anywhere except the App Store.)

Such malicious apps may expose a user’s phone data, or contain a phishing overlay designed to steal login information from targeted apps – for example, a user’s bank or email app.

Likelihood

Quite likely. Though people have learned to be skeptical of emails asking them to “click to see this funny video!”, security lab Kaspersky notes that they tend to be less wary on their phones.

How to protect yourself

  • Keep in mind how you usually verify your identity with various accounts – for example, your bank will never ask you to input your full password or PIN.
  • Avoid clicking links from numbers you don’t know, or in curiously vague messages from friends, especially if you can’t see the full URL.
  • If you do click on the link and end up downloading an app, your Android phone should notify you. Delete the app and/or run a mobile security scan.

3. SS7 global phone network vulnerability

A communication protocol for mobile networks across the world, Signalling System No 7 (SS7), has a vulnerability that lets hackers spy on text messages, phone calls and locations, armed only with someone’s mobile phone number. An added concern is that text message is a common means to receive two-factor authentication codes from, say, email services or financial institutions – if these are intercepted, an enterprising hacker could access protected accounts, wrecking financial and personal havoc.

According to security researcher Karsten Nohl, law enforcement and intelligence agencies use the exploit to intercept cell phone data, and hence don’t necessarily have great incentive to seeing that it gets patched.

Likelihood

Extremely unlikely, unless you’re a political leader, CEO or other person whose communications could hold high worth for criminals. Journalists or dissidents travelling in politically restless countries may be at an elevated risk for phone tapping.

How to protect yourself

  • Use an end-to-end encrypted message service that works over the internet (thus bypassing the SS7 protocol), says Wisniewski. WhatsApp (free, iOS/Android), Signal (free, iOS/Android) and Wickr Me (free, iOS/Android) all encrypt messages and calls, preventing anyone from intercepting or interfering with your communications.
  • Be aware that if you are in a potentially targeted group your phone conversations could be monitored and act accordingly.

4. Snooping via open Wi-Fi networks

Thought that password-free Wi-Fi network with full signal bars was too good to be true? It might just be. Eavesdroppers on an unsecured Wi-Fi network can view all its unencrypted traffic. And nefarious public hotspots can redirect you to lookalike banking or email sites designed to capture your username and password. And it’s not necessarily a shifty manager of the establishment you’re frequenting. For example, someone physically across the road from a popular coffee chain could set up a login-free Wi-Fi network named after the café, in hopes of catching useful login details for sale or identity theft.

Likelihood

Any tech-savvy person could potentially download the necessary software to intercept and analyze Wi-Fi traffic – including your neighbor having a laugh at your expense (you weren’t browsing NSFW websites again, were you?).

How to protect yourself

  • Only use secured networks where all traffic is encrypted by default during transmission to prevent others from snooping on your Wi-Fi signal.
  • Download a VPN app to encrypt your smartphone traffic. ExpressVPN (Android/iOS from $6.67/month) is a great all-round choice that offers multi-device protection, for your tablet and laptop for example.
  • If you must connect to a public network and don’t have a VPN app, avoid entering in login details for banking sites or email. If you can’t avoid it, ensure the URL in your browser address bar is the correct one. And never enter private information unless you have a secure connection to the other site (look for “https” in the URL and a green lock icon in the address bar).

5. Unauthorized access to iCloud or Google account

Hacked iCloud and Google accounts offer access to an astounding amount of information backed up from your smartphone – photos, phonebooks, current location, messages, call logs and in the case of the iCloud Keychain, saved passwords to email accounts, browsers and other apps. And there are spyware sellers out there who specifically market their products against these vulnerabilities.

Online criminals may not find much value in the photos of regular folk – unlike nude pictures of celebrities that are quickly leaked– but they know the owners of the photos do, says Wisniewski, which can lead to accounts and their content being held digitally hostage unless victims pay a ransom.

Additionally, a cracked Google account means a cracked Gmail, the primary email for many users.

Having access to a primary email can lead to domino-effect hacking of all the accounts that email is linked to – from your Facebook account to your mobile carrier account, paving the way for a depth of identity theft that would seriously compromise your credit.

Likelihood

“This is a big risk. All an attacker needs is an email address; not access to the phone, nor the phone number,” Wisniewski says. If you happen to use your name in your email address, your primary email address to sign up for iCloud/Google, and a weak password that incorporates personally identifiable information, it wouldn’t be difficult for a hacker who can easily glean such information from social networks or search engines.

How to protect yourself

  • Create a strong password for these key accounts (and as always, your email).
  • Enable login notifications so you’re aware of sign-ins from new computers or locations.
  • Enable two-factor authentication so that even if someone discovers your password they can’t access your account without access to your phone.
  • To prevent someone resetting your password, lie when setting up password security questions. You would be amazed how many security questions rely on information that is easily available on the Internet or is widely known by your family and friends.

6. Malicious charging stations

Well-chosen for a time when smartphones barely last the day and Google is the main way to not get lost, this hack leverages our ubiquitous need for juicing our phone battery, malware be damned. Malicious charging stations – including malware-loaded computers – take advantage of the fact that standard USB cables transfer data as well as charge battery. Older Android phones may even automatically mount the hard drive upon connection to any computer, exposing its data to an unscrupulous owner.

Security researchers have also shown it’s possible to hijack the video-out feature on most recent phones so that when plugged into a malicious charge hub, a hacker can monitor every keystroke, including passwords and sensitive data.

Likelihood

Low. There are no widely known instances of hackers exploiting the video-out function, while newer Android phones ask for permission to load their hard drive when plugged into a new computer; iPhones request a PIN. However, new vulnerabilities may be discovered.

How to protect yourself

  • Don’t plug into unknown devices; bring a wall charger. You might want to invest in a charge-only USB cable like PortaPow ($6.99 on Amazon)
  • If a public computer is your only option to revive a dead battery, select the “Charge only” option (Android phones) if you get a pop-up when you plug in, or deny access from the other computer (iPhone).

7. FBI’s StingRay (and other fake cellular towers)

An ongoing initiative by the FBI to tap phones in the course of criminal investigations (or indeed, peaceful protests) involves the use of cellular surveillance devices (the eponymous StingRays) that mimic bona fide network towers.

StingRays, and similar pretender wireless carrier towers, force nearby cell phones to drop their existing carrier connection to connect to the StingRay instead, allowing the device’s operators to monitor calls and texts made by these phones, their movements, and the numbers of who they text and call.

As StingRays have a radius of about 1km, an attempt to monitor a suspect’s phone in a crowded city center could amount to tens of thousands of phones being tapped.

Until late 2015, warrants weren’t required for StingRay-enabled cellphone tracking; currently, around a dozen states outlaw the use of eavesdropping tech unless in criminal investigations, yet many agencies don’t obtain warrants for their use.

Likelihood

While the average citizen isn’t the target of a StingRay operation, it’s impossible to know what is done with extraneous data captured from non-targets, thanks to tight-lipped federal agencies.

How to protect yourself

  • Use encrypted messaging and voice call apps, particularly if you enter a situation that could be of government interest, such as a protest. Signal (free, iOS/Android) and Wickr Me (free, iOS/Android) both encrypt messages and calls, preventing anyone from intercepting or interfering with your communications. Most encryption in use today isn’t breakable, says Wisniewski, and a single phone call would take 10-15 years to decrypt.

“The challenging thing is, what the police have legal power to do, hackers can do the same,” Wisniewski says. “We’re no longer in the realm of technology that costs millions and which only the military have access to. Individuals with intent to interfere with communications have the ability to do so.”

From security insiders to less tech-savvy folk, many are already moving away from traditional, unencrypted communications – and perhaps in several years, it’ll be unthinkable that we ever allowed our private conversations and information to fly through the ether unprotected.

HOW TO BE AN ALPHA MALE

Want to learn how to be an alpha male? How to be more masculine? How to be the man you’ve always wanted to be?

Then you’re in the right place.

In this article, I’m going to unveil the 15 habits of alpha males that you must develop to unlock your full potential as a man and live the life you’ve always wanted to live.

But let me be clear…

This article is not about becoming ‘better’ than other men, developing an ego complex, or learning how to be the alpha of a specific clique or social circle.

It’s about learning how to be an alpha male in your life. Taking full responsibility for your life, and living every day fully alive, present, and excited for the future that you are creating.

By the time you’re done, you’ll have a step-by-step guide to becoming the man you always knew you could be.

It won’t be easy. But I promise you, it will be worth it.

And watching my video training on becoming a stronger grounded man, doubling your confidence, reclaiming your personal power and working with a mentor will greatly help too. You can watch it here.

How to Be an Alpha Male: The 15 Habits of True Alphas

1. Conquer Your Fears, Embrace Discomfort, and Pursue Growth

“Wow that guy who sat on his ass his entire life and binge-watched Netflix is so inspiring!” ~No one ever

When it’s all said and done, learning how to be an alpha male is ultimately about one thing.

Living your life to the fullest.

When you think of the alpha males you know in your life (or even in the media), you will notice that the one trait they all share is a willingness to do what other people won’t. They are often doing scary, uncomfortable, and awe inspiring things with their life. They’re starting impactful businesses, traveling the world, mastering their craft, taking risks and going all in on this one existence.

Contrary to what most would consider “being alpha” to be a true alpha male is to be a man who is fully present and engaged with his life. A man who understands that life is fleeting and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. A man who lives each day as if it’s his last and decides to conquer the fears and failings that are holding him back from the life he desires.

And to live fully, you must embrace discomfort and pursue growth as a life long pursuit, not a one time thing.

Living an exceptional life–an alpha life–is not easy. If it were, every man would do it.

It’s much easier to settle for the status quo. To take the safe and easy route, clocking in at a job you hate, settling for the first woman who will open her legs, and sedating the misery of your existence with a steady stream of vices like porn, alcohol, and mindless entertainment.

But if you’re reading this article right now, I know that you aren’t satisfied with the status quo. You want more out of life.

And to get it, you must realize that:

1. The worst-case scenario is less likely to happen.

2. Whatever you’re afraid of, you can likely recover and become stronger from it.

Watch this TED talk from Tim Ferriss to see what I mean.

Right now, I want you to write down a list of everything in your life that scares you right now. Think of every area where fear is holding you back from making the moves you need to make and living the life you want to live.

Maybe you’re stuck in a job that you don’t like and you’re scared that if you start a side hustle or look for something better, you won’t be able to make it work.

Maybe you’re in a relationship that isn’t serving you and you’re worried that, if you break up, you’ll never find another woman as good as your current partner.

Maybe you’re out of shape and overweight and you’re scared of risking judgment and ridicule by going to the gym and breaking off ties with the friends who are keeping you trapped in your toxic habits.

Whatever it is, get it out of your head and onto paper.

And once you have identified the #1 fear that is holding you back, take some time to break it down.

Ask yourself:

  • What is the worst that can happen?
  • What is the best that can happen?
  • Do the benefits of facing this fear outweigh the negatives?
  • If I fail, how quickly can I recover and what will it cost me?

Once you have completed this “fear setting” exercise, you’ll realize that even the worst outcomes aren’t all that bad making it less worrisome.

True alphas know that life begins at the end of your comfort zone and the first step to becoming an alpha male is to boldly face your fears, grow and overcome them.

2. Be on YOUR Path and Let No One Sway You From It

You cannot be an alpha male without a clear vision and purpose to guide you. A man without a purpose is like a leaf in the wind blowing around aimlessly.

The reason that alpha males are so inspiring that men want to learn how to be an alpha male and that women want to be with an alpha male…is that they are on their own unique path.

They have a clear mission and objective in their lives and they are striving for something that is bigger than themselves.

When you lack this purpose, when you have no clear direction in your life, you will fall victim to the circumstances and environments around you. Instead of consciously engineering the life you want, you will, by default, settle for the life that you are given.

You must chart your own path in life and take action on the destiny that you want for yourself.

So let me ask you…

What is your mission? What path are you committed to? What do you want to do before your time ends?

There are no right or wrong answers here, only answers that are authentic for you.

If your path is to work as an environmental biologist, making $45,000 a year and spending 80% of your time slugging through the wilderness and examining plants and animals…awesome! Do it and do it to the best of your ability.

If your path is to become the next Grant Cardone and build a billion-dollar real estate empire that allows you to make a massive dent in the world through charitable contributions, again…awesome! Go for it and give it all you’ve got.

Every man is different and each of us has unique gifts, desires, and abilities that we bring to the world.

The most important thing is that you pursue a mission that is true and authentic to you and that you pursue it with every ounce of energy and determination that you can muster.

Whatever it is that you want to do…whether it’s starting a business, writing a book, traveling the world, learning as many skills as you can, or simply enjoying a life filled with fun, family, and adventures… stop waiting and just do it! 

Ignore those who tell you to “Be Realistic” and “Play it safe” and boldly pursue the life you want, even if it’s only for 1 hour a day.

Figure out exactly what you want out of life and make no apologies for it. Pursue your goals, your ambitions, and your desires so that you can live your life knowing that you gave it your all.

3. Strive for Constant Progress No Matter How Small

True alphas are not in competition with others, but themselves.

They’re not ogling social media and comparing themselves to other men and wondering how they can “one up” other men. They don’t care that Johnny just bought a new Mercedes or that Billy got married to a beautiful woman.

The only person to whom they compare themselves is the man that they were yesterday. Because that’s the only thing that matters.

Every day, when you wake up, ask yourself, “How can I be 1% better today than I was yesterday?”

What most people fail to realize is that success–whatever that looks like to you–rarely happens because of one big move or bold action…but rather small, daily, and consistent habits completed time and time again in the pursuit of growth.

You don’t get into the best shape of your life because of one great workout and eating healthy for a day. You don’t become a millionaire because of one long day of hard work. And you won’t build an abundant dating life because of one approach.

You get into the best shape of your life by lifting just a little bit more weight today than you did yesterday. You become a millionaire by consistently providing value to the market and developing highly marketable skills. You build an abundant dating life by making it a habit to meet, have fun and connect with high quality women regularly, learning what works and what doesn’t and adjusting your strategy accordingly.

Stop looking elsewhere and just embrace this fact.

Realize that big change won’t happen overnight and that you aren’t serving anyone by comparing your life to the lives of others.

Instead, commit to 1% micro improvements every day and enjoy the process of growth.

4. Avoid Arguing for the Sake of Arguing

Let me be blunt. Nothing good ever comes from senseless arguments to prove you’re Mr. Right. How many successful keyboard warriors or internet trolls can you name off the top of your head? Exactly. None.

To be an alpha male is to have a massive bias toward action and learning…not argument.

Stop wasting your time arguing about religion, politics, and philosophy with strangers on the internet (or even your best friends) and instead commit to taking action on the things you can control and improving yourself.

If you cannot act on something and make a change for the better, refrain from senseless arguments that lead nowhere. You only alienate the people you probably wish to connect with.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t have friendly debates or discuss important topics with friends. Simply that you should not engage in pointless arguments (that aren’t going anywhere) for the sake of argument and proving you are smarter.

No one wins.

5. Do Good for the Sake of Goodness

One of the defining characteristics of alpha males (despite what you hear from the media) is kindness and a desire to do good. Not for the sake of recognition or acclaim, but simply for the sake of being a good man.

Beta guys will often do good to make others think highly of them, but alphas know that goodness is not an act, but a habit. It’s a part of who they are and how they live life.

True alpha males have empathy and compassion for their fellow humans. They understand that we’re all scared, confused, and lonely. That life is hard and the only way to survive on this crazy rock we call home is to band together and help one another.

That, at the end of the day, the only thing that really matters in this life is the impact you had on others.

Every day when you wake up, ask yourself, “What good can I do today?”.

Search for small opportunities to show kindness and make a point of serving others in an authentic way.

Hold the door open at the restaurant. Donate money to a cause you believe in (bonus points if you don’t tell anyone that you did this). Smile at strangers or shall I say your fellow humans that you’re sharing this world with and express genuine interest in the people you meet.

Life just isn’t all about you, you and you.

Do something each day to serve others–without expectation of anything in return–and you’re well on your way to becoming an alpha male.

Although kindness without strength is impotent, strength without kindness is empty.

6. Speak Your Truth, Especially When It’s the Hard Thing to Do

Here’s a quick challenge for you…

The next time you’re out on a date or in a group of friends and someone says or does something you disagree with speak up!

Instead of hiding from conflict for fear of disapproval, speak your mind respectfully and make your stance clear.

For example, if you’re at a restaurant and your date acts rudely toward the server, call her out on it and make it clear that you won’t tolerate that kind of behavior.

Sure, the date might end then and there (which is okay…if she was acting that way to the waitstaff, imagine how she would treat you after a few months). But what’s more likely is that the woman will respect you more because you stood your ground.

Alpha males refuse to tolerate second class behavior from the people in their social or romantic circles. They are not a doormat for others to walk on and they won’t sit by when someone says or does something they believe is wrong.

Beta guys care more about other people’s opinions of them than they do their own values and beliefs.

Alphas value the opinions of people they respect but are not controlled by these opinions.

So speak your mind…especially when it’s hard.

7. Develop Self Reliance to Have Inner Freedom

No, I’m not encouraging you to build a house off the grid, hunt and grow your own food, install solar panels, and spend $25,000 on a “Doomsday Bunker” (although you could…I think it’d be pretty cool).

Simply to take ownership of your life and build self-reliance.

If you want to learn how to be an alpha male, the first step is to be your own man and cultivate self-reliance. To have the power to make your own choices and trust that you know what’s best for you. To not be reliant on others for your happiness, finances and well being, but to provide these vital requirements of life for yourself.

This is not to say that you will never need help. You will. And real men are brave enough to ask for it!

But more-so that you take full responsibility for and ownership of your life. That you are autonomous and able to act and make decisions without the feedback and input of others.

If you are unhappy alone, it’s time to dig deeper and understand what the root cause of this is. If you lose that partner will your life be miserable?

Instead of relying on experts and gurus to tell you what to do, educate yourself about important topics (like nutrition, finances, fitness, relationships, and personal growth) and chart your own path.

Learn to make decisions by yourself and own the consequences of those decisions. You can’t tip toe through life trying to avoid every possible mistake and end up taking no action at all.

Trust yourself and develop the confidence that you can succeed in the face of uncertainty and adversity.

8. Build a Strong, Resilient and Useful Body

To be an alpha male, you don’t need to have 20” biceps or rock a six-pack year-round.

But you must be physically and emotionally fit and build a strong and useful body. Every human being on the planet, man and woman, has a responsibility to themselves and others to take care of their health. Failure to do this will result in a low quality of life.

It might not be politically correct and you might not want to hear it, but it’s the truth. True alphas respect themselves enough to take care of themselves.

To make the most of life and fully experience everything this world has to offer, you must be physically and emotionally fit.

If you are overweight and out of shape, not only will your quality of life suffer, but your ability to serve the world will suffer.

If you get winded just walking up the stairs, or you have severe brain fog from an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise, how do you expect to have the energy required to create the life you want? How can you hope to be the lover your partner needs you to be? How can you fully enjoy all of the adventures and journeys available to you?

You can’t. And if you’re out of shape right now, you know it.

So take care of your body. And keep it simple.

Go to the gym at least three days a week, lift stuff, and put it back down. Get off the couch and move your body (bonus points if you do this in nature).

Eat fewer calories than you burn off and cut down on the junk food, alcohol, and processed crap. If it comes from a billion dollar company in a bright package it’s probably not good for you.

Eat more vegetables and lean meats. Learn how to cook and turn healthy foods into great tasting meals to fuel your body and lifestyle.

Get plenty of sleep and take it easy on the recreational drugs and alcohol, even if it’s for social purposes.

Building a strong and useful body is elegantly simple. But it requires discipline and commitment. However, the discipline that you develop from taking care of your body will permeate into every other area of your life and help you become a stronger man from the outside in.

9. Learn How to Fight and Defend Yourself

Every man should learn how to fight at some point in his life. To be able to defend himself in the face of physical attack from others.

You don’t need to become the next Connor McGregor or Floyd Mayweather, but you should know how to hold your own in a physical altercation.

Not for “self-defense” (although it might come in handy someday) but for the confidence and sense of accomplishment, you derive from the experience. This isn’t about seeking out fights to “one up” other men but to walk this world knowing that without a shadow of a doubt that if the moment ever came, you can stand your ground.

This changes the way you walk, talk and show up to others. Men can sometimes have a deep rooted fear that they aren’t capable in the event of a physical confrontation.

By training in mixed martial arts, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or boxing, you will develop discipline, self-confidence, and a strong understanding of the process of mastery.

That feeling you get when you tap out a guy who is bigger and stronger than you are will carry over into other areas of life and positively impact everything for the better.

Spend at least one year training some type of martial art and I promise you, your confidence in yourself will skyrocket.

10. Take Care of Yourself Like a Championship Athlete

Lebron James spends an estimated $1.5 million dollars a year on self care.

Alpha males know their worth and the value they offer.

As such, they prioritize self-care and recovery just as much as they do the other areas of their lives.

To perform at your best and be the man you need to be to live the life you desire, you must take care of yourself.

You must value yourself at the highest levels and understand that you can only do great work and live an exceptional lifestyle when you also have a regimen for taking care of yourself.

So my challenge to you is simple.

This week, commit to one act of self-care each day.

Try meditation. Spend an afternoon by yourself doing something you love. Identify your needs and find ways to meet them rather than ignoring them.

The best of the best all understand the value of self-care. It’s why guys like Joe Rogan will go on weekly hikes, going to the sauna, and sitting in float tanks or cryotherapy chambers.

It’s why elite athletes will get daily massages, eat the best local organic foods, and spend more time recovering from their training than they do training itself.

Real men, alpha men, take care of themselves. They take pride in their performance and appearance and know exactly what they need to think, feel, and perform at their best.

So take care of yourself. You’ll be happier, stronger, and better for it.

11. Define and Live By Your Values

Alpha males live by their own code. They know what they value and they live in integrity with those values.

One of the leading causes of anxiety, depression, and existential angst is living a life that is misaligned with your values.

If you say to yourself, “I value my family or partner” but you spend every waking hour at work and can’t remember the last time you went on a date night or spent time with your kids, this misalignment will eat away at you like cancer until it spirals out of control, usually in the form of divorce papers.

The key to a happy and successful life is radical alignment between what you think, say, and do.

If you act out of alignment to your values it creates a sense of distrust in others and even yourself. It shows that you aren’t capable of acting on the things that are most important to you.

So take some time this week to identify your values and question if your actions in the last 30 days reflect those values.

Much like my previous point about being on your own path, there are no right or wrong answers here.

You can be an alpha male whether you value financial success, family, friends, social impact, or adventure.

What matters most is that the values you write down are authentic to you and that you live by them every single day.

12. Keep Your Word

Period. If you say you will do something, do it. If you say you will not do something, don’t do it. It’s that simple.

The practice of keeping your word will not only give you a reputation for reliability but, more importantly, it will help you develop trust with yourself.

Your word matters and should not be used lightly.

When you give your word to yourself it needs to have power in it (by setting a goal, making a resolution, etc.), you will actually believe in your ability to keep it and act in integrity with your word.

If you fail to live up to your word then it becomes easier and easier to lose conviction in yourself and know that whatever you say doesn’t actually have to happen. You will slowly become a weaker man because of this.

The key here is to not spread yourself thin where you’ve made promises to so many people that you can’t keep them. This is a sign of a “nice guy” behavior who wants to be liked by others and can’t say no to others out of fear of disapproval.

When you do what you say you will do, you start to develop an identity as a man who keeps his word. And that reputation carries tremendous weight with others. In today’s world, it’s harder to find people whose word really matters.

Don’t be one of them.

13. Master Attraction, Charm, and Seduction

If you want to become an alpha, you must learn and master the art of authentic attraction.

The reason is simple. A man who lacks confidence in his ability to attract the types of people he wants into his life is a man destined to settle (one of the most beta male traits possible).

And settling is cancer of the soul.

To be the man you want to be and have the most fulfilling relationships, you must have an attitude of abundance. If you believe that you are settling or “She’s as good as I can get”, this pattern will slowly start to permeate other areas of your life.

You must learn how to master the art of attraction and build confidence in your ability to meet and date high-quality women with whom you share a connection. Without this, your entire life will be plagued by the question, “What if?”

If you are not currently in a committed relationship, commit to mastering this area of your life.

Spend the next 6 months, going all in on your dating life.

Go out 3x a week and introduce yourself to new women each night. Ask more women out this next week than you have all year. Accept that rejection is only telling you what you need to work on and or saving you from dating the wrong woman. Learn from the experience and use this knowledge to develop yourself into the type of man that women crave.

When you have true abundance in your dating life, you will carry a quiet but powerful confidence into every other area of your life.

14. Live Hard, Die Free

Alpha males do not seek to live easy lives. Their chief aim and purpose is not a life of luxury and comfort, but growth.

They understand that adversity and challenge are the only paths to the life they want and they actively seek out the “hard life.” Teddy Roosevelt called it “The Strenuous Life.”

So…

If you want to learn how to be an alpha male, start by finding ways to make your life harder, not easier. Doing so will build the grit, resilience, and character you need to tackle bigger and bolder challenges.

Wake up earlier, go to the gym when you don’t feel like, take cold showers, give up vices for a month like, alcohol weed, or porn.

The more frequently you expose yourself to external stressors and embrace hardship of your own making, the more anti-fragile you will become and the less you will be swayed by the hardships that life throws at you.

By developing your character and grit now, when you don’t have to, it will be easier to face the inevitable adversities that life has in store.

As the U.S Army General Norman Schwarzkopf put it, “the more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war”.

15. Be Willing to Die for Something

In the end, death comes for us all.

And although it is unlikely that any of us will be required to die for our families, businesses, or values, to consider yourself an alpha, you must be willing to die for something.

When you believe and stand for something so fiercely that you are willing to put your life on the line for it, you unlock the ability to truly live. To give everything you have to this one existence. To savor every moment and pursue your dreams and aspirations without fear or trepidation.

I can’t tell you how you should live or what you should die for.

Only you can decide that.

But always remember…a man who will not die for something will fall for anything.

Conclusion

Learning how to be an alpha male is not an easy process. Understand that no one starts out this way, it’s a learned way of life.

It requires pain, discomfort, and hardship.

But I can promise you, it’s worth it.

The satisfaction you will feel from conquering your “inner nice guy” and crafting a life on your own terms cannot be described in words.

You will show up to life more excited, motivated, and charged every single day. You will be braver, more resilient, and more powerful.

Every area of your life will improve for the better.

By implementing the 15 lessons I’ve shared with you today, you will have taken a giant leap forward to becoming the alpha of your life and unlocking your full potential as a man.

Do you want my help?

Then click here to watch my new client orientation to learn more about becoming a stronger Grounded Man, breaking free from nice guy behaviors, and creating a powerful social circle of likeminded men and a high quality romantic relationship.

Not only will you get tapped into your own “band of brothers” in my elite community of men, but you’ll also have access to the best damn course training available for men as well as weekly group calls with my team of transformative coaches. No whiny boys, complainers or dabblers, for serious men only.

If you’re ready to push the boundaries of what’s possible in your life and become the man you’ve always wanted to be. This is the fastest way to do it