Is your phone acting strange? Is it suddenly running slowly, or are you receiving strange text messages? If so, there’s a good chance that your phone has been hacked.
In this blog post, we’ll explain how to know if your phone is hacked and what you can do about it.
What Is Phone Hacking?
Phone hacking is when someone gains access to your smartphone without your permission. Once they have access, they can do a number of things, including:
- Accessing your personal information
- Reading your text messages
- Listening to your phone calls
- Tracking your location
- Installing malicious software
How To Know If Your Phone Is Hacked
Here are a few ways to know if you have a hacked phone:
Short Battery Life
If your phone’s battery is draining faster than normal, it could be a sign that your phone has been infected with malware.
Strange Text Messages
If you’re receiving text messages that you didn’t sign up for or that contain strange characters or symbols, it’s a sign that your phone may have been hacked.
Strange Phone calls
If your phone is making calls without your input, or if you’re receiving strange calls from numbers you don’t recognize, it’s a tell-tale sign that your phone has been hacked.
If you see apps on your phone that you didn’t download or that you can’t remove, it’s a sign that your phone may have been hacked.
Mobile Data Usage Is Higher Than Normal
There are a variety of reasons for increased data usage (for example, the introduction of a new app). However, if your phone activity remains the same while your data consumption has shot up, it’s time to look into it.
Do your phone’s applications frequently freeze or crash? This might be due to malware that is overburdening the phone’s resources or clashing with other programs. You could also have applications continue to run despite your best efforts to close them, or the phone itself crash and restart repeatedly.
How Can Your Phone Be Hacked
There are a few ways that your phone can be hacked:
One of the most common ways for phones to be hacked is through malicious software or malware. Malware can be installed on your phone without you even realizing it, often through email attachments, downloads, or by clicking on a malicious link.
Once installed, malware can give hackers access to your personal information, including your passwords and financial data.
Another way that hackers can gain access to your phone is through phishing attacks. In a phishing attack, you may receive an email or text message that appears to be from a legitimate source, such as your bank or credit card company. The message may contain a link that takes you to a fake website, where you’re prompted to enter personal information. This information is then used to gain access to your accounts or commit fraud.
Unsecured Public Wi-Fi
When you connect to public WiFi, you’re potentially opening yourself up to attack. Hackers can use public WiFi to intercept your data and gain access to your personal information.
If your phone has Bluetooth enabled, it’s possible for hackers to gain access to your phone through Bluetooth. This is especially true if you’re using an older version of Bluetooth, which may have security vulnerabilities.
Attackers usually trick victims into pairing with their device by giving it another name (like ‘AirPods’ or another universal name). And once connected, your personal information would be at risk.
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your data and demands a ransom to decrypt it. This can be a particularly scary form of attack, as you may not be able to access your personal photos, documents, or other files unless you pay the ransom.
What Can You Do If Your Phone Is Hacked?
If you’ve discovered that your phone has been hacked, there are a few things you can do about it. Before we begin, we recommend informing your contacts that your phone has been hacked and asking them not to click any suspicious-looking links they may receive from you. Here are some more actions you may take.
Reset Your Phone To Factory Settings
If you’re still worried about the security of your device, you can reset it to factory settings. This will delete all of your data, including any apps or files that may have been installed by a hacker. It’s important to note that this will also delete any personal data you have on your phone, so be sure to back up anything important before you proceed.
To do this on an iPhone:
Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
To do this on an Android phone:
Go to Settings > System > Reset. Select “Factory data reset” and then “Reset device.”
Delete Suspicious Apps
As you may know, downloading a malicious app on your phone is a common way for malware to enter. If you find that your phone has been compromised, go through all of your apps and delete anything that arrived from a third-party source (i.e., not the Apple App Store or the Google Play store).
Make sure the apps you’ve downloaded recently came from trustworthy sources with positive reviews. Delete any that don’t.
Run Anti-malware Software
If you want to be extra cautious, you can download anti-malware software onto your phone. This will help to protect your device from any future attacks and can also remove any malicious software that may already be installed on your phone.
Change Your Passwords
Once you’ve taken steps to secure your device, it’s important to change your passwords. This includes any passwords for apps or websites that you may have accessed from your phone. Hackers may have gained access to these accounts and could use them to commit fraud or steal your personal information.
It’s also a good idea to enable two-factor authentication on any accounts that offer it. This will help to protect your accounts even if your password is compromised.
Keep Your Software Up To Date
One of the best ways to protect your device from being hacked is to keep your software up to date. As we mentioned before, Android devices are often behind when it comes to security updates. But it’s not just Android—all phones can be vulnerable to attack if they’re not running the latest version of their operating system.
Ensure you’re regularly checking for updates and installing them as soon as they’re available. This will help to keep your phone safe from any new security threats that may arise.
You can usually find updates in the Settings app on your device. For iPhone users, go to Settings > General > Software Update. Android users can go to Settings > System > Advanced > System Update.
How Do I Keep My Smartphone Secure?
While there’s no guaranteed way to prevent your phone from being hacked, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk. Here are some tips:
Use A Passcode Or Biometric Lock
This will help to protect your device if it’s lost or stolen. It will also make it more difficult for a hacker to gain access to your personal information if they manage to get their hands on your phone.
Don’t Store Sensitive Information On Your Device
If you don’t have to, don’t store sensitive information on your phone. This includes things like passwords, banking information, and credit card numbers.
Use A VPN
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. A VPN encrypts your internet traffic and routing it through a server in another location. This makes it more difficult for anyone to track your online activity or steal your personal information.
Use A Secure Messaging App
If you need to send sensitive information, use a secure messaging app like Signal. These apps encrypt your messages so that only the intended recipient can read them.
Be Careful What You Click
Don’t click on any suspicious links—even if they’re from someone you know. Hackers can send fake emails or texts that contain malicious links. If you click on one of these links, you could end up downloading malware onto your device.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Android Phones More Prone To Attacks?
Android devices are more prone to hacking than iPhones for a few reasons:
One of the main reasons is that Android devices are less secure than iPhones. This is because Android devices are built on an open-source platform, which makes it easier for hackers to find vulnerabilities to exploit.
Another reason is that Android devices have more third-party applications available than iPhones. This means that there are more opportunities for hackers to develop malicious applications that can be used to gain access to your device.
Finally, Android devices are less likely to receive security updates in a timely manner than iPhones. This is because Android manufacturers often release new versions of their operating system before releasing security updates. This leaves users vulnerable to attack until the security update is released.
Can My Phone Camera Be Hacked?
Yes, it’s possible for hackers to gain access to your phone camera. This can be done through a malicious application that is installed on your device. Once installed, the attacker would be able to remotely activate the camera and take pictures or videos without your knowledge.
They could also use the camera to spy on you, which would be a serious violation of your privacy.
Can A Phone Be Hacked While It’s Off?
Probably not. If your phone is turned off, it’s not possible for hackers to gain access to it. However, if you have an older phone that doesn’t have a password or fingerprint lock, it’s possible for someone to access your data if they physically have your device.
Asides from that, most smartphones have a bootloader. A bootloader is a piece of software that starts up the phone when it’s turned on.
If your bootloader is compromised, it’s possible for an attacker to gain access to your device, even if it’s turned off. They can then install malicious software or make other changes that would allow them to gain access to your personal information or commit fraud.
We hope this article has been helpful in showing you how to know if your smartphone has been hacked. Remember to take precautions with the apps you download and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity on your device. And as always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us. We’re here to help!