Signs Your Phone Has Been Hacked

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Most of our data is stored on our phones and if a hacker goes undetected, they can take advantage of our personal information, rack us up with massive charges, and use the phone to infect other devices.

Understanding how mobile hacking works can help you practice security in your daily life. When it happens, knowing how to handle it will keep you from making more mistakes and ensure that you will be on top of the issue.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

 

Signs that your Phone has been Hacked

Unrecognizable apps

Our phones often arrived with pre-installed apps from the manufacturers, and service providers may install apps from time to time due to updates. Apps are very common in our daily lives and as a user, you should know what apps are on your phone.

When updates happen, it is best recommended to confirm the apps via Google search to make sure it’s legitimate. Otherwise, if a new app mysteriously appears onto your smartphone, it might be a sign that you’ve been hacked. 

Draining battery for no reason

When you use apps to stream videos like YouTube or browse through your social feeds on Facebook or Instagram, it will drain your battery. However, if you observe that your battery life is decreasing more rapidly than normal, this might be another sign of a hack. A malware running in the background to monitor and capture user activity uses battery power.

Increase in Data Usage

If you see an unexpected spike in your data usage that is higher than normal, this could be a red flag that something is wrong. Check your app’s data usage to know which causes the spike. Hackers that are trying to gain access to information from your smartphone consume data in the background to track your movements. 

Pop-ups

Like your computers, malware for mobile devices can produce pop-up windows requesting you to perform or do certain actions on your phone. If you notice numerous pop-ups on your screen, your phone probably has spyware or malware. Beware and ensure you don’t entertain these pop-ups.

Phone settings changed

If the perpetrators physically accessed your phone, they might have manually changed your phone’s settings. For example, if you notice that your Bluetooth is on, regardless of you not using it, it might be a sign of malware that can be used to transmit data or infect other devices.

 

Common Ways of Hacking your Phone

Spyware 

Spyware has become common in the mobile world and any user can be a victim of illegal use of spying programs. Typically, this can happen when someone gets access to your mobile device and physically install the program.

 

Phishing Messages

A phishing message can come in various forms: email, SMS, or social media, which contains a file or link and its goal is to get malware on your phone. If you accidentally access the URL in a text message or unintentionally download a software on your phone, a malware might have been installed.

 

How Your Phone Is Hacked

SIM Card Hacking

SIM card swapping happens when a hacker pretends to be you and contacts your mobile service provider to request a SIM card replacement. Once they get the new number, all your messages and information will become available to them and hackers will be able to take over your accounts.

 

Unsecured Public Connection          

Are you one of those users who connects to public Wi-Fi without a second thought? Wi-Fi networks that are advertised for free are usually risky as hackers may have set it up to skim your data through the router. Using public networks exposes your public information to hackers, especially your critical data.

 

Corrupted USB Charging Stations

Like in computers, USBs can be used to transfer data from your phone to a computer. USB charging ports in public locations can be used to install malware on your phone where your information can be disclosed and later be used to steal data and control your device.

 

 

Ways to Un-hack your Phone

If you think that your smartphone is showing signs that it may have been hacked, here are some things you can do:

  1. Run an antivirus and malware scan. You should run a scan on your mobile device to identify and remove the virus or malware that might be hiding apps and automatically blocks them.
  2. Get rid of apps you don’t recognize. If you are unsure how an app got into your phone, then it’s time to uninstall it. If an app looks questionable, you can research online to see if it’s a threat before removing it.
  3. Show it to the expert. Don’t hesitate to ask for professional assistance to remove a hacker from your phone. They can conduct a more in-depth maintenance check as well as giving you security advice.
  4. Reset your device. By erasing all the data on your device means getting rid of the hacker’s access to your phone and your personal information. It may sound complicated but being secure is more important.
  5. Change your passwords. If your smartphone has been hacked, so might have been your accounts. Using a secure device, change the passwords for all your accounts such as your online bank, email, social media, and others.

Related Article: Password Security And Best Practices

Phone Security Tips

· Never leave your phone unattended and use a PIN.

Keep it in your possession at all times, especially in public places to prevent hackers from physically accessing your phone. Add a layer of protection by setting a PIN to unlock it.

· Only install apps from official app stores.

Software and applications bought or downloaded from an official app store are much less likely to contain malware. It might have some privacy risk but it’s nothing illegal.

· Avoid using public Wi-Fi. 

Hackers are most likely to target public locations such as hotels or airports. If you want to use the public Wi-Fi, make sure to have a VPN installed to protect your online traffic and remember to always disconnect once you’re done.

Related Article: Does Your VPN Protect Your Online Privacy?

· Delete your browsing history, cookies, and cache.

Minimize the amount of data they can get from you by removing your virtual footprint. Set a reminder to delete your browsing history, cookies, and cache so you won’t be able to forget it.

· Enable Find My iPhone. 

If you are an iPhone user, turn on this feature in your settings so you can locate your phone in case your misplaced or lost it.

· Install antivirus software.

It’s not only your computer or laptop that needs protection. A mobile security app on your iPhone or Android can help secure your devices from cyberattacks.

 

Whether your phone is an Android or iOS, it’s always important to be cautious and beware of your surroundings. If you’re still unsure of what to do, reach out to us today and we can help you secure your mobile devices.