In today’s tech-driven landscape, it’s hardly surprising that hackers are setting their sights on these devices. What’s even more concerning is the reality: a recent study discovered that over 1 in 5 Android phones have already been compromised.
These numbers hit close to home, emphasizing the critical importance of fortifying our digital security measures to protect our cherished devices and personal information. In this guide, we’ll explore the best ways to identify your Android phone is hacked or not.
What is Phone Hacking?
Phone hacking is when someone gets into your smartphone without permission. Hackers do this to take your personal info, put harmful stuff on your phone, or control it from far away. They might steal your money info, private chats, and more. They can even put bad software, called malware, on your phone to cause problems. This is a big violation of your privacy and can harm you in many ways.
How Do You Know That Your Phone Has Been Hacked?
1. Data Usage is Higher Than Normal
Hackers can turn your phone into a tool for “mining” cryptocurrency. This process uses a lot of your phone’s power, drawing it from your data plan. So, if your phone is hacked, you might see your data usage going crazy because of these sneaky activities.
2. Strange or Inappropriate Pop Ups
These pop-ups can take various forms:
- Warnings claiming your phone has malware.
- Offers to fix your phone for a fee.
- Displays of explicit or offensive content.
- Requests for personal info like credit card or Social Security numbers.
If you encounter such pop-ups, it’s crucial not to click them. Instead, take these steps:
- Close the pop-up.
- Use a trusted antivirus or anti-malware app to scan your phone.
- Update your passwords for all online accounts.
3. Phone is Too Hot
If your phone starts feeling unusually warm, even when you’re not using it, it might raise a concern about a possible hack. Hackers often plant harmful software, called malware, in phones, which can lead to overheating. This happens because the malware secretly works in the background, using up your phone’s resources.
When your phone’s temperature rises beyond the norm, it’s worth considering:
- The possibility of malware presence.
- Background activities by malicious software.
- The hacker’s attempt to exploit your device.
- Monitor your phone’s temperature.
- Run a thorough scan using reputable antivirus or anti-malware tools.
- If necessary, take action to remove the malware and reinforce your phone’s security against potential breaches.
4. Texts or Calls That Are Not Made By You
Signs of potential hacking linked to calls or texts:
- Strange numbers showing up in your call log.
- Receiving texts from unfamiliar numbers.
- Noticing odd actions in your online accounts, like unauthorized logins or password changes.
If hacking seems likely, secure your device by:
- Checking for threats using a trusted antivirus or anti-malware app.
- Changing passwords for all your online accounts.
5. Phone is Performing Slowly
Experiencing a slow-down on your phone? It’s possible fallen victim to hacking. In these instances, cyber attackers slip in undetected, sneaking malicious software onto your device. This hidden program quietly increases your phone’s power—its CPU and memory—resulting in noticeable slowness. Apps might drag their feet when opening or responding. What’s worse, these hackers might be exploiting your device as part of a larger network, causing further lags as it’s used for spam or cyber assaults. To make matters even more concerning, these unauthorized users could also be siphoning off your personal data, placing an additional load on your phone’s resources and compounding the slowdown.
6. Battery is Draining Faster
Ever found your phone suddenly slowing down? It’s possible that hackers are at play. They slip in unnoticed and install hidden software that devours your phone’s power – both its CPU and memory. This causes apps to act sluggish, making you wait. Shockingly, your phone might also be recruited into a group of hacked devices, used by hackers to launch spam or cyberattacks, adding to the sluggishness.
7. Service Disruptions
Ever faced service issues on your phone? Surprisingly, around 68% of hacking cases result in service disruptions. They push your phone to the limit, causing apps to crash, calls to drop, and texts to stall. These disruptions can stretch on for days, causing real frustration. Astonishingly, about 56% of those affected face financial losses.
8. Unexpected Bill Charges
Surprised by heavy phone bills? They manipulate your device to make premium calls or texts, piling up costs you never authorized. On average, victims end up dealing with nearly $200 in extra fees. It’s staggering – about 47% of those affected also face financial losses. Hacking doesn’t just slow down your phone; it also hits your wallet hard.
What to do When Your Phone is Hacked?
1. Delete Suspicious Apps
- Ensure app permissions: Before removing an app, review its permissions. If unnecessary access is granted, revoke it.
- Watch for odd behaviour: If apps open autonomously or battery drains swiftly, a suspicious app could be the cause. Scan for malware and delete doubtful apps.
- Download cautiously: Stick to trusted sources like Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Make clear of third-party sites.
2. Run Anti Malware Software
Safeguarding your phone against malware is paramount. Malicious software can infiltrate via deceitful links, infected attachments. Once inside, it can plunder your private data—passwords, credit card info, contacts—while also exploiting your device for spam and attacks. Counter this threat by using anti-malware software.
3. Reset Phone
Resetting your phone is a last resort to eliminate malware. This process erases all data, apps, and settings. Prior to resetting, back up your data to a computer, cloud service, or SD card. Access the Settings menu, choose “Reset,” and then “Erase all data.”
4. Change Passwords and Enable 2FA
Post-phone hack, changing passwords is vital. Hackers may have your old passwords, so update all accounts—email, banks, social media—with strong, unique ones. For added security, activate two-factor authentication (2FA). This extra layer demands a phone-entered code along with a password. Google’s study reveals 2FA slashes account breach risk by up to 99%.
5. Inform Your Contacts
Alert your contacts about the phone hack to prevent them from falling victim to suspicious messages or calls. Hackers might exploit your phone to send scams or emails to your contacts. By notifying them via text, email, or social media, you can inform them to recognize potential risks.
6. Contact Service Provider
Reach out to your service provider urgently to block your phone’s number and thwart hackers. Unlawful calls or texts might be made using your phone. By securing your number, you can identify fraudulent activities. Connect via phone, email, or chat, detailing the hacking incident and your need for number blocking.
7. Disconnect Your Phone From Internet
Defend your data by disconnecting your phone from the internet. Hackers exploit your device to transmit and receive info, risking your contacts, photos, and browsing history. Cutting off their access is crucial. Disable Wi-Fi and cellular data or activate airplane mode to sever the connection.
8. Set Password Manager
Elevate your security with a password manager—a tool that stores and organizes your passwords. In the wake of a phone hack, it becomes an essential shield, helping you manage passwords and thwart hackers’ access to your accounts.
What Are The Chances/Ways That The Phones Can be Hacked?
1. False Advertisements
“Stay cautious of hackers’ deceptive ads manipulate as genuine offers. These ads promise freebies, discounts, and more. However, clicking them can lead to malicious websites that plant malware on your phone.
Malware, harmful software, poses threats to your phone’s security. It sneaks in through malicious links, infected attachments, or fake apps. Once infiltrated, it can swipe sensitive info—passwords, credit card data, contacts—and misuse your phone for spam or attacks.
3. Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi networks are risky as they’re often unsecured, letting hackers intercept your data. If you share personal info like passwords or credit card details while connected to such networks, hackers can steal it.
Best Ways to Protect Your Phone From Hackers
- Turn off the Bluetooth when not in use
- Don’t save information like passwords or credit card information on your phone
- Regularly monitor your phone to find out unusual activity
- Update your software and operating system
- Create a unique password for your phone
- Use a password lock for sensitive apps
In a digitally connected world, vigilance is key. A staggering 76% of hacking cases involve suspicious apps, while 64% lead to surprise bill spikes. 68% of hacks cause service disruptions. Prioritize strong, unique passwords and activate two-factor authentication (2FA). Swift action is crucial – 47% of victims face financial loss due to unexplained charges. Public Wi-Fi? Risky. Hackers exploit it to intercept data. Remember, your phone can be an unwitting accomplice in cybercrimes. Safeguard it against malware, be cautious with apps, and maintain a watchful eye for unusual behaviour. Your proactive efforts ensure your phone stays secure
Phone Hacked – FAQs
Ans: Certo Mobile Security finds a threat on your device
This free app will allow you to scan your device and find out for sure if there is malicious software installed on your Android system.
Ans: If you want to stop phone tracking, you can change your phone settings, switch to a private browser, configure your app permissions more carefully, or use a VPN.
Ans: Yes, a factory reset can remove most malware and return your phone to its original state. However, some advanced malware can persist even after a factory reset, so combining it with other security measures is recommended.
Ans: Public Wi-Fi networks can be risky as they are more susceptible to hacking. Avoid accessing sensitive information on public Wi-Fi, and consider using a virtual private network (VPN) for added security.
Ans: Phishing attempts often involve unsolicited emails or messages asking for personal information, passwords, or payment details. Be cautious of misspellings, generic greetings, and urgent requests.