6 Signs your phone may have been hacked
Welcome back to our new article which is describing the 6 signs which are mainly the reasons behind your smartphone hacked
#(1st Sign of 6 Signs)
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 reduced 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.)
#(2nd Sign of 6 Signs)
Do you find your phone frequently freezing, or specific applications crashing? This could be down to malware that is overloading the phone’s resources or clashing with other forms.
You may also experience continued running of applications despite efforts to close them, or even have the phone itself crash and restart repeatedly.
(As with reduced battery life, many factors could contribute to a slower phone – necessarily, its everyday use, so first try deep cleaning your Android or iPhone.)
#(3rd Sign of 6 Signs)
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.
#(4th Sign of 6 Signs)
Outgoing calls or texts you didn’t send
If you see 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-crimes wallet. In this case, check your phone bill for any costs you don’t recognize.
#(5th Sign of 6 Signs)
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 individual 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 neutralized 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.
#(6th Sign of 6 Signs)
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.
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 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.