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Thursday, December 02, 2021

How To Know If Your Phone Is Hacked: A Complete Guide

How To Know If Your Phone Is Hacked
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Today, we are dependent on our phones more than ever. From ordering lunch to paying electricity bills, we do almost everything on our smartphones. While smartphones have made our lives easier, we cannot deny that they have also put our data and privacy at high risk. 

With the fast-paced technology, the number and severity of cyber-attacks have grown as well. Hackers and fraudsters have become more innovative, and their attacks have become more complex than ever before. People store and share a great amount of confidential data via their phones. And this makes your smartphone the favorite target of cybercriminals all across the world. 

Cybercriminals can easily hack your device to track your activities and location and steal confidential information from it. Therefore, it is necessary to pay close attention to your device’s functioning and take swift action if you see anything suspicious with your phone. 

In this blog post, we are going to discuss the top seven tell-tale signs that will help you find the answer to “how to know if your phone is hacked.” Not only that, but we will also tell you the best ways to deal with such a predicament and protect your phone from any further damage. We will also explain some safety measures that you must take to prevent your phone from getting hacked in the future.  

So, let’s get started! 

7 Common Signs Your Phone is Hacked

Finding out whether your phone is hacked or not is not very difficult if you stay attentive to your device’s behavior. 

A recent report proves that Android smartphones are more vulnerable to hackers than iPhones. Apple is known to provide the highest level of security to its users. However, while iOS comes with better security than Android devices, it doesn’t mean that iPhones cannot be hacked. 

Here are the top seven indicators that your phone (whether it is powered by iOS or Android) has fallen prey to the clutches of hackers and fraudsters. 

1. Poor battery life and fast drainage of battery

Poor battery life is one of the biggest signs that your phone’s security might be compromised. Therefore, it is vital to monitor your device’s battery. 

Naturally, a phone’s battery life decreases with time. However, if you notice exponential battery drainage, it can be a reason for concern. An alarming fall in your phone’s battery indicates two things. Either your phone has been hacked, or the battery has become obsolete, and it’s time to replace it or buy a new smartphone. 

2. Unrecognized applications appear on your device

Have you started noticing several strange apps on your phone that you have never installed? If yes, then it is highly likely that your phone has been hacked. Hackers often leverage malware and adware in the form of these unrecognized apps to hack your device and extract data from it.

3. People in your contact lists are receiving weird texts that you didn’t send

Are your friends and others in your contact list receiving strange texts from you that you didn’t initiate? If yes, then this can be the work of a hacker.

Hackers often leverage malware to spam your contact list with calls and text messages. So, if your contact is getting hit by spammy messages and calls, there is a huge chance that you have gotten your phone hacked.

4. You are not receiving any calls and messages

Apart from sending spammy texts to your entire contact list, malware can also stop you from receiving any calls and messages. Hackers can clone your SIM card from the service provider and prevent you from getting calls and texts. 

5. Poor device performance

Malicious software can also make your phone extremely slow and sluggish. So, if your phone is exhibiting signs of poor performance like unexpected restarts, the sudden crashing of apps, slow loading of pages, freezing of the screen, and so on, it is a huge indicator that your device has fallen prey to a hacker. 

Apart from that, if you notice that your phone becomes unusually hot even with little usage, it could be possible that it has been hacked.

6. Higher mobile data usage

If your mobile data bill is significantly higher than usual without you increasing your internet usage, your phone is likely hacked. Hackers and fraudsters can get hold of your phone’s settings with the help of malware and other malicious software. They can then use your data to run harmful apps in the background.  

7. Unusual activity on your email and social media accounts

Apart from these signs, if you have also started noticing odd activities on your email and social media handles that are connected to your phone, it could mean that it has been hacked. 

Cybercriminals can hack your device and easily make their way to your social media accounts and use them for their benefit. This can lead to dangerous situations like identity theft. 

What to Do After You Have Gotten Your Phone Hacked?

Now that you have found out that your smartphone has been hacked, you must be wondering what is the best way to get rid of this situation, right? Well, the very first thing that you must do is stop panicking. While getting your phone hacked is definitely a stressful situation, you can deal with it easily with the right steps.

Here are the five things that both Android and iOS users should do if their phone is hacked. 

1. Use the Factory Reset option

Resetting your phone is one of the easiest ways to get rid of all the malware from your device. Using the factory reset option stops the hacker from accessing your phone any longer. 

However, resetting your device also erases every piece of data and files from it. So, ensure to back up all the essential data before using the Factory Reset option.

2. Delete all the unrecognized and suspicious applications

Suspicious third-party apps can invite malicious software and viruses to your smartphone. Thus, if you notice any unrecognized application on your device, ensure to uninstall it to prevent your phone from further harm. 

3. Run an anti-malware scan

Regularly running a good and trustworthy anti-malware application is a good way to detect malware and get rid of it before it can cause any significant damage. 

There are several free and paid anti-malware software present out there. So, make sure to install one on your phone and protect it from all kinds of harmful software. 

4. Change all your important passwords

As soon as you discover that your phone has been hacked, the first thing you should do is change the passwords of every account connected to your device. This will prevent the hacker from accessing those accounts and stealing your personal data. 

5. Get in touch with your service provider

If you have stopped receiving any phone calls and messages, the hacker has likely cloned your SIM card. A good way to deal with this issue is to contact your service provider and explain the situation to them. They will help you resolve the issue in the best way possible. 

Furthermore, it is also a good idea to let all the people on your contact list know that your phone has been compromised. This will help them be aware and not open any suspicious message, email, or link sent from your number. 

How to Protect Your Phone and Prevent it From Getting Hacked in the Future?

Now that we talked about how to know if your phone is hacked and the best ways to deal with this problem, let’s talk about the precautionary measures that will help you protect your phone from cybercriminals. 

  1. Always use a safe network to browse the internet. Ensure to never connect to unknown public WiFis as they are one of the biggest sources of getting viruses and malware onto your devices.

  2. Never click on inappropriate pop-ups and suspicious ads. Also, never open an unprotected website.

  3. If you notice any suspicious emails, texts, or links from unknown sources, avoid clicking them at all costs. There is a high chance that they contain viruses and malware that allow hackers to access your phone. 

  4. Make sure to download apps from recognized and trustworthy sources like the App Store and the Google Play Store. 

  5. Always read the reviews of applications you want to download on your phone. Applications that have no reviews or those that have poor ratings and reviews are better left alone.

  6. Always use a password, pattern, or PIN to protect your phone.

  7. Download a good quality antivirus and anti-malware application and run it regularly on your device. 

Final thoughts

Modern-day hackers have become extremely sharp, both in their intent and attacks. We are living in a digital age where cyber crimes are getting more and more common every day. These fraudsters and hackers not only harm your devices but also steal your confidential data, replicate your online identity, and cause more harm than you can imagine! In fact, just the thought of getting your phone hacked is stressful and overwhelming. 

We hope you found this guide helpful and that we were able to answer all your questions regarding how to know if your phone is hacked or not. As cybercrimes are rising both in number and complexity, It is essential to take every possible step to protect your smartphone. So make sure to use our tips to safeguard your device and protect it from getting hacked in the future. 

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