Our phones contain every part of our lives and can expose our most sensitive information to data snatchers or thieves. Even though smartphones have eased our lives, in many ways, it comes at the risk of cyber-crimes. Have you ever wondered whether your phone is hacked or being tracked? Hackers can now easily access your bank details, email ID, and personal photos by luring customers through promotional emails and text asking you to click on a link to claim rewards. The cases of hacking have increased in recent years as more and more customers are switching to touchscreen devices. Whether it’s a smartphone or PC, cyber-crime has become one of the biggest concerns. That’s why it’s important to protect your phone from hackers.
How your phone can be hacked.
There are many ways to hack your phone. Some don’t even require advanced tech knowledge for example; Sim swap attack; For a successful sim swap attack to happen, hackers hijack your mobile phone number and use it to access sensitive personal information and bank accounts. With this attack, hackers can transfer your phone number to their own SIM card and take over your accounts, another one is Spyware; A spyware is a type of malware that tries to keep itself hidden in your device, while it secretly records information and tracks your online activities on your computers or mobile devices. It can monitor and copy everything you type, upload, download, and store. Some strains of spyware are also capable of activating and accessing your camera to collects your data. Some spy apps are pretty easy to get hold of and can be used by a person without advanced IT knowledge. This lets them remotely monitor your phone activities. Hackers can install such an app by getting direct access to your device. You might get malware via public Wi-Fi networks or charging stations. Hackers can set up fake Wi-Fi networks, called evil twin networks, to redirect you to malicious websites or steal data via USB cable at a charging station. Phishing text, are Facebook or email messages with malicious links that install malware and snatch your data; You might also download malware from suspicious sites while downloading apps or by clicking on malicious pop-ups or links. These are the signs for you to know if your phone has been hacked.
1 Poor Battery Life or Extreme Battery Usage.
Even if you don’t see clear signs of suspicious activity, something malicious can still be going on behind the scenes. One of the best ways to see if your phone has been hacked is to check your battery usage. If your phone is hot for no reason, even when it’s not charging, something could be running in the background while the screen is off. Some of the most sophisticated malware can still leave traces on your phone or tablet, so start by checking the battery usage menu. This doesn’t happen as often since, in the case of android, Google has a comprehensive Google Play Protect system built into Android, but we still recommend checking. If you see some random unknown shady app with unfamiliar names draining a lot of your juice. In this scenario, you probably have a keylogger or a virus hiding its name to prevent being found. Once you discover this kind of app in your phone close the suspected software if it’s currently running, and if possible, completely uninstall the apps
2 Some apps stop working properly.
If apps that used to work properly suddenly stop working, that may also be a sign of proxying or other malware interfering with the apps’ functionality. Do apps just randomly open, freeze or close on their own? Are you finding some pictures or videos you took disappearing or photos you don’t remember taking appearing on your phone? These are all signs that someone else may have remote access to your phone and is messing with it in some way. Often, Android phones will start acting erratically, this makes apps open for no reason, most of the time, your phone will be slow or constantly crash. these problems come from viruses
3 You notice Increased use of data or text messaging (SMS).
If you monitor your data or SMS usage and see greater use than expected, especially if that increase begins right after some “suspicious event,” that may be a sign that malware is transmitting data from your device to other parties. You can even check your data usage per app, if one of them looks like it is using way too much data for the functionality, that it provides, something may be amiss. If you installed the app from a third-party AppStore you can try deleting the app and reinstalling it from a more trusted source, but if there is malware on your device, doing so may not always fix the problem.
4 Your Cell-Phone Bill Shows Unexpected Charges.
Criminals can exploit an infected device to make expensive overseas phone calls on behalf of a remote party proxying through your device, can send SMS messages to international numbers, or ring up charges in another way. Most people have unlimited data, text or call plans don’t always border to check their consumption rate. This gives hackers the advantage to use their phones without getting noticed. this is the reason why you always have to check your consumption rates, for most telecom companies you can access this detail on their website otherwise contact your customer service.
5 Increased Data Consumption.
While some people are lucky enough to have unlimited mobile data packages, most people are on a limited data plan. If you suddenly find yourself running out of data more quickly than usual, that could be a sign that your phone is hacked. This is especially true if the hacker is watching you through your webcam! Even for those who don’t have data caps, it’s worth checking your monthly data usage trends. A suspicious uptick in monthly consumption could be a sign of hacking. Less-sophisticated spy programs may cause data consumption to skyrocket, as they pass information off of your device. Accordingly, you should pay close attention to whether your monthly data usage increases dramatically for no reason. Good spy programs, however, require very little data or can spread data packet usage out, making them much harder to identify in this manner.
6 Noise During Phone Calls.
If you hear clicking, unusual background noise, the voice of the other party sounds far away, or is only transmitted in fragments during phone calls, someone may be eavesdropping. Since telephone signals are transmitted digitally these days, such unusual noises are far less likely to be attributed to ‘bad signal’ especially if you know you usually have strong connectivity in your location when you’re making your calls. This one is pretty rare. We’ve all experienced normal interference whilst on a phone call sometimes it sounds like you’re having a conversation with a 90s dial-up modem, but this is different. Things like clicks, static, and echoing noises are all tell-tale signs that someone is listening in on your calls.
7. Pop-ups Or Strange Screen Savers.
Malware can also be behind spammy pop-ups, changes to your home screen, or bookmarks to suspicious websites. In fact, if you see any configuration changes you didn’t personally make, this is another big clue that your smartphone has been hacked. Random pop-ups are one of the first signs, but it’s not the only thing you should look for. Our list detailed above explains some of the biggest warning signs. this is just one of the ways hackers can access your phone.
8. Apps You’ve Never Seen Before.
Most Android users probably have an app drawer that’s filled with apps they’ve completely forgotten about. So this can be a hard sign to spot. Still, it’s worth going through your app drawer from time to time to see whether there are any weird apps in there you don’t remember installing.if you see apps you didn’t install on your phone, or apps draining your battery or monthly data plan, uninstall them
9. You Notice Unfamiliar Calls Or Texts In Your Logs.
Hackers may be tapping your phone with an SMS trojan. Alternatively, they could be impersonating you to steal personal info from your loved ones. Keep an eye out, since either method leaves breadcrumbs like outgoing messages. Ransomware messages are some of the most apparent signs of network attacks because they often appear on the front page of sites and restrict access to content unless victims pay a specified fee by transferring online payment to a hacker. These attacks don’t necessarily only happen because an employee visits an infected website while at work. Sometimes the problems start when a person opens an email or spam message that directs the recipient to go to a site that contains malware or download infected files. Often, they look legitimate, so people don’t think twice about doing as the email instructs. Then, hackers install ransomware on the person’s computer, thereby entering the corporate network. Statistics from 2016 revealed a 6,000 percent increase in ransomware attacks via that kind of content. People may also find it surprising that most victims from that year paid the imposed fees.
10. Apps and Phone Keep Crashing.
Often, Android phones will start acting erratically: apps open for no reason, or your phone will be slow or constantly crash. Sometimes, these problems come from a virus. There are dozens of “Anti-virus scanners” and “mobile security” apps on the Google Play Store, but we recommend sticking to trusted brands and names. Don’t just install the first option that appears. Look for well-known brands you’ve used on your computers like Avast, AVG, or BitDefender.These tools are great at quickly and easily scanning your device for problems. Usually, if Malwarebytes finds anything it’ll remove it for you
Understanding how these attacks work is a step to preventing them and staying safe. take the initiative today to protect yourself from hacks, there are few platforms where you can further find more video tips to ensure your safety, some of them are connectyu and cmtvplus, if there are other tips we missed, please do let us know in the comments.