How To Know If Your Phone Is Hacked

It is extremely important to know if your device been hacked.  With so much of our information housed on smart devices, it's no surprise that hackers are targeting our phones to steal our data, whether by brute force or undercover methods. From text messages and emails to calls and social media, smartphones are the ideal gateway to our sensitive information.

Therefore, it's important that you know the signs of a phone hack and how to prevent phone hacking in the future. Here, you will read how to identify and protect yourself from a phone hack.

How Your Device Can Be Hacked

There are several ways hackers can gain access to your smart device. Some of the most common methods include:

  1. Spyware. This method allows a hacker to collect your data by monitoring your phone's activities remotely. A spy app is easily accessible for even the most novice hacker.
  2. Phishing. By clicking on a link from a suspicious text message, email, or social media DM, you may unknowingly download malware, which is malicious software that can steal your information and cause you to lose access to your phone. Hackers often conduct this method through fake free WiFi networks.
  3. Downloaded malware. You can unknowingly install malware on your device by simply visiting a questionable website or clicking on untrustworthy pop-ups.

How To Know If Your Phone Is Hacked

While hackers try to go on unnoticed, there are some telltale signs that your phone has been compromised. Here's how to know if your phone is hacked:

  • You notice applications acting abnormally (opening or closing independently or crashing)
  • There are unexplained messages, calls, pictures, or applications on your phone or in your message history
  • Your device performs significantly slower than normal
  • You notice a rapid depletion of your phone battery
  • Your data usage increases significantly

What To Do If Your Device Been Hacked

If you are experiencing any of these issues with your phone, it is certainly time to take action. Follow these steps if you believe someone has hacked your device:

  1. Remove all suspicious software.
  2. Immediately change all passwords.
  3. Inform friends and family to ignore any suspicious messages, calls, or emails coming from your device.
  4. Restore your phone to factory settings with a factory reset to erase data that could be harmful.
  5. Install mobile security software.

Alternatively, you can take your device to a cellphone store where they can perform a diagnostic test to detect and remove any malware.

How To Prevent Being Hacked

how to know if your device has been hackedWhile it's important to recognize the signs of a hack, it's even more important to take preventative measures to protect yourself from any security threat in the first place. If you want to know how to prevent iPhone hacking or how to prevent Android hacking, are some simple ways to secure your phone:

Utilize the password protection on your phone.

iPhones and Androids alike offer numerous options for password protection nowadays. Between traditional numeric codes, pattern locks, and thumbprint scans or Face ID, there's a password method that works for every user. Go to your device's settings to create your passcode for your Lock Screen. Furthermore, make sure to always keep your device locked when not in use. For other devices, like laptops, look into a password manager for secure passwords.

Never leave your phone unattended.

We tend to keep our phones on us at all times, but still, this is a good thing to keep in mind. Though you don't always have to keep it on - taking breaks from your phone is actually a good idea - you shouldn't be leaving it completely unattended. After all, it's an expensive piece of equipment, even though we use it daily.

Don't connect to untrustworthy, free WiFi networks.

Public WiFi is useful but risky. The open connection means information sent across the network isn't as secure, increasing the chances of someone hacking your phone or laptop and getting your personal information.

Keep your Bluetooth off when not in use.

Because we use Bluetooth so often, we forget to turn it off when not needed. This may seem unnecessary, but in truth, it's a great practice to keep. Hackers can intercept your device's Bluetooth and pull your personal data from your phone; to limit chances of this, turn off Bluetooth when not in use.

Regularly check your phone for suspicious or unusual activity.

Check your call logs and text messages every so often to ensure there are no calls or messages you didn't place yourself. Similarly, check your App Library to be sure you don't have any new apps that weren't downloaded by you. These are all signs of a hack or virus.

As a rule of thumb, don't click on suspicious links or messages. Phishing attacks work best when a user unknowingly opens malicious links or messages, allowing computer viruses or dangerous software to infiltrate a device. The same goes for suspicious apps on your phone - only download trusted apps from the App Store. Never download apps you find on unsecured sites online.

Don't visit unreliable websites online.

Check each site you visit for the lock in the address bar. This confirms that the site is safe to use and not a phishing site, a website created to trick users into entering their personal data or credit card information. If you feel unsafe about a site, lean on the cautious side and get off of it. The Internet is full of other, safer websites.

Stay up-to-date on operating system updates.

Your phone is safest when it's completely updated. Though it's easy enough to delay updates because they're inconvenient, make sure to schedule a time for the updates to occur so that you don't risk your security. Most iPhones and Androids have options for performing critical updates overnight; look into that so you don't have to be without your device during the day.

Install anti-malware software onto your device.

As a final protective measure, think about buying a solid anti-malware program. This gives you better protection and many services even include security reports, which are helpful in analyzing security threats or patterns.

Because we conduct so much of our lives through smartphones, it is now more critical than ever to protect ourselves from hackers by knowing how you can be hacked, if you've been previously hacked, and what to do if you're hacked.  You can take your phone security, and the security of your information, into your own hands.