If you own a cellphone, you should have a great interest in its safety and security.
There are many different things that can be done with the information on your phone if it falls into the wrong hands.
Someone who hacked your phone can see who you talk to, for how long you speak to them, where you are, what apps you use, and uncover a lot of personal things.
And if your phone has ever been hacked into, you know that it is very unpleasant and trouble-making.
But how can someone hack your phone? In short, pretty easily if you’re careless enough.
This article will teach you how to know if your phone is hacked, and what you can do to ensure your protection.
The easiest way to get your phone hacked is to click a deceptive link presumably sent by your friend or colleague.
We get dozens of emails and hundreds of text messages a day, so it’s not surprising you may get distracted and open a suspicious link, photo, or video.
Most apps, depending on their purpose, can require access to your phone camera, contact list, and geolocation.
While it’s safe for the apps downloaded from the official stores – they are double-checked for malware – the apps from non-official sources can do a lot of harm and give access to your phone to third parties.
Some spy apps are advertised as tools for parental control as they allow to track kids’ location, log phone calls, and view browsing history.
So basically, these apps let another person know where you are and what you’re doing on your phone.
One of the most common threats is someone hacking into your Google or iCloud account.
It will give them instant access to your photos, messages, calls, and saved passwords – practically to your whole life.
Cybercriminals can take over your social media apps by porting your phone number to another SIM card.
As any services send authentication texts, the attackers can intercept them and lock you out of your accounts.
An unprotected public Wi-Fi spot is the ultimate place to expose your IP and all of your traffic.
The hotspot can turn out to be an evil twin of the free network that will let a cybercriminal into your phone or redirect you
to cloned banking sites that require personal data to log in.
Fake Bluetooth connection
Hackers can get into your phone not only through Wi-Fi but also through a Bluetooth pairing.
They can deceive you into connecting to their device by giving it an innocent and common name like “My AirPods” or “Portable Speaker.”
How to know if your phone is hacked
The first and foremost sign of malicious activity on your smartphone is its abnormal behavior.
Here’s how to tell if your phone is hacked and what you need to look out for if you suspect that someone could have hacked into the system:
If you notice that your phone loses its charge more quickly and gets hotter than usual,
it may be the sign of malware being launched in the background that drains the battery power.
It can also be caused by a battery malfunction unrelated to hacking, so don’t start panicking prematurely.
Unknown apps or activity
Mysterious apps on your home screen, files you didn’t download, and phone calls you didn’t make – all of these things can be the signs of someone’s interference.
Strange pop-ups and screensavers
If unknown pop-ups are appearing on your screen all the time, they may be the product of installed malware.
Data usage spikes
When your system is compromised, spyware may use your mobile data for its activities.
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to trace someone who has hacked your phone.
The least you can do is to get in touch with a cyber expert or the police for a chance to find out who did it.
You can get lucky by searching for recent suspicious contacts on social media or strange emails in your inbox.
Think of who could have got hold of your phone or where it could have been accessed remotely.
However, if it wasn’t a targeted attack, the chances to find the perpetrator are significantly low.
How to remove a hacker from your phone
Having your phone hacked is very unpleasant, but, luckily, there are ways to fix it.
Time is precious in these situations, and the sooner you detect unknown activity – the better.
It will give you a chance to save your personal information and remove the hacker. Here’s what to do:
Update your passwords
If someone got access to your accounts, they could have simply guessed the passwords.
Change them to stronger ones as soon as you can.
Run a malware check
Install an app that scans your phone for malware or spy activity.
It will help you identify the apps that drain your data and do harm to the system.
It’s also a good idea to have two or three security apps just to make sure you’ve found every possible threat.
Delete suspicious apps
Get rid of everything that your security apps have flagged as malware.
Warn your contacts
Let the people from your contact list know that your account has been hacked and that it’s not a prank.
Ask them not to click on links or videos that may have been sent from you.
Do a factory reset
A factory reset erases all the information from your phone for good.
It’s the most radical step, and you should consider it only if there is nothing else you can do.
If you don’t want to be a victim of cyber criminals controlling your phone, you need to learn how to protect yourself.
But how to make sure your data is safe? Here’s a short checklist:
Use different passwords
A strong password makes you one step closer to better protection.
Having different passwords for all your accounts and devices prevents hackers from getting access to everything at once.
Don’t let your phone out of your sight
Don’t let anyone, especially people you don’t trust, use your phone, and don’t leave it unattended.
Keep your life as private as possible
Don’t reveal too much information on the phone, and make sure that you keep it locked up completely.
This will help you to protect your privacy.
Don’t open suspicious links
Email algorithms are taught to warn you about spammy content and phishing messages.
However, you should always double-check the links you click, whether they come from an unknown address or your friend – they could have been hacked too.
Use anti-malware apps
A regular check for malware will prevent the spreading of viruses on your phone.
Switch your Bluetooth off
As Bluetooth is a weak spot, keep it turned off when you’re not using it.
Avoid public Wi-Fi
You can never know what to expect when you use a public hotspot.
If you do use it, consider using a VPN to protect your data.
Use a VPN service to browse safely
Whether you have an iPhone or an Android-based smartphone, a good VPN app is what you need to shield your banking operations, hide your IP, and protect your traffic.
Browsec VPN offers solutions for both iOS and Android devices.
How a VPN app can protect you
A virtual private network (VPN) reroutes your traffic through a secure channel. It protects your IP from third parties, making it untraceable.
This allows you to browse safely and anonymously and stay hidden from fraudulent Internet service providers.
VPN apps like Browsec encrypt your traffic and increase your online security.