Can my phone be hacked?
Yes, your phone can get hacked, and it happens more often than you think. However, there are ways to tell if you’ve been the victim of a phone hack, and there are precautions to take beforehand to avoid hacking.
This article will show you how to protect yourself against phone hacking.
How to know if your phone has been hacked
There will always be hackers, but you can keep your data safe by watching for signs of suspicious activity. Here’s how to tell if your phone has been hacked.
It’s slower than usual.
A drop in performance is one of the most common signs of a hacked phone. If websites take too long to load or your apps suddenly crash during use, malware may be hogging your phone’s bandwidth or processing power. You may also have trouble sending and receiving messages or turning your phone on and off.
Your phone is getting hot.
Is your phone hot, even when you’re not using it intensely? Phones can get hot during prolonged periods of heavy use, such as streaming a movie or playing games for several hours at a time, but if you’re not causing your phone to heat up, maybe it’s someone else.
The battery is draining faster than usual.
If your battery is draining faster than usual, see if you have a lot of apps running in the background. Apps running in the background can consume a lot of data, and you can save battery life by limiting background app data.
There are several ways to extend the life of a battery, but if everything else is normal, shortened battery life could be a sign that your phone has been hacked.
While it is not uncommon to lose a call or have a bad connection from time to time, the increasingly frequent interruptions of service must lead you to ask yourself the following question: has my phone been hacked?
If you see many more pop-up ads than usual, your phone might be infected with adware, a type of malware that floods you with ads. Never tap on suspicious ads or links.
Websites look different
Sometimes Google changes the layout of its homepage for a special occasion, but if you notice that many sites don’t have a usual look, that might be a sign of an iPhone device. Or hacked Android.
Malware on your phone can act as a proxy between you and the web and redirect your traffic to other sites. Knowing how to determine if a website is safe can help protect you.
New apps appear
Everyone has downloaded an app and immediately forgotten about it, but one of the signs that a hacker has gained access to your phone can be the presence of applications you do not recognize. An additional app with malicious aims can go unnoticed in a crowded phone library.
If you find an app that doesn’t tell you anything, you may need to remove malware from your phone. And be sure to assess apps from a security perspective before downloading them.
Apps no longer work properly
If your apps close frequently or your phone crashes regularly, it might be because your cell phone has been hacked and some malware is using your phone’s resources.
Poor performance can signal that your phone’s software needs updating, which is essential for phone security. Before you set your sights on a new phone, try our tips for speeding up your iPhone or boosting your Android device.
You receive calls and texts from strangers
Is it possible to have your iPhone hacked by SMS? Is it possible to have your phone hacked with a simple call? The situation is quite different for SMS hacking if your phone is unlikely to be hacked directly with a simple call (even if you are not immune to a phishing attempt to extract information from you).
Even though hacking text messages usually expect you to click on a suspicious link, a hacking iPhone message with iOS bugs without interaction can infect your phone via text message without your intervention. You can protect yourself against these exploitable vulnerabilities by using an encrypted messaging application that provides data security.
If someone falsely claims you contacted them by phone or text, chances are your phone has been hacked. If you receive strange messages or calls from your friends or relatives, let them know.
Data quota exhausted
If you see unexplained usage spikes in your data, you may not be the only person using your data. A hacked iPhone or Android device can use your data to transmit information retrieved from your phone.
If you have unexpected charges that your carrier can’t justify, they may be due to additional data usage described above. If someone uses your phone remotely, they can make calls or use premium services. Cryptic charges should be investigated to rule out malware.
Fleeceware-type apps can charge exorbitant subscription fees and be the source of your billing issues. These apps usually lure you in with a free trial, which turns into a paid subscription a few days later. If you find one of these applications on your phone, unsubscribe from the application (simply deleting it will not suffice).
Techniques used by phone hackers
How do these hackers get to your phone in the first place? The most dangerous and renowned hackers use a combination of technical wizardry and the tricks of social engineering to exploit the humans behind their phones.
Here are some of the techniques most used by hackers to hack phones:
Phishing is using social engineering tactics to trick you into divulging personal information. A phishing attack can take the form of a simple email with a FREE link that directs you to a malicious site. Many of today’s most reputable hackers use phishing attacks in their campaigns.
It can also be a more elaborate ploy consisting, for example, of an online questionnaire which will be able to tell you which Disney princess you correspond to from your date of birth, your mother’s maiden name and the name of your first pet (responses that the attacker can use to try to access your accounts).
Phishing can also be very targeted to trick a high-level employee into divulging far too much information. Attacks targeting high-ranking cadres are known as whaling.
A sneaky way to infect a phone with malware is to trick someone into downloading an app with hidden spy features. This app can disguise itself as a game, a productivity app, or even a good security device when it’s a spyware-type app that tracks your online activities. And your data. Some Android spyware can even spy on a turned-off phone.
Another type of malware for your phone is Stalkerware, which tracks your movements, browsing, messages, and calls. Stalkerware is usually installed by someone you know — when parental control apps are used like this; they become Stalkerware.
Be sure to remove spyware from your Android device and eliminate those sinister spy apps on your iPhone.
Many 2-factor authentication (2FA) procedures confirm your connection by an SMS sent to your phone. With SIM swapping, hackers try to convince your ISP that you need to swap your phone number for a different (hacker’s) SIM card. They then receive your authentication messages.
SIM swap fraud usually starts with a phishing attempt where the hacker obtains enough information to steal your identity from the service provider. With enough information about you, a hacker can use your phone number to initiate a SIM swap.
Although the probability of having your phone hacked by a simple call is minimal, it is still in your interest to protect your phone number: a call from an unknown number at a given time may start from an intention to hack you afterwards.
Cybercriminals can use phishing or other techniques to access your iCloud or Google account. Many users link their accounts to their social network, which can be exploited as a vulnerability to access your data. Unauthorized access to your accounts can allow hackers to see your location information and view your emails, messages, and keyrings.
While it makes listening to music on a speaker easier, a wireless Bluetooth connection makes your phone more vulnerable to cybercrime. Hackers can use software to intercept a Bluetooth signal and gain access to your phone. Don’t pair your phone with a device you don’t trust or in an unsecured location.
Like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi can also be used by hackers to gain access to your phone. In particular, using public Wi-Fi networks can make your phone vulnerable to attack, as they may have been set up by a malicious actor waiting for you to connect. Changing the default password for your home Wi-Fi network is also important to prevent hackers from accessing your router.
You can protect yourself on public Wi-Fi networks by installing a mobile VPN on iPhone or Android. A VPN (or Virtual Private Network) encrypts your connection to prevent malicious actors from accessing your phone.
Do you need to charge your phone at a public charging station? Think twice: the juice jacking scam infects these terminals with malware that targets people low on energy.
An infected charging station does more than replenish your energy. The malware spreads to your phone, which can monitor your actions, collect and transmit your private data, and even make withdrawals from your bank account.
Protect your phone with a cybersecurity app from a trusted vendor if you use mobile charging stations. AVG AntiVirus for Android and AVG Mobile Security for iPhone protects your phone from malicious activity, ensuring your data and apps are always protected.
My phone has been hacked, how do I fix it?
If you suspect your phone has been hacked, there are ways to find and remove malware from Android or iPhone phones (you can delete malicious apps, clear your cache and downloads, and even clean your phone entirely).
But the safest method is to protect your phone from being hacked beforehand with one of the best free antivirus apps on the market. Sometimes you should protect your phone with hardware, which is called a signal jammer.
Protect your phone with the jammer
Yes, the signal jammer can offer extra protection for your safety. This machine block signals to disable phone usage, internet access, and more. If you use it correctly, you can get benefits from it.
Today, many companies or organizations are using signal jammers to eliminate the potential risk of data leakage or eavesdropping. Schools, for example, install jammers to prevent students from using their mobile phones in the classroom or during examinations. Gas stations install cell phone jammers to ensure no mobile usage within their station. And most recently, commercial businesses have started installing jammers in their office; in most cases, they have to turn on the jammer before meetings to prevent eavesdropping.
The bottom line
In this post, we have introduced what would happen if your phone is hacked and some tips on how to protect yourself with a signal jammer. You may always be careful; hackers are constantly developing new hacking tools to gain access to your devices.