13 Obvious Signs Your Phone Is Hacked – How to Tell If Your Phone Is Hacked and How Do You Know If You Have a Virus, Ransomware, Adware or other Malware
Are you concerned about signs your Phone is hacked? If you’re wondering if there’s something wrong with your smartphone, you should be concerned and do something about it immediately. We use our phones every day for shopping online and to store personal messages and private photos. Many people also use their phone for work too. If you are worried that you are seeing signs that your phone is hacked your phone might exhibiting one or more of these symptoms listed below.
Someone can hack your phone and monitor your communications from apps like TikTok, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, WeChat.
Some people store passwords in plain text messages on their phone or worse yet, store them in cloud storage so they can share the file across multiple devices. So, if their phone was ever hacked, it could seriously ruin their life. Phones contain logins and passwords for banking and credit cards apps, mobile wallets, and email accounts. A hacked phone could mean losing any money you have if a hacker got their usernames and passwords to banking apps and credit cards. Many people have a second or third email address synced to their phone to respond to work emails and messages. If their phone was lost, stolen, or hacked their employer could be compromised too.
READ: The Most Common Hacked Passwords
Can You Tell If Your Phone Is Hacked?
There are many signs a phone may be hacked or infected. If you’re seeing one or more of these signs or symptoms and your phone is not as fast as it used to be – don’t ignore it thinking it’s just old. It could be infected with a virus, malware, or someone could be spying on you. Consider getting a good antivirus app and hopefully you won’t have to factory reset the device to get it working again.
Can a Phone be Hacked Remotely?
Someone can hack your phone without touching it by sending malicious text messages. Hackers are clever and one of the ways to hack a phone without ever having possession of it is to send a phishing email or malicious text message with links in them. Text messages can be sent to random phone numbers with links to malware in them message body. When the the recipient clicks on the link, it initiates a malware download. The phone is immediately infected. if you ever receive a text message from someone you don’t know, never click on any links.
Smart phones can also be hacked over shared WiFi connections . Any Wi-Fi connection like that found in retail stores coffee shops airports and hotels is an opportunity for a hacker to intercept all the communications on your phone and possibly infect it with malware or spyware.
How Do You Know If You Have a Virus on Your Phone?
You know if you have a virus on your Phone if it behaves differently or you’re seeing some odd things that appear new or different, but you haven’t made any recent changes. Sometimes with app or operating system updates, there may be different looking icons, new features, or slowdowns that make you question if it’s a sign that your phone’s been hacked. But if there haven’t been any new apps added or recent updates and your phone is exhibiting one or more of the symptoms below, then it may be a sign that your phone is indeed hacked.
READ: Eight Ways to Protect Your Money from Gas Station Credit Card Skimmers
Mysterious New Apps Appear
Wireless providers and app developers must update hardware and software from time-to-time to keep phones secure. Updates often add, remove or change features too. However, if you notice new icons and behaviors, but there has not been a recent, official update, then the phone may be compromised. Check the setting for each app on your phone to see when the last update occurred. The version information can be verified on the app developer’s website or in an app store.
Apps Stop Working or Get Slow
If your Phone has been hacked and infected with malware, ransomware, or spyware you may notice that some apps operate slowly or stop working altogether. Having malware or some other rogue process running in the background hoarding system resources can cause the operating system and some are all apps to run slower than usual or crash completely. You might notice this that if they are slow to open or close or quit taking input from the touch screen.
Phone Won’t Shut Down
If your phone has become impossible to shut down, that is a clear sign that there’s malware or spyware installed on it. Some malicious programs interfere with the phone’s ability to shut down and reboot because that is one way used to get rid of malware.
Battery Drains Quickly
We all wish the battery life on our phones was unlimited or at least would last longer than it does. I’ve noticed that when my phone receives an operating system update my battery starts draining faster because often the apps settings are reset during the update. I have to go back in to stop apps from running in the background and change the configuration back to battery saving mode.
If you notice that your battery is draining much faster than it used to, this may be sign that your phone is hacked. Malware, spyware, and ransomware can run all the time in the background once they infect a phone causing it to use up battery much faster than normal. Check to see if there are any new apps installed. Go into your battery saving settings and see which apps are draining the battery the most Hackers are clever and hide the icons for their malware so the only way to tell if the phone is compromised is to figure out which app is using data and battery life.
Your Phone is Slow to Respond
If your phone has become slow to respond to input or slow to shut down, then this could be a sign that something is running all the time on your phone and using up system resources. Your phone may be slow or non-responsive to input from the keyboard or voice commands. Apps may open slower than normal and the phone may be slow to start-up or shut down. Any change in speed is sign that something is amiss with the phone.
Your Phone is Physically Hot
Your phone may feel overly hot to the tough because its processor is running all the time. Smartphone viruses and malware may un full-time in the background using up battery and system resources. Malicious apps can cause a phone to overheat because there are no limits. You may find that your phone actually shuts down because it has become too hot. If this happens, especially on a cooler day then install a reliable antivirus app to clean up your phone and get it running properly.
Reboots Itself or Shuts Down
Any phone that reboots itself or shuts down on its own is showing symptoms that something is wrong. Sometimes your phone may reboot to install a system update pushed by your wireless provider. I shut down my phone periodically to help clear the memory and keep it running well. But the phone reboots itself may be malware trying to reset system settings or and gain more access to sensitive information.
High Data Usage
Excessively high data usage may be only or primary sign that your phone is hacked. Most phones come with preinstalled bloatware app from the wireless provider. For example, the Verizon app shows you how much data your phone has used. You can also log into your online account and see a history of data usage. If it is trending upward sharply, then there is something happening with the phone. This is a sign that something is running in the background which is a common trait of adware or spyware. The phone is constantly setting sending data back and forth to whoever is monitoring your communications and location.
Your Friends Are Receiving Spam Email or Spam Texts from You
If your friends start receiving spam texts or emails from you then something on your phone is compromised this may be an issue that your email has been hacked rather than your phone but if your friends are receiving spam text messages especially those containing links to malware then your phone is definitely been compromised and is being remote controlled by someone else you may have to factory reset it to get rid of the malware if an antivirus program doesn’t work.
Strange Sounds in Calls
Strange noises while you’re on a voice or video call are sometimes a sign that spyware is installed. Spyware are legitimate and legal apps installed by parents to monitor their children’s activity online and their location. However, hackers have taken advantage of spyware and install on phones so they can intercept communications and steal money. Poor call quality and or strange noise may be a sign that your phone has spyware running on it.
Check your mobile website history on all the browsers on your phone. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and all other web browsers retain a history of websites were that were recently visited. If there are a lot of strange or unfamiliar websites in the history this may mean that your phone has been compromised and is being used as part of a bot or advertising network. Hackers make money by racking up visits to websites, by selling clicks, and selling traffic to sketchy websites
Popups are a sign that adware, which is a type of malware, is installed on a phone. Adware is a type of malware that pops up ads or new tabs on your screen or within other apps. Popups are super annoying. Hackers can compromise your phone when you visit a malicious website or when you click on a link that downloads the adware. Sometimes phone users install apps they want from within games or from other sites outside the app store which leads to a virus – but the new app is bundled with other unwanted apps including adware.
A good antivirus program should be able to help you remove adware.
Unwanted text and website notifications can be a sign that a phone is hacked – this includes push notifications. It seems nowadays almost every website you visit asks if they may send push notifications to your device. Most social media sites also prompt you to allow notifications every time there’s a new post or you’re mentioned. But if you have not given permission for these notifications or have opted out and they start happening, this is a sign that something is wrong with your phone
If you notice some of the above signs, your phone may very be compromised. It’s best to get a quality antivirus app and install it on your phone to clean it up. it’s possible that if malware is installed and it’s capable of detecting or blocking any new apps from being installed. So it may be difficult or even impossible to get the antivirus on downloaded. That’s why it’s best to have it installed ahead of time, before you need it.
If all else fails, you may have to factory reset your phone and reinstall everything. This could mean that you could lose all of your messages, photos, and videos. Always backup your phone from on a regular basis to cloud storage provided by your wireless provider or use something like Google Docs. That way, if you have to factory reset a phone, you’ll be able to restore your personal information.
Michelle writes about cyber security, data privacy focusing on social media privacy as well as how to protect your IoT devices. She She has worked in internet technology for over 20 years and owns METRONY, LLC. Michelle earned a B.S. in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Michelle published a guide to Cyber Security for Business Travelers