Can you think of something worse than losing all the data on your phone? Well, if you can’t think of anything, I have the answer right here for you. What’s worse than losing your data is giving access to all your data to a stranger. Here, I am not implying the conscious decisions you take when you let certain apps and websites access to part of your data. I mean when someone has access to everything on your phone, including your private messages and even bank account details. Yes, that can easily take place once your phone is hacked successfully.
How is your phone hacked?
Your Android or even Apple device can be hacked by cybercriminals through various means. They can make use of an app, an email and even a text message to get into your phone. Though it is not every day that someone tries to hack your phone, you know that it can happen. Sadly, no matter how expensive your phone is, none of the phones in the markets is completely immune to hackers. Then what should you do? Our advice is to be careful of the websites you access and apps you download. Also, always have an Antivirus software on your device. Still, if your phone is somehow hacked here’s how you can be sure.
How to determine if your phone is hacked
Sometimes you can have a gut feeling that something is wrong with your phone. The reason could be anything related or unrelated to your phone performance. But if you have such doubts, here’s how you can confirm them. Following are the four major signs that show that your phone is hacked.
1. Extremely Poor Performance
If your phone’s performance has suddenly and unexpectedly degraded, it is a sign of the phone being compromised. Poor performance includes overheating of the phone, battery draining rapidly and a significant increase in the time needed to load apps. If you’re not sure if this sudden deviation is a sign or simply a result of your misconduct, you can check for the same. Go to the Battery settings in your settings app and look for any app that is making excessive use of your battery life. If your phone is compromised you will find the evidence here and once you do, uninstall the app.
2. Increased use of Mobile Data
If you are on a limited data plan your service provider will be the first to inform you if your data is running out. Even if you are running on Wifi, you can check if your phone is using too much data. Just follow the given steps.
On your iPhone, go to Settings and then Mobile Data. If you spot an unusual amount of data being consumed scroll down to check which app is doing it and uninstall it.
On your Android phone, you can do the same by heading to Settings>Connections>Data Usage.
3. Suspicious Behaviour
If your phone is sending suspicious text messages to numbers you don’t know, it is a clear sign. So, as soon as you are in doubt, head to the Messages app on your phone and check for any such messages. If you notice such issues, head to the settings like you did above to check for the cause of the problem. Other types of suspicious behaviour involve phone restarting on its own, opening apps that you didn’t command it to etc.
4. Unauthorised Purchases
If you have a message to approve a payment complementing your gut feeling, your phone is hacked. If that is not the case and your card is directly connected to your phone, you might want to check your statement. Any unauthorised purchase must be urgently reported to your bank. This however could be a result of card fraud as well, so make sure that you only share your bank details with trusted parties.
What to do if your Phone is Hacked?
Go to the Setting apps to find any suspicious apps under App Manager or Apps and uninstall them right away. This step should be followed by downloading Antivirus software if you don’t have it already. Run a scan to check if there is still a problem with your phone, if your malware software can take care of it, then it’s good otherwise you will have to choose an extreme measure.
If your phone is still at risk after everything, you might need to reset your phone to factory settings. This will however delete all forms of data from your phone. So, as a precautionary measure make it a habit to backup your phone data regularly. I sincerely hope that you are never in this situation, but precaution is better than cure. So, always stay careful.