Cybercrime is a growing problem, mainly because many people fail to recognize the signs that a cell phone has been hacked. So that this doesn’t happen to you, we have summarized the typical signs of a hacked cell phone for you.
Prevention: How to Make Sure Your Phone isn’t Hacked
You can protect yourself against a hacker attack with the following measures:
- Turn off the Bluetooth on your device when you are not using it. This makes it more difficult for possible hackers to gain access to your cell phone.
- Have you installed the latest software updates? Regularly update your apps and operating system .
- Set up a third party lock to avoid hidden subscriptions.
- Do not open any phishing e-mails or messages that appear dubious to you.
- Install an antivirus program on your smartphone . This means that the system detects harmful apps in good time and prevents them from being installed.
Android: Typical Signs of a Hacked Phone
Hackers often have an easy job on mobile phones with Android operating systems. The operating system is open and unauthorized apps from dubious sources quickly land on the phone. But apps from the controlled Google Play Store are not always safe either.
- First of all, lock your device to apps from unknown sources. You can do this in the settings under “Security”. Only download apps from the Google Play Store or known and secure sites.
- The most important thing to do when it’s too late and you feel like you’ve been hacked is to take a look at your cell phone bill. Malicious apps often send expensive SMS or make unnoticed calls to premium numbers. You can block access by third-party providers through your wireless service provider.
- Control the data usage of your apps. If you find apps in the settings under “Mobile data” or “Data usage” that use a particularly large amount of data for no apparent reason, you should pay attention. Here data could be passed on to hackers.
- You should also check your money and mail account, which is on your mobile phone. If you discover unauthorized access or unusual movements, change the passwords and let an antivirus program check your cell phone. If in doubt, you should even block bank accounts.
- Noticeably slower performance can also be a sign of a hack. Malware often runs as an invisible process in the background, but it gnaws at the overall performance of the phone.
- As mentioned in the previous point, malware has an impact on performance – this also applies to the battery. If it suddenly empties much faster or becomes particularly warm, your cell phone could be infected with a virus.
- You could even spot a hack while making a phone call – if calls just drop off frequently or there are strange noises on the line.
- If you find apps on your phone that you haven’t downloaded yourself, you should also consider hacking. Often adware or other malicious apps are downloaded.
- When surfing, do many websites suddenly look completely different than usual? This could also be a sign of a virus that is affecting the exchange of data between the servers of a website and your mobile phone.
- Probably the clearest indication of a virus or hack: Pop-ups. If windows suddenly open that do not appear to come from a specific and reputable app, you should be careful.
- With antivirus programs, it is easy to detect malicious apps and, if necessary, to free the cell phone from the clutches of the hackers.
Typical Signs of a Hacked iPhone
- In principle, the same applies to iPhones as to Android phones: only download apps from safe sources, use antivirus programs and regularly check your accounts for unusual movements.
- However, Apple makes it extremely difficult for hackers to gain control of your phone. The App Store is well secured and every app is checked by Apple by hand.
- Unless you have a jailbroken iPhone right now, there is nothing to worry about. If you’ve jailbroken your iPhone, you should follow the steps above.
If you are concerned that your smartphone has been hacked, here’s how you should react to it:
- If you can no longer navigate your Android device normally, start it in safe mode . This means that third-party applications are not loaded in the first place.
- On an Android device, the first thing you should do is navigate to the security settings and remove all device administrators. How to prevent apps from preventing uninstallation. Then use virus protection to check the installed apps and files on your device. Uninstall malicious apps and delete questionable files. Then manually check the list of installed applications and remove all applications that are unknown to you. If you are unsure, tap an application and see if you can uninstall it. Otherwise it is very likely a system app.
- Revoke permissions that you do not need from all installed apps via the system settings. This works on both Android devices and iOS. On the former, you also deactivate the display via other apps.
- If this step is not too much work for you, reset your smartphone to the factory settings or, at best, install the system software from scratch using a PC application from your device manufacturer. If desired, format the SD card as well, if one is available.
- Change any passwords you’ve recently entered on your device. If necessary, contact your network provider to object to unauthorized debits.
- If you still find questionable activity on your device after following these steps, it is best to contact a specialist. If you are a professional yourself, try analyzing network traffic with tools like Wireshark beforehand to find out about suspicious communications.