How to find out if your phone is hacked? What to do if your phone is hacked?

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Smartphones are an integral part of every other person in the current time. From emailing to watching videos, chatting, social media, gaming, finances, online shopping, and other crucial tasks are taken care of by a smartphone. Also, we save and exchange several personal data, IDs, banking cards, and concerned sensitive information on smartphones. And with the heavy usage of the internet and increased dependency, these devices have become more prone to hacking and phishing attacks. 

The alarming rate of hacking compelled mobile manufacturers, authorities, and individuals to create a robust ecosystem to avoid a possible fraud attack through smartphones. In order, you as a smartphone user can take several easy and effective steps to prevent hacking of your device. We have here brought you a simplified guide to let you enlighten you about how to know if your phone is hacked or what to do after, or how to avoid hacking in the first place.

How to avoid smartphones getting hacked

1. Sluggish system performance

The system performance of a hacked phone generally goes to an extremely slow level. It hinders control causing several applications to launch or break down on their own without your intervention.

2. Inappropriate Pop-ups

Receiving an excessive number of pop-up ads and inappropriate apps from third-party services is not a good sign. The high chance is that you might have installed unauthorized apps that are causing these pop-ups.  Clicking on such popup content should be avoided.

3. Unintended calls and messages to contact

A hacked phone, sometimes, automatically initiates a phone call or sends an SMS to saved or unsaved contacts. Keep an eye on these call logs and SMS records, and if found the case, your phone has been compromised.

4. Rapid battery drainage 

Modern cellphones typically have a battery life of at least a day, however, usage might affect this. If you see that your battery is depleting quickly, be careful to identify the programme that is using most of your charge and look into it.

5. Higher data usage than regular 

You may quickly access the phone’s settings to stop some malware from using a lot of mobile data or Wi-Fi if your phone has been compromised. Irregular use of internet data by apps is not a good sign and, if necessary, look into the matter or remove them.

6. Not receiving calls or messages 

Sometimes, hackers find ways to clone your SIM card and use it purportedly for malicious purposes. In such cases, you might not be receiving calls and SMS messages on your phone. 

7. Suspicious activity on social networking sites

Social media platforms are favourite places for hackers to pose as you and do the harm. Ransomware attacks are more prone on social media apps and if you notice some suspicious activity on your account, changing passwords or temporary deactivating the profile is advised.

8. Unauthorized mobile apps

The majority of us download several apps, however, occasionally we might also install unrecognized software apps from unreliable websites. It’s a good idea to periodically check the number of apps on your phone and remove any that aren’t being utilised.

What to do if the phone is hacked?

To be on the safe side, you can follow the steps listed below if you suspect your smartphone has been hacked or compromised. It is preferable to use each of these techniques one at a time in order to eradicate the threat because not all techniques are suitable for everyone.

1. Change password

It’s best to change your phone’s lock screen if you’ve ever shared it with another other app, friends or family because then more people will be able to access your phone. No matter what’s the case, it is always a good idea to change the password oftenly.

2. Uninstall suspicious apps

You can manually browse through the list of installed apps on your phone to see if there are any dubious ones. If there are, delete them right away. In some cases, installed apps won’t appear in the list of app list; you’ll need to manually check them in the settings and remove them accordingly.

3. Factory Reset

The easiest way to get rid of the hacker from the phone is probably to factory reset it, which would delete all of the data, including files, photographs, and movies. After a factory reset, there is a good likelihood that the phone will be safe from attacks because it deletes all third-party apps and services. Also, factory reset boosts mobile performance. 

4. Asking contacts to ignore messages and social media activity

It is better to inform contacts that your phone was compromised and that any inappropriate messages they may have received came from hackers. If it’s a social networking platform, it’s better to put a message on your timeline.

5. Anti-Malware apps

Google itself offers an in-built security feature called Google Play Protect to keep a check on devices and installed apps for harmful activities. It runs on a safety check every time you install an app from the Play Store.

How to avoid smartphones getting hacked in first place

If you want to be proactive against any possible hack and mobile threat, here is a handful of tips that can save your day.

  • Make a habit to change all your passwords routinely.
  • Download apps from Google Play Store, Apple App Store or official website only.
  • Just like sharing banking details are not advisable, you should also not share the password with anyone.
  • Activate the Find My Device feature on your phone to track it on GPS.
  • Enable Two Factor Authentication (2FA) on apps like Gmail, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Always update your app with the latest version as the publisher regularly brings security patches.
  • Don’t save and store sensitive data on your phone including notes, banking details, etc.
  • Keep a lock on sensitive apps.
  • Public Wi-Fi networks seem interesting but don’t connect them without a VPN.
  • Rooting a phone, sometimes, brings security threats and improper working finance apps.

Since smartphones are our best friends, it’s always better to take good care of your phone. We will be bringing more similar tips and tricks in the future, till then stay safe!

Sachin Deo VermaSachin Deo Verma
Sachin covers technology news at Smartprix and he also has a keen interest in automobile and electric vehicles. He keenly gains knowledge from various sources to be updated with the latest tech trends. He is also a passionate Potterhead who dabbles in literature, and poetry, and loves to travel.

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10 months ago

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