How To Tell If Your Smartphone Has Been Hacked

Even the most vigilant of us can still fall prey to malicious cybercriminals. While the Pegasus scandal highlights how some professionals are more prone to data breaches, hackers can target anyone and everyone to extract their data, location, and other online activities to sell them or use the information for blackmail.

In addition, Android smartphones are indeed more vulnerable to hackers, but this doesn’t mean cybercriminals cannot infiltrate iOS systems. If that wants to make you rush to check if anyone has breached your phone, FraudTrac has got your back. Here are a few telltale signs that indicate your phone may be hacked, along with a few common ways they use to access your phone.

Tactics Commonly Used by Cybercriminals

Phishing

Hackers use the tactic to send dangerous links and malicious attachments via emails and texts. When the victim clicks on it, the device gets infected with malware, allowing them to bag your data.

SIM Swap

Malicious hackers can use this tactic to transfer your phone number to their SIM to take over your accounts

Tracking Apps

Many hackers use spyware software to steal data. Many such apps don’t even require significant IT expertise to install or use. Anyone can use them to spy on your smartphone with ease using a simple tracking app.

Public Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Infiltration

Your data is exposed every time you connect the device to public Wi-Fi. Using a reliable VPN is important whenever you connect to open wireless, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Similarly, cybercriminals can break through Bluetooth connections.

online scam tracker website

Signs That Your Smartphone May Be Hacked

Intrusive Ad Pop-up

Pop-up ads can be a pain because they not only disrupt your scrolling but can also collect your data for commercial purposes. Third-party apps, especially free ones, often send such pop-ups your way as it helps them make revenue.

Although not all pop-up ads indicate your device has been hacked, unusual and inappropriate ones can be a symptom of adware infection. Make sure you don’t open or click on those, as the issue can otherwise get worse. It’s recommended that you check your smartphone settings regularly and ensure the option of receiving app notifications is disabled to prevent the issue.

Increased Battery or Data Usage

Data usage specifies the amount of data your smartphone downloads and uploads using cellular networks and mobile internet. If your data usage is exponentially increasing, even when there’s no significant change in your browsing habit, check your phone for spy or malware applications. These apps suspiciously running secretly in the background often drain gigabytes and your phone’s battery, too. Review all the installed apps and delete everything that looks suspicious.

woman frustrated with her phone

Slow or Overheated Phone

If you notice a drop in the overall smartphone performance with the device shutting down for no reason, apps taking longer than usual to open, or the phone unexpectedly entering Slowville, don’t panic yet.

First, check if the memory on your device is running at full capacity or if you’ve stocked up on various bandwidth and processor-intensive apps that are turning your phone sluggish. However, if the phone’s clutter-free, the overheating, glitching, freezing, or slowdown could indicate a malware infection.

Unrecognized Calls and Messages

Sometimes unrecognized texts or calls can be initiated from your phone through malware that enables the phone to contact premium-rate numbers and steal your money. Checking the phone bill to monitor any anomalies regularly can help in this scenario.

However, it could also be you receiving communications from unusual or unknown numbers. If you cannot verify the authenticity of these calls and texts, avoid answering, block the contact, and file a scam report online through FraudTrac.

We’re an online scam tracker website that helps people report online fraud and file scam reports to help others stay aware of malicious criminals or fraudulent businesses. Many people use our platform to report consumer fraud, pension scams, malicious activities, and other scams.  

Connect with us to learn more about helping us fight fraud together.

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