What is Phone Hacking?
Phone hacking involves any method where someone forces access into your phone or its communications. This can range from advanced security breaches to simply listening in on unsecured internet connections. It can also involve physical theft of your phone and forcibly hacking into it via methods like brute force. Phone hacking can happen to all kinds of phones, including Androids and iPhones. Since anyone can be vulnerable to phone hacking, we recommend that all users learn how to identify a compromised device.
How to Know If Someone is Hacking Your Phone
One or more of these could be a red flag that some has breached your phone:
Your phone loses charge quickly. Malware and fraudulent apps sometimes use malicious code that tends to drain a lot of power.
Your phone runs abnormally slowly. A breached phone might be giving all its processing power over to the hacker’s shady applications. This can cause your phone to slow to a crawl. Unexpected freezing, crashes, and unexpected restarts can sometimes be symptoms.
You notice strange activity on your other online accounts. When a hacker gets into your phone, they will try to steal access to your valuable accounts. Check your social media and email for password reset prompts, unusual login locations or new account signup verifications.
You notice unfamiliar calls or texts in your logs. Hackers may be tapping your phone with an SMS trojan. Alternatively, they could be impersonating you to steal personal info from your loved ones. Keep an eye out, since either method leaves breadcrumbs like outgoing messages.
What to Do If You’re Smartphone Has Been Hacked
You’ve learned how to identify if someone is hacking your phone. Now, you’re ready to fight back. Here’s how you cut those cybercriminals out of your personal tech.
First, you’ve got to eliminate any malware that’s infiltrated your device. Once you’ve rooted out the data breach, you can start protecting your accounts and keeping hackers out of your phone.
How to Remove the Hacker from Your Phone
These might include:
Email (work and personal)
Apple ID or Google account
All social media
Also follow up with any financial or online shopping services that have saved your credit cards or banking details (such as Amazon, eBay, etc.) This will help you to pinpoint any fraudulent transactions and be sure to report and dispute these charges with your bank.
How to Stop Someone from Hacking Your Phone Again
Phone hacking security is increasingly important as more of our personal info becomes digitized and mobile-connected. Since methods are constantly evolving, you will have to be ever vigilant with security.
Being mindful of your digital behavior is the best way to protect yourself and fortunately, there are many known practices that have been proven to lower hacking risks.
How to Protect Your Phone from Being Hacked
Don’t download sketchy or unreputable apps. Look at reviews and research before installing if you are unsure. If you’re not confident in safety of app, do not install it.
Don’t jailbreak your phone. While it allows you to download from unofficial app stores, jailbreaking ups your risk of unknowingly getting hacked. Aside from malware or spyware, this means you’ll miss security patches in the latest OS updates. Jailbreakers skip updates to keep the jailbreak functional. This makes your risks of being hacked even higher than normal.
Keep your phone with you at all times. Physical access is the easiest way for a hacker to corrupt your phone. Theft and a single day of effort could result in your phone being breached. If you can keep your phone with you, a hacker will have to work much harder to get into it.
Always use a passcode lock and use complex passwords. Do not use easily guessable PINs, like birthdays, graduation dates, or basic defaults like “0000” or “1234.” Use an extended passcode if available, like those with 6 characters. Don’t ever reuse a password in more than one place.