How to find out who hacked your phone

How to find out who hacked your phone

Most people have a treasure trove of personal information on their phones, from emails and social media messages to sensitive bank details. As a result, malicious actors often target these devices to compromise your privacy or abuse your identity.

How to find out who hacked your phone

Your sensitive data can lure many people, from those you know to cybercriminals. For this reason, it can be challenging to find out who is behind a phone hack. Still, there are steps you can take to find out who hacked your phone.

Continue reading to learn more.

How to find out who hacked your phone

Today, most cyber attacks are motivated by monetary gain. During these attacks, hackers typically rely on malware to exploit security vulnerabilities in the operating system or apps you download. After using malware to breach security, they can sell your credentials on the dark web, access your financial accounts, or hold sensitive data for ransom.

In a few extreme cases, your phone can be hacked by someone in your life who wants to monitor your movements and actions or gain access to your private information.

To narrow down the list of suspects, you should find out how the phone was compromised. Here’s what to do.

Check your app list

Apps are one of the most common vehicles for hackers to gain control of your phone. So you should immediately go through your app list if your device has been behaving strangely.

If you see any apps you don’t remember downloading, look them up online and check their reviews. The reviews may mention suspicious activity, and confirm that the app is the basis of the hack. If you don’t notice any unusual apps, you should run a security scan. Some malware is designed to avoid detection, so you may not be able to find it on your own.

Hackers rarely target you personally when they infect your phone with malware. Instead, they distribute malware randomly, intending to scrape as much data as possible from as many people as possible. As a result, you will have no luck finding out who specifically hacked your phone.

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But if the suspicious app is commercial spyware, chances are you can find out who is behind the hack. Unfortunately, the app itself won’t be of much help. These apps usually protect the hacker’s identity by not sending the captured information directly to them. As a result, the details of the person who installed the spyware are not stored anywhere on the infected device.

However, in case spyware is installed directly on your smartphone, the hacker must have physical access to your device. This information can help you create a list of suspects and determine who would benefit from planting spyware on your smartphone. Remember that these apps take a short time to install, so think about people who might have access to your phone for a short time.

Check your phone bill

If your phone bill shows charges for text messages you never sent, your phone has probably been infected with malware. This type of malware is designed to generate revenue for cybercriminals by forcing your phone to send and receive high-priced text messages.

Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to find out exactly who hacked your phone since these attacks are rarely targeted. However, you can stop these loads in one of the following ways:

  • Text “STOP” to the unknown number.
  • Contact your mobile operator to block the number.
  • Run a security app to find and remove malware.

Check your call list

If your phone bill and app list don’t reveal anything out of the ordinary, you can direct your investigation to your call list. Make sure you haven’t answered any random calls recently as these can be used to hack your information or record your voice.

Again, these attacks are primarily carried out randomly, so you probably won’t be able to pinpoint the exact hacker.

Track your online activity

Phishing scams are another common way hackers gain access to your private information. Although it is virtually impossible to guess who is behind these scams, you can report them to your mobile operator and have them blocked.

Even if you cannot identify who is responsible for the attack, you can usually find out if you have been a victim of phishing. Just track your online activity and check if you’ve clicked on suspicious links in text messages, emails or unexpected pop-ups.

These scams usually use emotional wording, making you click on a link for more information without thinking about the potential consequences. So look for messages that contain panic-inducing wording followed by a link.

Think about the last time you used public Wi-Fi

Both public and password-protected hotspots offer different avenues for individuals with malicious intent to carry out mass hacking attacks. Suppose your phone has shown problems after logging into an unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspot. If so, someone may have scraped your sensitive information.

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Check the security of your iCloud account

If you are an iPhone user, you should be careful about your iCloud security. After all, a cracked iCloud login can allow anyone to access your photos and plant spyware to monitor your device’s calls, messages, and location.

iCloud accounts with weak passwords and no two-factor authentication can be easily broken by password cracking software. These programs are used to guess hundreds of common passwords for mass-breached accounts. In other words, they are not targeting you personally.

However, weak iCloud security can also allow anyone who knows you to guess your email address and password, especially if you use the same combination across multiple sites.

To find the culprit, you should contact Apple and ask them to provide details of access to your account. These details usually include IP addresses that you can use to identify the hacker.

Set a trap for the hacker

If you suspect someone is trying to hack your phone, prank it and catch them in the act. Alternatively, this trap will act as a deterrent and prevent anyone from trying to infiltrate your smartphone.

Apps like Certo Mobile Security allow iOS and Android users to take a still picture of the person trying to hack their phone. This feature is triggered whenever someone enters the wrong password multiple times or tries to move the phone.

How to avoid getting hacked again

After determining who is responsible for hacking your phone, you should make sure that you never have to go through this stressful process again. Being aware of your digital actions is the way to protect your phone and thus your personal information.

Here are some security practices that can help you significantly reduce your chances of being hacked.

Avoid downloading Sketchy apps

Before you download an app, be sure to go through the reviews and find out if the app is reputable. If you have the slightest doubt about the security of the app, it is best not to install it.

Avoid jailbreaking your phone

Jailbreaking allows you to download apps from unofficial app stores. However, it also leaves you vulnerable to being hacked in two ways.

First, the unofficial apps may be infected with malware or spyware, allowing hackers to access your personal data. Second, jailbreaking will stop you from receiving security updates in the latest OS updates, further weakening your phone’s security.

Keep an eye on your phone at all times

Physical access is the fastest way for a hacker to compromise your phone. For this reason, it will be safe to keep your phone on you at all times.

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Enable lost device tracking

If you lose track of your phone in public, lost device tracking will be a lifesaver. It will help you find your phone before it gets stolen or planted with malware. Depending on your device, you may have a built-in tracking app installed. If not, you can find many third-party apps to add this feature.

Use phone security measures

Even if someone manages to get hold of your phone, don’t make their job easy. You should always use a password lock for your phone. You should also never use a password that is easy to guess. This involves your birthday or other important dates and default passwords like “1234” or “0000.” Ideally, a password should contain letters, numbers and symbols.

Enable two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your phone, making it harder for hackers to gain access to your device and online accounts.

Depending on your phone, you will be able to choose between several options for authentication. The most secure option is to use something you physically have, such as a USB key, fingerprint, or Face ID. Although people often use texts and emails for authentication, these can be easily caught through hacks like SIM swapping.

Keep all apps up to date

Even trusted apps can be exploited by hackers if they are not updated regularly. After all, updates usually come with fixes meant to address bugs and security vulnerabilities.

Avoid using public Wi-Fi

You should never log into a public Wi-Fi unless you have Virtual Private Network (VPN) protection. A VPN will encrypt your data so that no unwanted viewers can see it.

Be alert

No one wants unauthorized people looking at their personal information, especially with the many ways they can misuse this critical data. So, paying attention to mobile security is essential to protect your privacy and identity.

Even if you fall victim to a hack, it’s important to act quickly. Use the methods outlined in this article to determine who is responsible for the attack. it will be easier to take the necessary steps to remove the threat.

Has your phone ever been hacked? Did you find out who was responsible? Let us know in the comments section below.

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