How to know if there are hackers in your phone
The iPhone has a reputation for being secure. Apple has a closed operating system (unlike Android’s open source code) and monitors and vets apps in the App Store. And with only one phone model, the iPhone, Apple can more easily push out updates and push users to download them.
This does not mean that your iPhone is immune to attack. Hackers are always coming up with new ways to get into any device, and the iPhone is a prime target for malware, spyware, ransomware, viruses and more. Tap or click here for seven settings to change and increase iPhone security.
Whether you use iOS or Android, it’s not always easy to tell if your phone has been compromised. Hackers can target your devices in many ways and you may not get a notification or know that something malicious is happening in the background. Read on for tips on diagnosing a hacked phone.
How they get in
A person doesn’t necessarily have to be a hacker to get into your phone. As you will see in some examples below, they can have other motives.
- Someone can hold the phone up to your face when you sleep and unlock it. This allows them to snoop through your device without you knowing.
- Stalkerware is designed to track you using GPS, call logs, messages, photos, browsing history and more. This can be hidden behind another app that seems harmless.
- Harmful downloads and malicious links can infect your phone without your knowledge. Something as harmless as a PDF file can contain some toxic data. Be careful where you press.
- Bad apps, like bad apples, are everywhere. They may mimic known apps or try their luck to trick you into downloading and running them. When you do, your phone is infected with malware.
- Hackers can target your SIM card, the small chip in your phone that is linked to your mobile account. This is known as SIM swapping, and the scam involves convincing your mobile operator that the scammer is you. They may say that the phone or SIM card was lost or damaged. They answer some security questions and get your phone number reassigned to your SIM card. Then they can access your accounts.
- Hackers can intercept your MAC address via Bluetooth and remotely infect your phone.
There are several ways for strangers to access your phone, and these are just a few to watch out for.
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Look for the signs
How do you know your phone has been hacked? Here are some red flags:
- Too many processes running at the same time slows down your phone. Or it could be a single culprit in the form of malware that eats up a lot of resources. This can also cause your phone to heat up.
- Battery drains much faster than usual due to unknown activity.
- Significant increases in data usage can signal adware and the like, running in the background.
- Malware can slow down your Internet by redirecting traffic to unsecured servers or simply increasing your bandwidth to steal more information from you or target others.
- If you detect activity you had nothing to do with, such as sending emails and messages and posting on social networks, your phone and accounts have been hacked. Check your streaming history and credit card purchases for unknown activity as well.
- Spam pop-ups are a good indicator that your phone has been hacked.
- Look for changes to the home screen and unknown bookmarks.
- Apple has announced that it will notify users if their devices have been compromised by state-sponsored malware and spyware. Press or click here for our report.
How to protect your phone from hackers
When it comes to keeping hackers out of your phone, just a little effort can make a big difference:
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