Has my phone been hacked? Find out!

Our smartphones now contain our entire life: we communicate using them, look things up on the internet and take pictures. But your smartphone can also be hacked, sometimes without even you realizing it. HackControl provides tips to help you discover if your smartphone has been hacked.

It is quite easy to hack your phone. A hacker can use phishing tactics or, for example, hack in if you charge your phone via a public charging column. If your phone is hacked, the criminal behind the attack can take complete control of your device. That means that he can listen to your calls and monitor all of your activity.

These five signs could indicate that your smartphone has been hacked:

Increased data usage

Rogue apps often connect to the home front. To see if there is malware on your phone, you can check how your phone receives and sends data.
For Android, you go to your ‘Settings’, then to ‘Network and internet’ and then to ‘Data usage’. In the menu ‘Use of mobile data’, you can then see exactly which apps use the internet. On an iPhone, go to ‘Settings’ and then to ‘Mobile Network’. Scroll down to see which apps are using mobile data. There you can also disable the use of mobile data by different apps.
Does it appear that you started using an extremely large amount of mobile data while your phone usage has remained the same? Then there is a chance that there is malware on your phone. This malware can also be hidden in a seemingly normal app. So you also want to check whether, for example, a free dictionary app used 1GB of internet.

The battery drains quickly

Another good indicator of a hacked smartphone is a battery that drains very quickly, even if your phone habits haven’t changed. Rogue apps sometimes require a lot of battery, causing your battery to drain within a few hours.
You can, of course, find out which apps use so much battery life. On Android, you go to ‘Battery’ in your Settings, where you can also see whether your apps are behaving normally. Android checks whether your phone suddenly starts consuming more battery than normal. There is also a ‘View detailed usage’ button, which shows you exactly where your battery life is going.
On iOS, you also go to the ‘Battery’ option in your Settings, where you can see exactly which apps use what percentage of your battery life. This way you can quickly find out why your battery is suddenly empty so quickly.

I didn’t write this!

If a hacker takes over your phone, he can do anything with it. And you can notice that yourself. For instance, you can suddenly see messages and phone calls in your logs that you never made. Or there are emails or social media messages and posts that you never created. This means that a hacker may have deployed SMS malware or may have taken over your identity in the hope of stealing personal information (or money!) from your contacts. Whatever it is, it’s no good.

Your phone freezes

If a hacker gets into your phone, he may want to use the device for his own purposes. For example, to mine bitcoin or to do other fraudulent things.
That often means that a lot of processor power is being hijacked from your phone, which has a very clear effect: your phone suddenly becomes very slow, starters crashing or freezing often. Even if your phone suddenly reboots, that can be a sign of a hack.

So many popups!

There is also malware that mainly shows you advertisements. A hacker then earns money for each displayed ad. So if you suddenly see a lot of strange pop-ups, it could be a sign that you have a virus or malware on your phone. And yes, it is quite annoying.

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    Vitaly is a principal consultant at Hackcontrol as wall as aa business and IT thought leader. He has over 15 years of experience in consulting, account management and is a specialist in cybersecurity.