Your phone is a valuable piece of technology. Not only does it allow you to stay connected with the world, but it can also store sensitive information like your contacts and calendar. You may also be using it to access your healthcare or financial information. It’s no wonder that hackers are interested in compromising phones. If your phone is hacked, cybercriminals can use your information to access your personal data and use it for malicious purposes.
3 Ways Your Phone Is Hacked
There are a few ways that hackers can gain access to your phone. They may be able to:
- Exploit vulnerabilities in the operating system or apps that you have installed. Once they have gained access, they can install malware that can allow them to track your location, steal your personal information or even eavesdrop on your conversations.
- Send you a phishing text message. This is a message that looks like it’s from a legitimate source, but is actually from a hacker. The message may contain a link that takes you to a malicious website or downloads malware onto your phone.
- Access your phone through an unsecured Wi-Fi network. If you’re not using a VPN, hackers can intercept the data you’re sending and receiving over Wi-Fi. This allows them to see your browsing history, passwords, and other sensitive information.
What Are the Risks?
A hacked phone can have plenty of implications on the security of your private information. Here are some of the risks:
- Hackers can access and use your personal information without your consent. This includes your contacts, calendar, emails and text messages.
- They can track your location in real-time, which could lead to stalking or other safety concerns.
- Hackers can install malware on your phone that can eavesdrop on your conversations or even record your phone calls.
- They can access and use your banking information and other financial data without your permission.
Warnings Signs of a Hacked Phone
There are a few signs that may indicate someone hacked into your phone. If you notice any of the following, it’s time to take action:
- Your battery is draining faster than usual
- You’re receiving strange text messages or phone calls
- Your data usage is higher than normal
- You’re seeing unusual activity on your credit card or bank account
- You’re getting strange pop-ups or ads on your phone
What To Do
If you think your phone has been hacked, take these immediate action steps:
- Change your passwords and PINs: If you think your passwords have been compromised, change them as soon as possible. Choose strong passphrases that are difficult to guess.
- Install a security app: There are a few security apps that can help protect your phone from malware and other threats. Look for an app that offers features like anti-malware protection and remote wiping.
- Backup your data: Make sure you back up important files and photos. This way, if your phone is wiped by a hacker, you’ll still have access to them.
- Keep your software up to date: Install the latest security updates for your operating system and apps. These updates often include patches for vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.
- Factory reset: If you can’t seem to get rid of the malware on your phone, you may need to factory reset it. This will erase all of the data on your phone, so make sure you’ve backed everything up first.
- Report it: You should also report the hack to your phone carrier and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The IC3 will review your report and refer it to the appropriate federal, state, local and international agencies if necessary.
How To Prevent Future Hacks
The best way to deal with a hack is to prevent it from happening. Be careful about what you click on, only connect to secure Wi-Fi networks and install a security app. Consider using a VPN when using public networks, and be careful about what apps you download. By taking these precautions, you can help protect your phone from being hacked.