Phone hacking is a frustratingly common phenomenon, and one which every mobile user has to be prepared to guard against.
There are plenty of indicators of a successful hack to be aware of, so come with us as we explore each one and discuss how you can stay safe.
Unauthorized calls and messages being made and received
A phone that has been infected with malicious software can behave in lots of unusual ways, and one example of this makes use of the main features of the hardware itself; namely, the device's ability to make and receive calls and SMS texts.
You might not be aware of hackers exploiting your phone to call premium rate numbers and drain your bank account that way unless you keep tabs on your call list and monthly bill. If you see unusual activity that you didn't initiate, take action.
Data usage that's through the roof
While hackers might be able to disguise that they've breached your device, what they can't hide is the amount of data that their activities eat up.
All smartphones let you see your current data usage stats, and you can use this to determine if there has been any unexplained spike in your phone's network activity recently.
Phone hacking prevention is the best option for dealing with this issue, and software from providers like Certo is capable of detecting infections and dealing with them, as well as putting up layers of protection to stop repeat attacks.
Battery life that isn't as robust as it used to be
We're used to charging our phones daily, and the lifespan of your device's battery is limited, with performance getting gradually worse over the years.
However, most people will also be able to notice sudden degradation in battery life which comes out of the blue after a prolonged period of normal use, and this may demonstrate that a hack has taken place.
The reason for this is that malicious software needs to run in the background, so even if you aren't doing anything with your handset, energy will be sapped from the battery by the minute.
Interactions are affected and the software feels sluggish
Particularly power-hungry malware won't just interfere with your battery life, but will also have a marked impact on how your phone feels to use.
Crashing, freezing, lag, and overall instability are all red flags in this regard, especially if you haven't made any changes or updates to the software yourself.
Apps appearing in your library that you've never seen before A simple way to check for malware infections is to look at your list of installed applications and see if there are any that you don't remember downloading.
We're not talking about software that might have been installed at the factory and that you've simply not used up until this point, but rather any third-party apps which are unfamiliar.
Don't expect malware to spell out its intent with the app name either; hackers will usually call it something innocuous to try and dupe innocent victims. Removing unrecognized apps should be a priority when you spot them.
Social media posts you didn't send yourself
Hackers may try to subvert your social media presence by accessing your profiles from your compromised phone.
This could result in them sending out messages and publishing content that others will then see, potentially leading them to dangerous sites that will further the spread of malicious software. Be on the ball regarding your online presence and don't let any unauthorized posts linger.
On-device pop-ups that are inappropriate
Digital advertising platforms have got pretty good at predicting what type of products and services will click with us depending on our age, interests, and past purchasing history.
It's also common for apps we download to showcase pop-up adverts that are tailored to the kinds of things we're interested in.
However, if the ads you are served suddenly start to be inappropriate in nature, or entirely unrelated to your anticipated customer profile, this could show that your device has been compromised. If in doubt, turn off app notifications from those that are the most intrusive.
Don't sit back and let phone hackers get away with their nefarious activities; look out for all these warning signs and nip issues in the bud ASAP.
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