Your mobile phone is at the center of your life, making it the perfect target for identity theft and financial fraud. List of contacts, photos, videos, files, text messages, nothing escapes hackers and criminals. In an age where everyone is constantly hooked up, here are the many signs that there is a spy on your cell phone.
Why do criminals want to hack your phone
Understanding the signs of your mobile phone hack starts with understanding the data treasure that is on your device! Phones and computers are the two main communication devices that we use on a daily basis. Therefore, if someone hacks your cell phone, they will have access to the following information: email addresses and phone numbers from your contact list, photos, videos, files, and text messages.
In addition, “if the hacker uses a keylogger, he can record every key you press on your cell phone keypad. This means that hackers can steal passwords, personal information, credit card information, banking information, as well as any corporate information. In addition, they would be able to track every website you visit as well as the information you enter on that site, ”says George Waller, CEO of IT security companies.
Your battery drains quickly
“An obvious sign that your phone has been hacked is that you are losing battery very quickly. The spyware in the phone is always on, so it consumes a lot of power and drains your battery from the tape. If you regularly experience a loss of power, it is possible that your cell phone is hacked, ”said Tim Lync, CEO of a game computer manufacturing company.
Your phone is hot
“In addition to a significant drain on the phone’s battery, a warm device, even when not in use, is a likely sign that Internet data is being consumed faster than usual. If consumers notice that they continue to exceed their data limits someone may be useful to their sessions, ”asks Ray Walsh, digital privacy expert.
You receive scary messages
“Someone else is asking you for money by claiming that they will post pictures and messages that could only come from your phone,” said George Waller, CEO of IT security companies.
You clicked on a strange link in a text message
“It could be a text claiming to be from your mom, a friend or someone you know asking you to open a PDF file or a photo. Once opened, some Trojans embedded in the file corrupt your entire system. You also grant them access to steal your files.
So when you receive an email from someone you don’t know asking you to click to view a photo or watch a funny video, don’t click unless you are sure of the source, ”recalls Emmanuel Eze, reviewer and new technology tester.
You have used public charging stations
“This technique takes advantage of the obsession with always keeping our cells charged. Malicious charging stations take advantage of the fact that USB is used for both file transfer and charging. Some hackers can also monitor your every keystroke while they’re plugged in. So don’t rush to plug in your cell phone as soon as you see an outlet! ”Advises Emmanuel Eze.
New apps appear on your screen
“Hacked users may spot new, unusual apps that appear in their menus or in their phone settings. Always check which apps are running, and if something looks unwanted, check if the app that’s draining your battery is known to contain malware, recommends digital privacy expert Ray Walsh.
Your phone is broadcasting live
“One way a cybercriminal can monitor and eavesdrop on your activities is to have your phone live streamed without your knowledge. This would show all the criminal activity on your cellphone, while also broadcasting what is happening on your phone on the web.
It is possible to detect it if the phone is constantly hot or loses its battery too quickly. Also check your internet bandwidth to see if there is a peak in consumption somewhere, ”says Jamie Cambell, cybersecurity expert.
Your phone has poor overall performance
“As the old saying goes, ‘it’s all about timing’! Delays in sending and receiving text messages, dialing phones, and checking voicemail messages – all of these things shouldn’t take too long – are signs that a phone hack has taken place, ”says Alexis Moore. , author of books on phishing and cyberstalkers. “These are the easiest signs to spot! However, today everyone multitasks and does not pay enough attention to these subtle details.
There is an overall spike in data usage
“An app named ‘Data Usage’ (available for Android and iOS) can display the amount of data sent from your device. The trick then is to look for anomalies or exceptionally long download times. Your device is still sending data. It can’t sync emails, post selfies, or text without uploading data. Fortunately, most users are fairly consistent in their monthly activities. A large spike, or an increase in downloaded data that persists without actual use, can be an indicator that surveillance software has been installed, ”notes Allan N. Buxton, chief forensic examiner for a forensic cyberscience company.
You discover calls or texts that you did not send
“You may also notice calls and text messages to numbers in your contact list that you haven’t sent yet. Be sure to monitor this activity closely, as some calls may be made to premium rate numbers – which malware forces your phone to contact, ”says Rob Webber, mobile expert and CEO of a phone plan comparison company. cellular.
You receive unwanted pop-ups
“Another sign that a smartphone is compromised is receiving pop-ups or weird screen savers. While not all pop-ups indicate that your phone has been infiltrated, an increasing number of pop-ups could be a sign that your phone has been infected with some form of malware – adware – which forces devices to display specific sites that generate revenue through clicks, ”says Rob Webber.
You receive security messages
“If your phone has been hacked, you may notice unusual activity on its part, such as security messages informing you that your email or other account has been accessed using a new device. You receive password reset links or verification emails that say you’ve signed up for new accounts that you don’t know, ”says mobile expert Rob Webber.
Your phone has been left unattended in a public place
“Never leave your device unattended in a public place. Keep your cell phone with you or within sight of you while in public. If you have a ‘phone visibility’ option, turn it off. This setting allows nearby devices to see your phone and exchange data with it, ”suggests Gary Davis, consumer safety manager at a cybersecurity company.
“Do not save password or login information for banking apps and other sensitive accounts. You don’t want a hacker to be able to automatically log in like you do if they gain access to your device!
You downloaded a malicious application
“Criminals hide malware or malicious capabilities inside apps that appear legitimate or may even perform a legitimate service, like a mobile game. To this end, Google Play is more likely to have infected applications than the Apple App Store, because Google does not examine these applications as vigorously, ”reveals Alex Hammerstone, head of customer relationship management systems ( GRC) and cybersecurity consultant.
You lost your signal
There are several noticeable signs that your phone may have been hacked: you receive a text message or an email notification from your mobile operator about an account change you did not make, and a few more minutes. later, your cell phone has no signal even after a restart. You also can’t log into your email or even your bank account. This is called a number porting attack!
Typically, criminals only need a date of birth and an account number for this attack to be successful. If you believe you are the victim of a porting attack, you should immediately contact the police – and your mobile operator – to inform them that your cell number has been ported and that you are the victim of phone theft. ‘identity.
“Finally, allow several days to change the passwords of all the accounts used with your cell number. Allow even more time to clash with banks and creditors to justify your stolen identity, ”said Kayne McGladrey, member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
You hear unusual background noise
“Buzzing, static or other strange noises could be a sign that someone is spying on you. Although all cell phones may have strange noises from time to time on their line, it is best to check if there are other signs combined with this one. If you hear unusual noises when your phone is not in use, that’s not a good sign… ”advises Robert Siciliano, identity theft expert, and speaker.
Your phone does not turn off
“If something looks weird with your cell phone, try turning it off. Watch how it reacts when you turn it off. Phones that have often been hacked will not turn off properly or will never turn off, ”says Robert Siciliano.
Your accounts are acting weird
This is more common than you might think and represents a very serious risk. ICloud and Gmail services store a lot of information about you, such as passwords, photos, phone location, messages, and calls. You might think that no one would want your photos, but it’s common for them to hold your ransom. You might also think there’s nothing important in your mailbox, but it’s probably a backup of every online account you have. With enough information, it would be easy to steal your identity.
“If you start getting password reset emails, it could mean a number of things. Changing your email password and checking your account security is a good idea. Always create a strong password, turn on notifications for login on new computers or locations, and turn on two-factor authentication, ”suggests Matthew Woodley, a freelance digital marketing consultant.
You’ve been lazy with passwords
“If someone’s iCloud account gets hacked, the thief is able to see where all of their devices are, see all of their stored data, lock devices using anti-theft features, and so on. This sort of thing usually happens when a person uses the same password on more than one site, and one of those sites is compromised. The best way to avoid this is to use unique passwords on each site, which are stored in a password manager and allow two-factor authentication on each account, ”explains Thomas Reed, director. mobile for a software company created to detect and remove malware.
You used the free wifi to access sensitive information
“The free, unsecured Wi-Fi at your local cafe is extremely convenient. Unfortunately, it’s easy to spy on anything you do there. If you are using the unsecured connection, the best way to do this is to use a VPN (a virtual private network) to keep your connection secure. VPNs are inexpensive and keep you safe, ”continues Matthew Woodley.
Otherwise, make sure you never log into a banking website, and try to stay away from your inbox. “If you want to check your emails, always watch the address bar. Does the website say “https: //” rather than “http: //”? The added “s” indicates a secure connection. There should also be a green lock symbol next to the URL. If you don’t have these indicators of a secure connection, don’t enter any of your connection information! ”He notes.
You are blocked
“You can also see your legitimate mailboxes being blocked by the spam filters of other people, because your communications now seem to come from a suspicious source,” recalls Mike Tanenbaum, employee of an insurance company.
3 things to do if you think you have been hacked
Matt Wilson, chief information security advisor for an enterprise cybersecurity company, recommends the following actions:
Change important passwords. DO NOT do this from the device you believe has been compromised or you could give hackers your new password!
There are many popular apps and services that enable multi-factor authentication. While it doesn’t necessarily help you once your device is compromised, it does reduce the likelihood of your cell phone being phished.
Restore your device. The process depends on your cell phone, but the big companies have simple and easy instructions. Backing up your cell phone data and restoring it are two other things you can do to avoid getting hacked.