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8 telltale signs that your mobile phone has been hacked

Many smartphone users are not aware of how malicious applications and software updates pave the way for hackers to take control of their devices

Published: 12th February 2019 03:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th February 2019 05:41 PM   |  A+A-

Image of a mobile phone used for representational purpose only.

Online Desk

With our daily lives becoming more and more dependent on smartphones, a lot of highly sensitive information is at the mercy of hackers. But many smartphone users are not aware of how malicious applications and software updates pave the way for hackers to take control of their devices.

Want to know if your phone has been hacked? Look for these signs

1) Background noise:

If you hear background noise, either while listening to an audio or on a call, it could be a sign that your phone is hacked. Someone may be listening to your conversation or may have gained access to your phone as a result of a software or hardware glitch. 

2) Battery running out fast:

If you notice that your phone's battery drains faster than before, it could be because there are some apps running in the background on your device. However, it could also be possible that you have downloaded some sort of malware which is slowing down your system. If you regularly play games using your social media apps, it could easily allow hackers to get into your device through spyware which could result in identity theft or seizing of your important documents and passwords. 

3) An increase in your data usage: 

An abnormal rise in data usage could mean that another device is transferring data from your device to its own. If you suspect you are surpassing your data allowance often, it means that your phone has been affected by malware. In that case, delete all new apps that you have downloaded and immediately factory reset your phone.

4) Phishing:

Phishing is often seen in the form of emails, which falsely claim to be from a legitimate organisation/company in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information. If you come across any kind of typos, grammar mistakes, overuse of punctuation or informal introductions, these are signs of fraudulent emails. Also, stay away from downloading any strange attachments, clicking on any alternative web links etc. 

5)  Fake sites through public Wi-Fi:

Yet another popular way for hackers to access your phone and your personal information is by making use of public Wi-Fi. Connection to public Wi-Fi is usually unencrypted which makes it easy for hackers to gain access to it. Often they will present you with a fake site where you are asked to enter your details. If you try to connect to a public Wi-Fi and it leads to a new site which asks for your personal information, immediately exit the window. These fake websites can be absolutely convincing and extremely difficult for one to detect, so it is highly recommended to refrain from using mobile banking or shopping over public Wi-Fi.

6) Bluetooth being on without your knowledge:

Bluetooth is of the easiest ways through which a hacker can steal all your information. This form of hacking can easily go unnoticed by the user. This can also affect other devices surrounding you if they also have their Bluetooth on. If you ever come across your Bluetooth being on when you did not turn it on, immediately switch it off and run a scan.

7) Software updates from alternative sites:

Receiving pop-ups constantly from third-party programmes are not only annoying but also dangerous for your phones. If you give permission for such updates, it will automatically install lethal malware and spyware on your phones. If you come across any links to alternative sites, it is most probably a fraudulent update request. If you want to check the authenticity of the link, you can easily do so by viewing the site's HTML address. Free software services would never send email alerts for an immediate update -- their notifications will always have a ‘check’ or ‘review’ option. Again, if you are asked for any personal information or additional login, refrain from those updates. 

8) Fake apps:

You need to be extremely careful of what you are downloading as there are umpteen fake apps available now. While selecting an app, pay keen attention to the details such as reviews, publisher, logo, number of downloads etc. If you see a star symbol against the app's name or a tag named 'Editor's choice' under the app's name, it means that the app has been chosen as one of the best apps by the Google Play Store editors. This should give a clear indication that it's a legitimate app. Searching for apps online to check their credibility will also help prevent your phone from being hacked. Many fake apps, like those for shopping, usually give attractive discounts or deals to make you fall prey to their fraudulent attempts. Beware!

Here are a few tips to stay safe from hackers

1) Never click on any link that you did not expect to receive

2) Use different passwords on different sites and strictly avoid reusing your main email password

3) Always use anti-virus software 

4) If you shop online, purchase only from secure sites

5) Ignore pop-ups

6) Refrain from using public Wi-Fi 

7) Never store your card details on any websites

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