Would you like to know if your phone has been hacked? Agencies such as the NSA, the CIA, and the FBI can hack our phones whenever they would like to. How to tell if your phone is hacked, in this blog post I will let you know telltale signs you should look for.
Aside from the government agencies, I mentioned above. There are certain individuals in our lives who may be interested in hacking our phones for different reasons.
People Who May Be Interested In Hacking Your Phone:
- Your employer – Your employer may be interested in finding out what you do in your free time.
- Your significant other – If your significant other feels as though you are not being faithful to them.
- Cybercriminal – A cybercriminal may be interested in stealing your identity.
Can Someone Hack My Phone?
Yes, someone can hack your phone and gain access to all your private information that you have on it. However, this person must have had access to your phone to download and install a spying app.
Now I will tell you some different methods that people can use to hack your phone and I will give you some tips on what you should do about it.
There are quite a few different spying apps that people use to spy on someone via their cell phone.
These apps will allow someone else to track your location, read your text messages and emails, internet history, view your photos and videos, listen to your conversations and more.
These apps will give the hacker lots of private information, this is a total invasion of your privacy.
These apps are easy to install on a phone, and if you’re being spied on, you may have no idea of what’s going on.
How To Tell If Your Phone Is Hacked:
It can be difficult to determine whether or not you have a spying app on your phone because they run secretly in the background.
However, if you know the telltale signs, you will be able to determine when you’re being spied on. For example, if you notice:
- An unusual spike in your data, minute, or text usage
- New apps appear on your phone but you didn’t install them
- If your battery starts draining much faster than usual
- If you notice websites in your browsing history that you didn’t visit
- When you’re making a call if you hear echoes or noises in the background
- If your phone randomly shuts down on its own
- If your phone starts to malfunction
If you are currently experiencing any of the things I mentioned above, there’s a possibility that your phone has been hacked.
Phishing is a common cybercrime in which someone will contact you by email, text message, or telephone, claiming to be a legitimate institution in an attempt to lure you into providing sensitive data.
If you have an Android phone, you should be cautious if you receive emails or text messages from someone you don’t know who is asking you to click on a link.
You should immediately delete this type of message. If you click on these links you may end up accidentally installing a spy app on your phone.
These types of apps will most likely give a cybercriminal your private phone data which contains your bank account info as well as login info for all the websites and apps that you login to via your phone.
This isn’t as common for iPhone users who have iPhones that have not been jailbroken because they will only be able to download apps from the Apple App Store.
Some Other Things To Consider:
If you receive an email which looks as though it was sent from your bank asking you to click on a link and input your password or PIN. This is most likely a scam because your bank will never ask you for this type of information.
If you receive a vague text message or email with a link in it from someone claiming to be your friend. But you don’t recognize the name, the email address, or the phone number.
You should not click on the link especially if you can’t see the entire url. On the other hand, if you were tricked into clicking on the link and you end up downloading an app, your Android phone may notify you.
In any case, you should immediately delete the app and run a mobile security scan.
How To Remove Spying Apps From Your Phone:
Performing a factory data reset will completely remove all the cell phone spying apps that are installed on a cell phone.
The procedure will vary depending on the type of phone you have. However, it’s a simple process, you can do it on your own.
But if you’re not comfortable doing it you can take your phone to a local cell phone retailer and ask them to do it for you.
Backup Your Phone Before Performing A Factory Data Reset:
It’s very important to backup your phone before performing a factory data reset. Because performing a factory data reset will restore your phone to the way it was when you first bought it.
All the apps that were added after you started using the phone and all the data on the phone will be completely removed via the factory data reset.
Therefore you must back up all the data that you would like to keep such as photos, videos, contacts etc. You should also keep track of all the apps you downloaded that you enjoy using.
After the phone has been reset you will restore your personal data and you may have to manually re-install the apps that you had before the reset was done.
Once your phone has been backed up you can perform the factory data reset.
How To Perform A Factory Data Reset On An Android, iPhone, Or BlackBerry:
- How to perform a factory data reset on an Android Phone.
- How to perform a factory data reset on an iPhone.
- How to perform a factory data reset on a BlackBerry.
Remove Cell Phone Tracking Software By Updating The Operating System:
You can also remove spying apps by updating the operating system (OS) on your phone. Doing this will remove the tracking software but it will not remove your apps or data.
This is a great method for removing spying apps because the spying apps are specific to the OS on the phone. So if you change the OS the software will be removed.
Something else you must consider, if you update the OS this will remove the Rooting on Android and the Jailbreak on an iPhone.
Manually Remove Cell Phone Tracking Software:
You can also manually remove the cell phone tracking software by going into the system files on your phone. This is extremely advanced, you should not attempt to do this unless you really know what you’re doing.
To do this correctly, you will have to find the files and delete them. However, it’s somewhat difficult to do this because the manufacturers who make the spying apps intentionally disguised the files to keep the software hidden.
If you attempt to do this and you remove the wrong files you may end up bricking your phone.
How To Prevent Someone From Hacking Your Phone:
Putting a password on your phone will significantly reduce your chances of someone gaining access to your phone and installing a spying app on it.
In many cases, spying apps are installed by people who are close to you so you should choose a strong password that they will not be able to guess.
Check the apps on your phone and look for newly installed apps that you don’t recognize and uninstall them.
How To Prevent Someone From Hacking Your iPhone:
If you have an iPhone you should not jailbreak it because it becomes much less secure. When an iPhone isn’t jailbroken, all the apps that are installed will be visible.
However, if it has been jailbroken it becomes more difficult to find spy apps that are installed on the phone because the spy apps hide deep in the program files of the phone.
If you have an iPhone that isn’t jailbroken it will also prevent someone from downloading a spying app on your phone because this type of software that will tamper with the system functions will not be allowed on the Apple App Store.
Whether you have an iPhone or an Android phone you can also use a program such as Norton Mobile Security which will prevent spy apps from being installed on your phone.
SS7 Phone Network Is Vulnerable:
Some years ago a vulnerability was discovered in a communication protocol from mobile networks around the world. The SS7 vulnerability allowed hackers to spy on phone calls, text messages, and locations.
The worst thing is, the only thing the hacker needed was the victim’s cell phone number to be able to get all this information.
If you have two-factor authentication setup via your online banking account and you are trying to login.
As a result of the SS7 vulnerability, a hacker may be able to intercept the authentication code via the text message and gain access to your bank account.
Security researcher Karsten Nohl stated that intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies use the SS7 vulnerability to intercept cell phone data.
As a result of this, they do not want this vulnerability to be fixed.
Unless you’re the CEO of an extremely successful company, a famous entertainer, or a political leader. It’s highly unlikely that someone will hack your phone via the SS7 vulnerability.
How To Protect Yourself From The SS7 vulnerability:
You can use an end-to-end encrypted message service that works through the internet and bypasses the SS7 protocol.
Programs such as Wickr Me, Signal, and WhatsApp are secure because they encrypt phone calls and messages which prevents a third party from intercepting them.
Beware Of Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks:
If you’re trying to connect to the internet and you find an unsecured Wi-Fi network that does not require a password, you should be cautious.
Hackers on an unsecured Wi-Fi network can see all its unencrypted traffic and they can redirect you to a fictitious banking site that was designed to capture your login information.
Someone who lives in close proximity to a popular coffee shop can easily set up an open Wi-Fi network and name it after the coffee shop in an attempt to intercept some sensitive information from unsuspecting victims.
A tech-savvy person can download the software needed to intercept and analyze Wi-Fi traffic to get this type of information.
Protecting Yourself From Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks:
When connecting to the internet you should only use a secure network where all traffic is encrypted by default. This will prevent a third party from viewing your Wi-Fi signal.
You can get a VPN app that will encrypt your cell phone traffic. A VPN service such as SurfEasy provides 500MB of free traffic.
If you do not have a VPN app and you absolutely have to connect to a public network, you should avoid entering any private information.
If you’re on a website that requires your private information you should not enter it unless you see “https” at the beginning of the URL with a lock icon next to it. This means that the site is secure.
Your Google Account Or iCloud Account Can Be Hacked:
If your Google account or your iCloud account gets hacked, the hacker will have access to all the information that you have backed up in your account.
Private information such as call logs, phone books, videos, photos, your current location and more will all be accessible.
Gaining access to nude photos and videos of regular people are not valuable to cybercriminals. However, if a cybercriminal can get some nude photos or videos of an attractive celebrity, they may be able to make some decent money with it.
If your Gmail account gets hacked, and this is your primary email account. The hacker may be able to gain access to your social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and more.
To do this, the hacker only needs your email address your phone number or physical access to your phone is not needed.
If you use your name in your primary email address which you used to sign up for Google/iCloud along with a weak password.
It would not be that difficult for a tech-savvy hacker to gain access to your email account.
Protect Your Google/iCloud Account From Being Hacked:
You must create a strong password for these accounts. You should use two-factor authentication for these accounts so if a hacker discovers your password they would not be able to access your account without having access to your phone.
When you’re setting up your security question you should not rely on information that’s easily accessible on the internet. Or information that’s known by your family and friends.
It’s okay to lie when setting up your security questions, as long as you can remember this information.
The FBI has been tapping cell phones in an attempt to gather information during the course of criminal investigations.
StingRays mimic cell phone towers while forcing the cell phone to drop their carrier connection and connect to the StingRay instead.
This gives the person/people on the other end the ability to monitor text messages and calls made by these phones. The number of all incoming and outgoing calls will be monitored as well as the location of the phone.
Due to the fact that StingRays have a radius of roughly 1km. When the FBI is monitoring a person’s phone in a congested location this often results in a large number of unsuspecting people getting their phones tapped in the process.
Before 2015, warrants were not required for StingRay call phone tracking. However, there are some states in the US that no longer allow this type of technology to be used unless a criminal investigation is taking place.
Currently, there are many agencies that do not obtain warrants before using StingRays.
Even though the average law-abiding citizen may not be the target of a StingRay operation. It makes me wonder what these agencies do with the private data they acquired from people who they were not targeting.
Protect Yourself From The StingRay:
You should use voice call apps and encrypted messaging, especially if you are in a situation in which you believe the government has a reason to spy on you.
There are a few different programs you can use to protect your privacy, these programs include WhatsApp, Signal, and Wickr Me.
These programs encrypt your messages and calls which prevents a third party from intercepting them.
Now you know how to tell if your phone is hacked, you should use the information that I’ve provided here to keep your private information safe and secure.
Please let me know if you have any comments or questions about any of this information in the comment section below.