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How to Tell If Your Phone Is Hacked?

Updated: Apr 18

how to tell if your phone is hacked

In the digital age, the risk of cybercrime is ever-present. The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center recorded daily complaints close to 1,300 in 2019, with total losses exceeding $3.5 billion. This figure is expected to surge due to the pandemic and increased online shopping. Therefore, understanding if your phone is hacked is crucial.

Your mobile device is a data goldmine for cybercriminals. If they infiltrate your phone, they can access your email addresses, phone numbers, pictures, videos, documents, and text messages. They can even monitor every keystroke you make on your phone's keyboard, enabling them to steal passwords and other sensitive data.

Table of Contents

  • Recognizing If Your Phone Is Hacked

  • Phone Hacking Methods

  • What To Do If Your Phone Is Hacked?

Recognizing If Your Phone Is Hacked


Several warning signs may indicate that your phone has been hacked. Here are some of them:

Rapid Battery Drain

A fast-draining battery could be a sign that your phone has been compromised. Spyware on your phone consumes a lot of power, resulting in rapid battery drain.

Overheating Phone

If your phone feels hot even when not in use, it could be a sign of a hacking attempt. Increased data consumption could cause your device to overkkheat.

Poor Performance

If your phone is loading pages slowly or crashing frequently, this could be another sign. Phones that have been compromised often fail to shut down correctly.

Spike in Data Usage

Monitor your data usage. A large spike or increase in uploaded data that persists without a real-world explanation could be an indicator that your phone is under surveillance.

Unmade Calls/Texts

If you notice calls and texts that you haven't sent to numbers in your list of contacts, your phone could have been compromised.

Spammy Pop-Ups

An increasing number of pop-ups could be a sign that your phone has been infected with adware, a type of malware that forces devices to view specific sites that drive revenue through clicks.

New Apps

Be wary of new apps that pop up on your screen or within your settings. These could be malware disguised as legitimate apps.

Unusual Account Activity

Watch for emails about password resets you didn't make, or security messages notifying you that your email or social media account has been accessed using a new device. These signs could mean that your phone has been compromised.

Loss of Signal

A sudden loss of signal could also mean that your phone has been hacked. This is called a number porting attack and is effective against both iPhones and Androids on all mobile carriers.

Phone Hacking Methods

Now that you know the signs of a hacked phone, you might be wondering how it happens. Here are some ways your phone can be hacked:

Clicking on a Suspicious Link

Phishing scams can trick you into revealing confidential information. Always double-check the source of a link or attachment before clicking on it.

Using a Public Charging Station

Avoid using the USB port at public charging stations. Hackers can hide malware inside these chargers.

Downloading a Malicious App

Criminals often hide malware inside apps that appear legitimate. Always verify the source of an app before downloading it.

Leaving Your Phone Unattended

Never leave your device unattended in public. Always keep your smartphone on you or within sight.

Reusing Passwords

Poor password hygiene can lead to your phone being compromised. Always use unique passwords and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.

Using Free WiFi

Free and unsecured WiFi is convenient, but it's also easy for someone to spy on everything you do on there. Using a VPN can help keep your connection secure.

What To Do If Your Phone Is Hacked?

If you suspect that your phone has been hacked, don't panic. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Change important passwords: The key point here is to not do it from the device you believe to be compromised.

  2. Enable multi-factor authentication: Many popular apps and services allow this. Look in Settings or System Preferences for Security.

  3. Restore your device: This process allows you to wipe your device clean, then restore your data from Cloud storage.

Finally, check your bank accounts and credit cards for suspicious activity. If you see anything strange, contact your financial institution immediately. They can lock your account and guide you on the steps to recoup your losses.

Understanding if your phone is hacked and taking prompt action can prevent extensive damage. Stay vigilant and protect your data from cybercriminals.


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