Having a weak password or using a public network while logging in to your account is a significant risk. In many such instances, you are at risk of having your phone hacked. Once a phone is hacked, personal data can easily be stolen and misused.
There are different ways in which your phone can be hacked. It is essential to familiarize yourself with all the various ways someone can use to breach your phone. This makes it easier to take the necessary precautions and relevant actions as preventive measures.
How to Tell that Your Phone Is Hacked
There are many signs by which you can tell whether someone has hacked, trapped or monitored your phone.
The most common ones include:
- Noticeable decrease in battery life.
- High data usage.
- A high number of mysterious ad pop-ups or notifications.
- Unusual slowdowns in performance, crashes, and loading failures.
- Outgoing calls or texts you don’t remember sending, purchases you didn’t make.
- Device heating up or acting strangely (you can’t turn it off, or the screen activates on its own, etc.)
- Suspicious apps are hidden in the Application Manager.
- Strange background noises or interruptions during the calls.
- Photos you don’t recognize or sudden flashlight activation.
- Changes in the settings.
In such cases, it’s essential to prevent identity fraud as criminals may open the credit on your name using your accounts.
Can Someone Hack My Phone by Texting Me?
Yes, someone can hack your phone by texting you. Such methods are called smishing or phishing. These attacks allow hackers to access your phone through texts. Attackers send bait text messages in the form of trustworthy sources.
The SMS can be a link that invites you to download an application, enroll in a competition, or generally participate in something online. Once a user clicks on the link, the browser hackers can exploit your mobile connection to gain access to the data on your device.
In some instances, the text message may be from a regular contact starting with odd numbers, characters, or shapes. Opening the notification will download an app on the phone giving hackers access to your device.
How Can Someone Hack My Phone and Read My Text Messages?
There are several ways someone can hack into your phone and read your text messages, including:
- Malware: Malicious software installed on your phone can give a hacker access to your text messages, as well as other sensitive information.
- Phishing: Phishing is a technique in which hackers trick you into giving them access to your phone. They may send you an email or text message that appears to be from a trusted source, such as your bank or mobile carrier, and ask you to enter your login credentials or click on a link that installs malware on your device.
- Public Wi-Fi: Hackers can intercept your phone’s data when you connect to an unsecured public Wi-Fi network. This could allow them to read your text messages, as well as other personal information.
- Spyware: Spyware is software installed on your phone that can give a hacker access to your text messages, call logs, and other personal data.
There are lots of hacking and spy apps available in the market today. Some jurisdiction laws allow parents and bosses to use them. When installed in a targeted phone, the owner will be clueless that he/she is being tracked.
One of such apps can be mSpy. Using hacking apps, the person can get access to information on your smartphone, including photos, GPS locations, emails, and other related data. They can even record and listen in your phone call conversations by tapping your microphone.
mSpy is a mobile tracking and monitoring software that offers a range of features to its users. Some of the key features of mSpy include:
- Call monitoring
- SMS tracking
- GPS location tracking
- Social media monitoring
- Website monitoring
- App monitoring
- Remote control
Fully known as Signalling System No.7 is a hacking interchanging wireless network that allows a hacker to read your text messages, locate your IP address, and listen in on phone calls .
When you make a phone call or send a text message, there are specific details such as number translation, billing by the network service you are using, SMS messages transfer that happen in the background.
These are what hackers use to access personal details. The same technology can be applied to gain access to your bank account, social media platforms, and even to hack your cell phone camera remotely.
Access to iCloud and Google Accounts
Hackers can hack your Google or iCloud account and see any relevant information saved there. Most of our mobile devices automatically back up our contacts, bank statements, pictures, phone books, location, call logs, screenshots, and many other things in the cloud. This leaves us very vulnerable to data theft.
Also, a hacked Google account translates to Gmail access, which is the primary email for most people. Gmail text messages hold all the relevant information about our passwords, social media logins, to even employee information. This makes it easier for an attacker to steal your identity.
USB cables are used to transfer data from your phone to another device. W hen you plug into someone’s computer malicious port, the owner can access your phone information.
Older Android phones automatically connect your phone to another device, facilitating standard data transfer once you plug in a USB cable without authorization.
Even though chances are minimal for the latest models, with the right hacking spyware, a hacker can access your information, including text messages, without your permission. With this option readily available, a hacker can read your text messages and even transfer them to their device.
Law Enforcement Agencies
Government agencies like the CIA, FBI, IRS, DEA, Army, Navy, and National Guard are known to spy on civilians. They use StingRays (non-existence wireless carrier towers) for cellular surveillance. StingRay was initially developed for military and intelligence agencies. When in use, it mimics a cell tower, enabling connection with phones in the area and other data devices. Thus, giving authorities access to phone calls, text messages, numbers dialed, etc.
StingRay has a 1km radius and can tap into thousands of phones at the same time. Phone owners won’t have any idea that their devices are being tapped.
Hackers can use the ‘sim swapping’ trick to access your phone details. Someone else can call your cellular service providers, pose as the owner who happens to be locked out of their account. Using information stolen from your online accounts, i.e., social media, they can mount your sim on their devices.
All authentication texts will be directed to them, totally shutting you out from your phone.
As a user, you will have no idea that your sim has been swapped. This gives them access to your contact information, receive all your text messages and other personal details. Hackers use this trick to send text messages to your friends or relatives and even ask for wire transfers.
Can Someone Hack into My Phone Through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Airdrop?
Yes. When you are connected to an unprotected Wi-Fi network, you are at risk of being hacked. Anyone with ill motives can access login details and passwords from a target device as long as you are on the same network. Using particular hacking app software, a tech-guru can intercept and analyze internet traffic with ease.
Opening your Bluetooth setting in public is dangerous, especially for android users. Without any user interaction, someone within your device Bluetooth range can get into your phone.
Airdrops allow an attacker in your proximity to get into your phone and even install an application. Using this over-the-air file-sharing technology, you don’t have to grant hacker access. This means they can also access text messages from your iOS mobile devices.
How to Protect Your Phone from Hackers
The first step is to keep your phone’s software up-to-date. Regularly updating your phone’s operating system (OS) and apps ensures that you have the latest security patches installed, making it difficult for hackers to exploit any known vulnerabilities.
Another essential step is to use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for all your accounts, including your phone. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks and only connect to secure, trusted networks.
It’s also recommended to avoid clicking on links from unknown or suspicious sources, as they may contain malware or phishing attacks. Finally, consider installing a reputable antivirus app to scan for and remove any potential threats.
Regularly Update Your Phone
Updated OS and iOS versions have new and improved security software as compared to old ones.
Create Strong Passwords
Avoid using obvious numbers such as birthdays as your PIN. Most of these details can be accessed via your social media platforms. Use multi-factor authentication and strong PINs even for your lock screen to prevent people from hijacking your phone.
Don’t make your security password questions too obvious. You can lie if possible since factual information is well-known, especially with family and friends. Also, create a long and complex password.
Never Share Your Sensitive Data
Avoid sharing your personal information like phone passwords or accounts with others. Also, Don’t give your number to strangers.
Don’t Give Physical Access to Your Device
Don’t give your phone to someone you have doubts about. Also, ensure to log out of your iCloud or Google account when you sign-in from a device that isn’t yours.
Enable the Login Notifications
Enable the login notifications from any new device. This way, your information security will be improved.
Enable Two-factor Authentication
Employ authenticator apps to enhance security on your device. No one will be able to access your account without authorization from your phone.
Use End-to-end Encrypted Messaging Services
Use encrypted service networks for sending texts. Utilize end-to-end encryption for your emails. When you find yourself in a situation that could be of government interest, i.e., a protest, ensure you use encrypted messaging services. This prevents someone from intercepting your communication.
Don’t Use Password Credentials when Connected to the Public Network
Don’t connect to any open networks. If you have to, ensure your phone data has been adequately encrypted.
Turn off Wi-Fi, LTE, Personal Hotspot, AirDrop, and Bluetooth while Not Using Them
Disable the ‘connect automatically’ option from your phone. You don’t have to be in a public place to get hacked, do this even when in the comfort of your house. When using Bluetooth enabled headphones that support wired connection, always opt for the second one.
Don’t Root Your Android or Jailbreak Your iPhone
Rooting or jailbreaking your phone leaves it vulnerable to malicious attacks. If your phone hasn’t been jailbroken or rooted, all apps will be visible. Therefore, users can identify malicious and unknown apps.
Use of VPN, Antivirus, or Anti-malware Software
VPN, antivirus software and anti-malware programs help to detect and flush out malicious activities on your phone. Also, make an effort to download security apps. Ensure the security apps are compatible with the type of device you are using.
Don’t Open Unauthorized Sources
Avoid clicking on unknown links or opening weird messages, even if they are from your friends. Don’t download unofficial apps. If you happen to accidentally download that has surpassed android warnings, quickly delete it.
Don’t Charge your Phone with Unknown Charging Stations
Always select the option “Charge only” when you connect your phone to someone’s computer for charging. Carry a wall charger whenever possible. It is a safer option.
We are entitled to privacy. There are rights reserved that clear state breach of confidentiality as an offense. There are numerous ways someone can get into your phone.
All these options are readily available for anyone who will decide to hack your device and read your text messages using surveillance applications. Although all spy apps work in stealth mode and tracking should be undetectable, you sometimes notice some strange things going on with your device. If you want to know more about these threats, you can read these spy app reviews that go in-depth about each popular tool people use to access your phone.
If you happen to notice something is a miss, then chances are you’ve been hacked. If you suspect any malicious activities on your phone, take it to a service center for a diagnostic test.