How Can You Figure Out Who Hacked Your Phone?

How Can You Figure Out Who Hacked Your Phone?
Photo : Sora Shimazaki

Whether we want to accept it or not, there is no use denying the significance that mobile phoneshave in our lives. For the most part, it might even be safe to say that our smartphones lie at thevery core of our modern existence. Not only are our phones a window to a treasure trove of allkinds of personal and non-personal information, but they also equip us with the ability to performa multitude of tasks, consisting of everything from taking pictures, to enjoying social media.

However, the plethora of sensitive information stored on your phone, which consists ofeverything from an individual's financial credentials to details about your private life, is extremelyenticing to cybercriminals. It also includes massive companies looking forward to making moneyby selling your data to third-party vendors without your consent.

A rather nefarious practice that many malicious agents employ to snoop in on the confidentialinformation of unsuspecting users is phone hacking. As the name suggests, phone hackingrefers to the practice of cybercriminals downloading spyware on a user's smartphone that relaysinformation back regarding the user's activity. By logging keystrokes, phone hackers can gainaccess to highly sensitive information such as passwords and financial credentials. You mustuse a free password manager to generate strong passwords and prevent phone hacking.

Moreover, the most prevalent way through which malicious identities hack smartphonesconsists of downloading either spyware applications or malware onto your device. Bearingwitness to the monumental amount of damage that malware can inflict on a phone, is the factthat malware has infected a staggering 20 million Android devices.

When compared to Android smartphones, the probability of an iPhone being hacked issignificantly smaller. However, this does not, in any way, imply that iPhones are immune frombeing hacked. Owing to Apple's stringent vetting policy, iPhone users, unlike Android users,have less chance of downloading malicious apps, which reduces the chance of themdownloading malware or spyware.

In an attempt to aid our readers to combat the threat posed by a hacked smartphone, we'vecompiled an article. It delves deep into the steps that smartphone owners can take to determinewho hacked their device, along with some steps that they can take to restore their phones tosecurity.

How Can You Determine Who Hacked Your Smartphone?

Before you can start implementing the steps to figure out the identity of the malicious agentbehind the hacking of your phone, you'll need to look out for key signs for your phone beinghacked.

A sluggish, or slowed-down phone, along with a fast-draining battery all point towards acompromised smartphone. Another tell-tale sign that reaffirms that you're dealing with a hackedsmartphone is a sudden, unexplainable spike in your data usage. Usually, a spike in data usageis indicative of a malicious application sending back data to cybercriminals.

As per the findings of Verizon's 2020 Data Breach Investigation, a whopping 86 percent of allcyberattacks are motivated by monetary gains. It implies that while shortlisting cybercriminals,you need to take into consideration the money they might have made by selling yourconfidential data.

It's not always necessary that your data is being monitored by a cybercriminal. You could alsobe dealing with disgruntled ex or a creepy neighbor keeping tabs on your online activities. Eitherway, here are some steps that you can take to narrow the field of potential suspects:

#1- Analyze Your Phone Bill

One of the most significant steps that you can take to determine the identity of the maliciousperson(s) behind your phone being hacked, is to simply scrutinize your phone bills. If you noticethat you're being charged for texts or phone calls that you never sent, or SMS packages thatyou never signed up for there's a high possibility that you've been infected with a specific type ofmalware that forces your smartphone to send and receive text messages, which in turn,generate a monumental amount of revenue for cybercriminals.

Fortunately, however, you can easily eliminate this problem either by texting STOP to thenumber bombarding you with premium-rate text messages or by contacting your telephonecompany. In the instance that your phone is sending text messages, you'll need to run trustedsecurity software on your mobile device to eradicate malware.

#2- Monitor the Apps that You've Downloaded

Another significant step that smartphone owners can take to determine who's behind theirphone being hacked, we'd highly suggest that users take into account the application thatthey've downloaded.Users should also go through their application list to ensure that it doesn't contain anysuspicious-looking applications. If you do see such an app, chances are that the hacker isn'ttargeting you personally, but is instead, looking to permeate malware and spyware within asmany devices as possible.


#3- Go Through Your Call List

If you believe that the agents behind your phone's hacking have a personal agenda against you,you'll need to go through and monitor the calls that you've been receiving recently. Needless tosay, the person you suspect for launching the nefarious act is bound to pop up on your call listsometime.


#4- Double-Check on the Links You've Clicked

If you've clicked on a link on a text message or an unexpected pop-up, you may haveinadvertently fallen prey to phishing. It is one of the most prevalent scams amidst the present-day threat landscape, often preys on panic or high emotion - as in the coronavirus-related scamtexts claiming that receivers had been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms, andexhorting them to click for more information.It's often impossible to determine who is behind such scams. Although you can report anyphishing texts to your cell carrier and block these numbers.


Conclusion

We can only hope that we've given our readers some valuable insight into the dilemma ofhaving their phones hacked. Some ways to steer your phone back to safety include deleting allmalicious applications or restoring your phone's factory settings. 

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