Across the world, more people now own a smartphone than a computer.
Which means that cybercriminals are now targeting the device in your pocket too.
Here are nine signs that your phone may have been hacked:
New apps installed automatically
If you notice a new icon on your smartphone homescreen or discover apps have installed themselves without your permission, there’s a good chance something is wrong. Hackers will often automatically install fake apps on compromised devices so they can steal information.
You run out of data unexpectedly
Bandwidth-hungry apps like YouTube and TikTok can use up a lot of your data allowance. But what if your smartphone is consuming lots of data when you’re not using it? This kind of behavior suggests that your phone is sending data to a hacker in the background – or maybe it has become part of a botnet.
Your phone is disconnected
If you suddenly lose network access (you can’t send and receive calls or messages) the problem is usually caused by a local telecoms outage. But it may also indicate that your phone number has been transferred to another provider as part of an identity theft scam.
Your cloud passwords are reset
Google Cloud and iCloud are really useful for protecting photos and other data from being lost. And hackers will often target cloud storage for that reason. If you receive genuine messages from Apple/Google about password reset requests, it may indicate a hacking.
Your phone is making secret calls and sending texts
Hackers can remotely trigger a malware-infected phone to make secret calls and texts. By calling premium-rate phone numbers, they can rack up charges on your account – and you won’t know until the next bill comes in. In the meantime, they make money from these calls/texts.
Your browsing is interrupted by constant pop-ups
If your smartphone keeps showing pop-up advertisements, your phone may have been infected with adware or malware.
Your smartphone is slowing down
There are plenty of legitimate reasons why your smartphone may slow down (new apps don’t run so well on older devices for instance), but it may also indicate something is wrong.
Malware running in the background will cause other apps to perform poorly, so you should perform a malware scan.
Your smartphone gets hot
Resource intensive apps, like games, will cause your phone to heat up. But if your phone is always hot, particularly if you are not using it for anything, may indicate a malware infection.
Your battery drains faster than normal
Smartphone batteries degrade with age, meaning they drain more quickly as they get older. But if you notice a significant decline in battery life, it may indicate that malware is draining your power.
Antimalware is essential for all your devices, not just computers and laptops.
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