Technology News, Tips and Tricks

5 Signs Your Smartphone Has Been Hacked

Here’s a scary story that might make you think twice about cell phone security: In California, a man recently lost over $1 million from his life savings due to a SIM card swapping scheme. The entire hack only took a single night!

Phone hacking is more common than you might think, especially as smartphones continue to grow in popularity and sophistication. So how do you know if you’re the victim of a similar crime?

Keep reading to learn about five telltale signs that you’re the victim of phone hacking.


1. Strange Outgoing Texts or Calls

If you notice odd performance from your phone, the first thing you’ll want to do is check your phone and text log. Look for any incongruencies, especially in the outgoing call log.

Pay close attention to the first three digits of any unrecognized phone numbers, as these denote a caller’s location.

Is the call to somewhere strange, or even overseas? If so, someone might have access to your phone.

2. Blocked Access to Phone Functions

Imagine unlocking your phone one day only to see a pop-up telling you that access to your phone is now blocked. To regain access to your device, you’ll have to pay a fee.

This is an example of a cyberattack called ransomware, and it’s the digital equivalent of kidnapping.

What’s more, paying the fee is rarely the end of things. The criminal could still access your phone at any time, demanding even more money.

The best thing to do if you’re the victim of ransomware is to contact the FBI’s special cybercrime division.

To learn more about protecting yourself from ransomware, check out for more.

3. Your Battery Life Is Decreased

During periods of heavy usage, your phone’s battery life drains significantly. While this is often explained by YouTube binge sessions or music playback, sudden changes can be cause for alarm.

Hop into your phone’s settings menu and view your most recent usage report. If you don’t recognize some of the activity or there seem to be programs running in the background, contact your carrier as soon as possible.

4. Your Camera Turns Itself On

You’ve probably heard how some of the world’s leading tech giants put a piece of tape over their webcams. While that’s not necessary for your smartphone, it does bring up a good point.

Anyone with access to your phone can gain access to your camera roll — or your camera itself, and take any manner of photos or videos.

Periodically go through your camera roll to look for photos you don’t recognize.

5. New Apps Appeared by Themselves

Manufacturers preload apps onto smartphones all the time. Bloatware, as it’s called, is an annoyance, but it’s unharmful.

However, you shouldn’t confuse bloatware with shadow programs that aren’t registered with your carrier.

Again, go into your phone’s activity log and peruse through the programs running in the background.

Phone Hacking Can Happen: Stay Safe

Phone hacking is only going to become more common as smartphone usage continues to grow. Make sure you’re keeping yourself safe by knowing about these five warning signs.

And if you’re interested in learning more about the latest tech, be sure to check out the other great posts on our blog!

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