In the age of feature phones, all we were worried about was losing the handset and contacts. Enter the world of smartphones, where we have a lot more to worry about. With the hundreds of apps installed - right from bank accounts to social networking accounts to photos and more, our smartphones these days have a lot of our confidential data. And hackers and attackers are always keeping an eye on whatever they can access. If the ongoing fiasco about Pegasus spyware has got you worried, some of these unusual activities on your device might help you identify if your device is hacked.
Faster Battery drain: If your phone has been hacked, chances are the hacker is either remotely monitoring your phone's activity or downloading data. Malware could be running in the background to capture activity, which would utilise processor and memory, resulting in battery draining much faster.
Higher data usage: Another sign of identifying if the phone is hacked is an unexpected spike in data usage even if your activity on the device has remained static. According to Uniserve, a Hong Kong-based customer-focused IT Services and Solutions, a user should check apps data usage to know what causes the spike. Hackers that are trying to gain access to information from your smartphone consume data in the background to track your movements.
Unknown text or calls: Keeping an eye on calls and messages is a good idea. An unknown outgoing call that you didn't make or a text sent should raise a red flag.
Inappropriate pop-ups: Security company Norton points out that bright, flashing ads or X-rated content popping up on your phone are indicators of malware attack. You cloud have clicked on a malicious link received in the message, Whatsapp, email or even while browsing the web.
Unknown Apps: Always be mindful of apps you install on your smartphone. If you ever come across an application, which you haven't installed, and was not even a part of the pre-installed apps, it could be a malware attack.
Wondering how your smartphone got infected? Chances are that you could have clicked on a malicious link received in a text or an email or installed a malicious app.
What if hacked:
If you have a reason to believe that your phone has been hacked, the first step is to get rid of the unwanted apps and data that you are doubtful about. Installing good anti-virus software can scan the device for the virus and malware and help you get rid of the same. Lastly, security firms believe that doing a hardware reset of the device can help in getting rid of most of the malware. Resetting the device will wipe all your data and require you to set it from the scratch again.
Whenever at public places, always keep your devices with you. Don't ever leave your smartphone unattended as it could give others an opportunity to access your data. All devices today support device lock - could be just a number lock, face lock or a fingerprint scanner. It adds the first security layer to your device. It's also recommended not to use your name, birth date, address, car number plate, etc, as the password as they are the easiest to guess. In certain devices, there is the option to wipe the phone clean after a defined number of wrong password attempts. As on your PC, avoid opening links or downloading attachments in emails from unknown sources. Installing an anti-virus and remote wipe software is a good idea as it can scan for unwanted attacks while keeping the device safe.
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