These days, everyone has a smartphone, and they pretty much govern our lives, so keeping it safe and virus-free is critical. So, how can you know if your Android phone or tablet has been compromised?
If your phone is acting strangely, follow these instructions to check for spyware, fraudulent apps, and other issues. We’ll also go over ways to stay safe in the future. This is how you can tell whether your Android phone has been hacked.
1. Insufficient battery life or excessive battery usage
Even if there are no obvious evidence of malevolent activity, something bad could be happening on behind the scenes. Checking your battery use is one of the greatest ways to discover if your phone has been hijacked.
Something could be running in the background while the screen is turned off if your phone is heated for no apparent reason. Because even the most sophisticated spyware can leave traces on your phone or tablet, check the battery use option first. If your battery is constantly low and you’re wondering if your phone has been hacked, run the tests listed below.
Look for an unexpected program or anything unusual in Settings > Battery > Battery Usage.
Since Google has a sophisticated Google Play Protect mechanism incorporated into Android, this doesn’t happen very often, but we still recommend testing. In the example above, we see regular energy usage and drainage, but imagine if a random program was consuming a large percentage of your power. That’s not a good sign!
In this case, you’re most likely dealing with a keylogger or malware that has changed its name to avoid detection. Look for anything unusually exhausting as a general rule.
We all use our phones in different ways, but if you observe a significant battery depletion, you should be concerned. You can restart your phone, force close the questionable software, or delete the app completely if possible. If your battery is draining too quickly and you’re worried if your phone has been hacked, you should absolutely run this test!
2. Look for unintentional app installations.
Random apps installed on your phone is another tell-tale symptom of malware or phone hacking. These aren’t programs you installed on your own. Apps or websites that are malicious can install a program on your phone and communicate sensitive data to a third party.
Don’t dismiss it: it’s very likely that your gadget has been hacked. It may not consume a lot of battery power, but it can nonetheless harm you and drain your data. Here’s how to get rid of one if you come across one.
Scroll through the list of apps on your phone by going to Settings > Apps > App Manager. You may need to tap the All Apps dropdown arrow on occasion. Find anything you don’t want and tap it to uninstall it.
Obviously, you should only uninstall items that appear suspicious but aren’t necessary. If you begin deleting random apps, you risk causing more harm than good and maybe breaking your phone’s critical components.
Many apps come pre-installed by phone manufacturers or carriers and are completely safe to use. Make sure you’re careful about what you’re removing.
3. Data Usage That Is Exceptionally High
Most individuals don’t glance at the “Data Usage” section in settings because they have unlimited data subscriptions. However, if your Android is behaving up and you want to see if it’s been hacked, there’s another simple way to do so.
If you have a virus, it’s possible that it’s transferring your personal information to a third party via an app that’s always on and talking with malicious actors.
To see if this is the case, go to Settings > Connections & Wi-Fi > Data Usage and dig about. You may need to go to your Network settings, choose your sim, and then search App Data Usage on some devices.
YouTube, Spotify, and other streaming services consume a lot of data on a regular basis. However, if another program consumes far too much data, something isn’t right. Look for anything out of place here, as no random app should utilize 5GB in a month.
If you come across something questionable, uninstall it (after making sure it’s not necessary for your device).
4. Keep an eye out for strange pop-ups and advertisements.
Pop-ups appear in a variety of sizes and shapes, at odd times, and on a variety of websites. We’ve learned to deal with them, and the most of the time, it’s just an ad covering up content.
They can, however, be malevolent and bring you problems. Keep an eye out for strange pop-ups or adverts that appear to be humorous. Never, ever, ever click on them.
Google has made a number of adjustments in recent years to try to prevent this from happening, particularly in Google Chrome for Android, although it still happens on occasion. It usually causes your phone to vibrate as pop-ups surface repeatedly. Your screen may even strobe at times.
But it’s all a ruse: don’t press the “delete” button. Instead of closing your browser, reboot your smartphone.
Never enter personal information into a field with which you are unfamiliar. Never give out your credit card or password information.
5. Apps and Phone Continually Crash (Unexplained Behavior)
If your Android phone continues crashing, that’s another clue it’s been hacked. Android phones frequently begin to behave strangely, with apps opening for no apparent reason, or your phone becoming slow or crashing frequently. Viruses are sometimes to blame for these issues.
To begin, use Google’s own “Play Protect” scanner, which is integrated into the Google Play App Store. Open Google Play and tap your profile picture at the top of the screen. Then, halfway down the screen, select Play Protect and select Scan to begin scanning your phone and apps.
Keep in mind that Play Protect is a fairly simple tool, so you might want to explore a more robust alternative like Malwarebytes, which is one of the finest apps for determining whether or not a phone has been hacked.
On the Google Play Store, there are dozens of “anti-virus scanners” and “mobile security” apps, but we recommend sticking with known brands and companies. Installing the first choice that presents is not a good idea. Look for well-known antivirus software, such as Avast, AVG, or BitDefender, that you’ve previously installed on your computer.
These programs are excellent for quickly and conveniently checking your device for issues. If Malwarebytes detects anything, it will usually remove it for you.
Malwarebytes Security is available for download (Free, subscription available)
If necessary, perform a factory data reset.
If you’ve tried removing apps and running antivirus software but are still having problems, a factory data reset is a final resort.
Remember that this process erases everything on your phone, so make sure you’re sure before you start.
Back up any images, text messages, movies, or other data you wish to save before wiping your Android. Select Settings > Backup & Reset (or Security, or System) > Reset > Factory Data Reset from the drop-down menu.
Only use this option if all other options have been exhausted and antivirus software has failed. Everything will be obliterated. Your phone will start up the same way it did the first time you used it. As a result, you’ll have to start over, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
How to Tell if Your Phone Has Been Hacked: How to Keep Your Android Device Safe
When the target audience is so large, hackers must be innovative.
Being cautious and observant can help you avoid having to deal with security breaches in the first place. Here are some things you can do (or watch out for) to stay safe:
- Keep up to date by installing the most recent software updates.
- Apps should only be downloaded from reputable sources.
- In Settings, disable or uncheck the Install from Unknown Sources option.
- For lock-screen security, use a fingerprint, eye scan, password, or PIN.
Keep a close eye on your phone to keep it safe.
Install software only from reputable sources such as the Google Play Store, Amazon App Store, and Samsung’s Galaxy apps. Websites that sell Android APKs (install files) are not to be trusted. Under no circumstances should these files be installed.
The most important thing you can do to keep your smartphone safe is to be cautious and use common sense.
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