Nowadays, everyone has a smartphone, and they very much govern our lives, so keeping it secure and virus-free is critical. So, how can you tell if your Android smartphone has been compromised?
If your phone is behaving strangely, follow these steps to check for spyware, scam applications, and other issues with your device. In addition, we’ll discuss how to be safe in the future. Here’s how to tell whether your Android phone has been compromised.
1. Poor Battery Life or Extreme Battery Usage
Even if there are no obvious signals of suspicious behavior, something harmful may be going on behind the scenes. Checking your battery use is one of the greatest methods to discover whether your phone has been hijacked.
If your phone is overheating for no apparent reason, even while it is not charging, something may be operating in the background while the screen is turned off. Because even the most sophisticated spyware may leave traces on your phone or tablet, start by examining the battery consumption menu. If your battery is continually low and you’re asking, “Is my phone hacked?” then do the following tests.
Look for a strange program or anything out of the ordinary in Settings > Battery > Battery Usage.
This doesn’t happen very frequently since Google has a robust Google Play Protect mechanism integrated into Android, but it’s still worth checking. In the above example, we observe regular battery utilization and drainage; nevertheless, if you see a random program consuming a substantial percentage of your charge. That is not acceptable!
In this case, you most likely have a keylogger or malware that is concealing its identify to avoid detection. In general, look for anything unusually draining.
We all use our phones differently, but if you observe a significant battery depletion, that’s cause for alarm. You may restart your phone, forcibly shut the dubious program, or totally delete the app if feasible. If your battery is going way too rapidly and you’re thinking, “Is my phone hacked?” then you should certainly do this test!
2. Check for Random Unwanted App Installs
Another symptom of malware or phone hacking is the presence of odd applications on your phone. These are programs that you did not install. Malicious applications or websites might install a software on your phone and communicate sensitive data to a third party.
Don’t dismiss this: it most likely indicates that your device has been hacked. It may not take a lot of battery life at times, but it may still do damage and deplete your data. If you come across one, here’s how to get rid of it.
Scroll through the list of applications on your phone by going to Settings > Apps > App Manager. You may need to touch the All Apps dropdown arrow at times. Locate anything you don’t want, press it, and then choose Uninstall.
Obviously, you should only remove items that seem suspicious but aren’t critical. If you start removing random things, you may end up doing more damage than good and damaging your phone’s key components.
Many applications that are pre-installed by phone makers or carriers are safe. Make careful to be cautious about what you delete.
3. Unusually High Data Usage
Because most users have unlimited internet plans, they seldom glance at the “Data Usage” tab in settings. However, if your Android is behaving strangely and you want to see whether your phone has been hacked, there is another quick approach to check for problems.
If you have a virus, it might be transferring your personal information to a third party via an app that is continually operating and talking with malicious actors.
To find out, go to Settings > Connections & Wi-Fi > Data Usage and explore about. You may need to go to your Network settings, choose your sim, and then search App Data Usage on certain devices.
YouTube, Spotify, and other streaming services use a large amount of data on a daily basis. However, if another software consumes much too much memory, something is wrong. No random program should use 5GB in a single month, so search for anything out of the ordinary here.
Uninstall anything that seems suspicious (after ensuring that it is not required by your device).
4. Watch For Weird Pop-Ups and Ads
Pop-ups appear in a variety of forms and sizes, at odd times, and on a wide range of websites. We’ve become used to them, and most of the time, they’re nothing more than an ad hiding content.
They may, however, be malicious and bring you problems at times. Keep an eye out for strange pop-ups or adverts that seem to be hilarious. Never, ever click on them.
Google made various modifications in recent years to prevent instances like this, particularly in Google Chrome on Android, although it still occurs on occasion. It usually causes your phone to vibrate as pop-ups surface repeatedly. Your screen may even strobe at times.
However, it is absolutely bogus: do not press the “delete” button. Instead, close your web browser and restart your smartphone.
Never enter personal information into an input box with which you are unfamiliar. Never submit your credit card or password information.
5. Apps and Phone Keep Crashing (Unexplained Behavior)
If your Android phone continues crashing, there is another clue that it has been hijacked. Android phones often begin to behave erratically: applications launch for no apparent reason, or your phone becomes sluggish or crashes frequently. These issues are sometimes caused by viruses.
To begin, use Google’s own “Play Protect” scanner, which is integrated directly into the Google Play App Store. Open Google Play and choose your profile picture at the top of the screen. Then, scroll halfway down the page and press Scan to begin scanning your phone and applications.
Keep in mind that Play Protect is a very simple tool, so you may want to try a more comprehensive option, such as Malwarebytes, one of the finest applications for determining if a phone has been hacked.
On the Google Play Store, there are hundreds of “anti-virus scanners” and “mobile security” applications, but we suggest sticking with known brands and companies. Install just the first option that presents. Look for familiar brands that you’ve used on your PCs, such as Avast, AVG, or BitDefender.
These tools are excellent for scanning your device for faults fast and simply. Malwarebytes will usually delete whatever it discovers for you.
Malwarebytes Security (free) (Free, subscription available)
Do A Factory Data Reset If You Have to
If you delete applications and run antivirus software and still have problems, a factory data reset is a final resort.
Remember that this operation deletes everything on your phone, so be certain before proceeding.
Can Android Phone Data Be Recovered After a Factory Reset?
Back up any images, text messages, movies, or other data you wish to save before erasing your Android. Navigate to Settings > Backup & Reset (or Security) > Reset > Factory Data Reset.
Only use this if all other options have been explored and antivirus software has failed. Everything will be destroyed. Your phone will start up just as it did the first time you used it. So you’ll have to start again, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
How to Check If Your Phone Is Hacked or Not: Keeping Your Android Device Secure
Hackers are creative when the target audience is so big.
Being cautious and observant may help you avoid dealing with possible security breaches in the first place. Here are some things you can do (or search for) to be safe:
- Keep up to date by installing the most recent software updates.
- Only download programs 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.
Related: Warning Signs: How to Tell If Your Phone Is Tapped
Stay Vigilant to Keep Your Phone Safe
Install programs only from reputable sources, such as the Google Play Store, Amazon App Store, or Samsung’s Galaxy apps. Websites that provide Android APKs (install files) are not to be trusted. Under no circumstances should these files be installed.
The most important approach to keep your smartphone secure is to use care and common sense.
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