by Rishabh Chauhan, updated Oct 13, 2022
Cybercriminals develop unique ways to access people’s smartphones and monitor them. Usually, they look for some vulnerabilities in the phone’s operating system to hack it or trick people into downloading malicious software onto their devices.
Ultimately, can hackers control your phone without physical access to it? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Besides the general methods, some other ways hackers use to hack someone’s phone remotely include:
- Through public Wi-Fi networks: Cybercriminals create fake Wi-Fi networks, and when you connect to them with your phone, they redirect you to malicious sites.
- SIM swaps: Hackers transfer your phone number to their device and gain access to your account.
- Phishing emails or texts: Hackers email you with a malicious link and try to trick you into clicking it. Such emails or texts may look very real, and sometimes it may be complicated to distinguish between a malicious site and a legitimate one.
How to Know That Your Phone Is Hacked
Whether you have an iPhone or an Android smartphone, some signs can indicate that your device has been hacked. If you notice these things on your smartphone, there’s a chance that a cybercriminal has targeted you:
- Unusual data usage spikes
- Excessive battery drainage
- Takes forever to launch apps
- Restarts for no reason
- Weird popups
- Background noise
- Apps that you don’t remember installing
- Strange phone calls
- Unusual activity on the accounts connected to your phone
This should give you a general idea of how you can find out if someone is remotely accessing your phone. Note that not all the cases mentioned above are linked to hacking. For example, if it takes a long time to load an app, maybe there’s something wrong with the phone’s performance, or you’re running an older version of the app and need to upgrade it.
But if you notice strange activity on your bank account or any other accounts that you have access to from your phone, then there is a chance that you’ve become a cybercrime victim. If you’re not a geek, here are some recommendations on what to do if your phone is hacked.
How to Remove a Hacker From My Phone
Now that you know how do people hack your phone, the next step is to take a corrective measure. The first thing that you should do is factory reset your device. If you’ve never done it, be sure to check out our guides to learn how to factory reset an Android device and how to factory reset an iPhone. But remember that this will also delete every file stored on your device.
If you don’t want to run a factory reset on your smartphone, there are some other things that you can try:
- Get rid of suspicious apps: Search for applications that you haven’t installed by yourself on your phone and delete them. However, there are no guarantees that this will help for sure.
- Install an antivirus application: It can detect any malicious software or processes on your device and help you protect your smartphone from possible future hacker attacks.
- Tell your contacts that you’ve been hacked: It’s best to let them know that they shouldn’t open any suspicious messages from your phone number so they won’t get into trouble.
After you’ve done everything you could to remove the hacker from your phone, it is also recommended to change your account passwords, such as the device’s passcode, all social media, Apple ID or Google account, email, and internet banking. Make sure that you create strong passwords for your accounts.
How to Prevent Hackers From Getting Into Your Phone
There are a few actions that you can take to protect your smartphone and any personal information stored there from hackers. Here’s what you can do:
- Lock your smartphone. Create a strong password for locking your device’s screen. If your phone also has such features as Touch ID or Face ID, then set it up as well.
- Don’t turn on mobile data or Wi-Fi unless you need to use them. This can prevent malicious software from using your data.
- Turn off your hotspot in crowded places. It makes it easier for a hacker to access your device when it is turned on. And if you’re using this feature, then make sure you have a strong password set.
- From time to time, check the list of apps installed on your smartphone. If you notice any suspicious apps, uninstall them immediately.
- Never click on suspicious links. If you’ve received a strange text message from your friend telling you to click on a link to open some random site, think twice before doing so. There can be malware in disguise.
- Make sure that your device and the apps installed on it are up-to-date.
- Don’t jailbreak your phone. This can increase the chances of your smartphone getting hacked later on.
- Use two-factor authentication. An extra layer of security for your apps will ensure that you’re the only one who can access them.
Of course, installing an antivirus application is always a good option. But using it and remembering the tips mentioned above can give your iPhone or Android device even more protection from hackers.
There’s Nothing Wrong With Being Cautious
The risk of getting hacked is extremely high these days. This is because there’s not a specific one-word answer to how to hack someone’s phone. And since it’s that easy to do, it’s best to be protected from such a possibility.
It’s not only your phone that can be hacked. Your social media accounts, computers, email, contacts, and almost anything else at risk should always be careful.
Even better, if you have friends who often ask the fatal question, “how can someone remotely access my phone?” make sure to pass on the insights above.