22 Red Flags Someone Is Spying on Your Phone
Your phone is the center of your life, making them the ideal target for identity theft and financial fraud. Watch for the signs you've been hacked.
Why do criminals want to hack your phone in the first place?
"Understanding the signs of your phone being hacked begins with an understanding of the treasure trove of data that is on your device. Our phones and computers are the two main communication devices we use every day. Therefore, if someone hacks your phone they would have access to the following information: email addresses and phone numbers (from your contacts list), pictures, videos, documents and text messages. Additionally, if the hacker uses a keylogger, they can monitor every keystroke you type on the phone's keyboard. That means they can steal passwords, personal information, credit card information, bank information, as well as any corporate information. Furthermore, they would be able to track every website that you visit as well as the information you enter into that website." –George Waller, CEO of BlockSafe Technologies and StrikeForce Technologies, Inc.
Your battery drains fast
"One obvious sign your phone was hacked is that you lose battery power very quickly. Phone spyware is on all the time, so it uses a lot of power and drains your battery in the process. If you consistently experience losing power it is possible you have been hacked." –Dr. Tim Lynch, Psychsoftpc.com
Your phone is hot
"As well as the phone's charge going down more quickly, a device feeling hot even when it hasn't been in use is a possible sign that internet data is being consumed more quickly than usual. If consumers notice that they keep exceeding their data limits someone may be 'piggybacking' on their sessions." –Ray Walsh, a digital privacy expert at BestVPN.com
You get creepy messages
"An unknown party reaches out to you demanding money stating they will release pictures and messages that could only have come from your phone." –George Waller, CEO of BlockSafe Technologies and StrikeForce Technologies, Inc. Here are some signs that you are vulnerable to a cyber attack.
You clicked a weird link in a text
"It could be a text claiming to be from your mom, friend or someone you know asking you to open maybe a pdf file or a photo, once it opened, some Trojan (horse programs) embedded in the file corrupts your entire system or you grant them access to steal your files. A very good example of phishing can be seen during this FBI hack attack. So when you get an email message from someone you don't know asking you to click to view a picture or click to watch a funny video, don't click unless you are sure of the source." –Emmanuel Eze, www.techcopp.com
You used public charging stations
"This technique takes advantage of our obsession to always charge. Malicious charging stations take advantage of the fact that USB is used for both transferring files and charging. Some hackers can monitor your every keystroke while plugged in, so you think you're charging while you're being hacked. So don't hurry to plug in your phone on any outlet you see." –Emmanuel Eze, www.techcopp.com
New apps are appearing on your screen
"Hacked users may spot unusual new apps popping up in their menus or within settings. Always check to see which apps are running, and, if anything seems untoward, check to see if an app that is draining the battery is known to contain malware or other malicious exploits." –Ray Walsh, digital privacy expert at BestVPN.com. Your phone isn't that only thing that can be hacked—learn about the everyday items that can cause you to become a victim of cybercrime.
Your phone is live streaming
"One way that a cybercriminal can monitor and eavesdrop on your activities is if your phone is live streaming without you knowing. This would show all your phone's activities to the criminal by broadcasting what's happening on your phone over the Internet. You can detect this if your phone constantly runs hot or runs out of battery too fast. Check for your Internet bandwidth to see if there's a spike somewhere." –Jamie Cambell, a cybersecurity expert and founder of gobestvpn.com
You're experiencing poor overall performance
"As the old saying goes, 'Timing is everything,' and that statement applies here as well. Delays in sending and receiving texts, dialing out of the phone, checking voice mails—all of these things should not take too long, yet they will when and if a phone hack has taken place. These are the easiest to pick up on yet the most difficult today in the cyberage because everyone is rushing and multi-tasking and not paying close enough attention to pick up this subtle details." –Alexis Moore, Esq, author of Surviving a Cyberstalker
There's an overall spike in data usage
"An app like the appropriately titled 'Data Usage' (available for Android and iOS) can display how much data is being sent out from your device. The trick then is to look for anomalies or exceptionally large periods of uploading. Your device is always going to be sending some data out. It can't sync email, post selfies on Instagram, or chat without uploading data, but most users are fairly consistent in their monthly activities. A large spike or increase in uploaded data that persists without a real-world explanation could be an indicator that monitoring has been installed." –Allan N. Buxton, Lead Forensic Examiner of Secure Forensics