If someone asked you which piece of technology you use most, your answer would almost certainly be your smartphone. Whether you use it to check your email, work on documents, communicate with your team, go on Instagram, do online banking, or play games, smartphones can do it all. No wonder cellphones have become cybercriminals newest targets.
One method hackers use to access your device is to create apps that appear identical to legitimate apps. A user downloads the app and enters their login credentials, and poof, a cybercriminal can now monitor and take control of your smartphone whenever they feel like it. They can access your photos, read your messages, access your online banking accounts (even if you have MFA enabled), and download your sensitive information.
Phishing attacks are another way hackers compromise your devices. You receive a seemingly legitimate email or message with a link to a malicious site. If you open the link, a program could be installed on your computer in the background, or you could be asked to update your account credentials. If you open the link, you could be giving a hacker an entry point into your network. Cybercriminals also use pop-ups that include embedded viruses. If you click on the pop up you are infected with the virus and your smartphone is compromised. Finally, if you connect to public, or unsecured Wi-Fi networks, there is a higher chance of a hacker gaining access to your credentials, or even your device.
Hackers and cybercriminals are constantly on the lookout for new and improved ways to separate you from your hard-earned money. That’s why you need to be vigilant about what you download, what links you click on, and where you access certain data.
Are you concerned that your phone may have been hacked? Here are 4 signs you can look out for to determine if smartphone has been compromised:
1. Obvious Decrease in Battery Life
Its natural for a phone’s battery life to decrease over time, but when your device has been hacked, you will notice a significant drop in your battery life. Malware installed on your phone scans your device constantly and sends information back to the hacker.
2. Slow Performance
When your phone has been hacked, performance decreases. Your device might become slow or unresponsive, and you might experience more frequent freezes and crashes. Performance often becomes sluggish when a virus is running in the background. It might cause apps to close, or for your phone to shut down completely, in extreme cases.
3. Unknown Calls and Messages Sent by You
If your phone has been compromised it can make calls and send messages to numbers you don’t know. These numbers may be premium rate lines, which allows the hacker to take the money spent on the calls. If you notice any unusual numbers in your call history or messages, check your phone bill for any strange or abnormal charges.
4. Unusual Pop-Ups
Not all pop-ups indicate that your phone has been hacked. That said, if you’re experiencing pop-ups frequently, then there is a chance that your phone has been infected with adware. Adware is unwanted software designed to throw advertising up on your screen, most often within a web browser. Adware generates money for its developers by automatically displaying online ads. You might start noticing a lot more advertisements for weight loss programs, get rich quick schemes, and “Virus Warning”.
If you experienced any of the issues above, then there’s a high chance that your smartphone may be compromised. To determine if you have been hacked, the best thing to do is download a mobile security application. This app will scan your device and alert you to any suspected malware, viruses, adware or spyware. Another way you can better secure your device is by enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) on any accounts that offer it.
If you or anyone on your team use mobile devices to access company documents, it’s extremely important that these devices are monitored and protected 24/7. At Connectability, we offer mobile and peripheral device support. We also offer user training, and Mobile Device Management (MDM) software to protect your mobile phones better. Finally, we work with our clients to create Acceptable Use Policies (AUP) that best fit their businesses. If you would like to learn more about how to protect your mobile devices, please call us at 416 966 3306 or email [email protected] and someone from our office will be happy to help.