Signs That Your Device Is Hacked
With the advancement in technology, we can now do many things with our devices, from networking through social media to contactless payment. As a result, a lot of sensitive information like our credit card details could possibly be stored on our phones.
Failure to keep your device secure, could lead to grave consequences. Learn how to tell if your device has been hacked with these 6 signs.
1. Drastic decrease in battery life
While it is definite that your battery will drain over time, a device that has been hacked will perform dramatically shorter.
A common practice of hackers is to install a spy app on your device to track your activity. Such applications allow them to access your messages, audio input, data, GPS locations, passwords, and more—all while going unnoticed, hidden from your interface and task manager.
Additionally, these apps can run ads in the background, which gradually drains the battery life of your device.
2. Poor performance
Frozen screens and crashing of apps are some signs of a hacking attempt as well. This may be the result of malware such as spyware and viruses installed to your device. Malware are insecure software secretly installed on your device.
All programs function on memory space, which is why we sometimes notice that our devices get progressively unresponsive with age, since we download more materials over time. Such malware consumes a substantial amount of memory of our devices, resulting in limited space for the other programs to function. This may then result in your internet browser and the operating system of your device performing at a sluggish rate.
Additionally, malware can strain computing power, which refers to how fast a device can perform an operation. This sometimes causes your device to heat up, even when you are not using it.
3. New apps not installed by you
While your device manufacturer or service provider might introduce new apps with updates, it isn’t common for novel apps to be appearing in an unwarranted manner.
When encountered with the appearance of new (and questionable) apps on your device, you should go to your app manager in your settings to uncover its source. You might have downloaded it on accident, or it could merely be installed with your latest update. If you notice that it hails from an ambiguous or unknown source, uninstall it immediately.
4. Pop-ups on your browser
Browser pop-ups are typically one of the first signs of a virus attack. But it is getting a lot more sneaky and challenging for one to discern between a genuine alert and a pop-up caused by a virus. So always approach all pop-ups with caution. Read the copy carefully and try to identify any suspicious signs like spelling or grammatical errors. Instructions by your device—like the one reflected in the illustration above— would unlikely appear as a browser pop-up, so that’s a major red flag too.
Malware can also add bookmarks to your browser, website shortcuts to your home screen and spam messages that entice you to click.
Pop-ups often flash, produce sounds or, for mobile devices, cause the device to vibrate. If that happens, close all running apps and refrain from clicking anything on your web browser. And definitely, do not provide any sensitive information, if prompted.
5. Your device suddenly restarts
While automatic restarts during software updates and the installation of new applications are normal, sudden restarts are not. When performing automatic restarts, your device would typically prompt you to agree to it first and usually offer you the choice to postpone it.
However, a hacker installing malware may force a restart in order to access your device and steal your personal information. In such cases, we recommend that you perform a factory reset.
6. Your passwords do not work anymore
When we talk about being denied access to our online accounts due to a successful hack attempt, we can boil it down to two primary possibilities—the first being that our accounts might have been directly penetrated by the hackers. The second could be that the hackers might have used an indirect approach of hacking into our devices first before utilising that opportunity to access our accounts. Obviously, the latter has much heavier consequences, since the attacker would then have access to a lot more information.
It is often tough to differentiate between the two, but your best bet would be to change your passwords across all your accounts and perform a factory reset on your device.
Ensuring That Your Device Isn’t Hacked
If these signs seem familiar to you, you should consider purchasing a security software from renowned providers such as Kaspersky and Bitdefender. But ultimately, if these signs continue to persist, it is recommended that you perform a factory reset on your device.
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