In an era where digital privacy is a growing concern, it’s crucial to remain vigilant and aware of potential security breaches. Recent reports of state-sponsored attacks and surveillance have raised alarms among political leaders, rekindling the debate over personal privacy.
While sophisticated hacking and spying techniques can be difficult to detect, there are some telltale signs that your phone may have been compromised. Here are ten key indicators to watch out for.
1. Unusual Battery Drainage
If your smartphone’s battery life suddenly plummets, it might be a red flag. Excessive battery drain, beyond what is typical for your device, could indicate the presence of malicious software or fraudulent apps running in the background. Ensure that you don’t have an excessive number of apps running concurrently before jumping to conclusions.
2. Overheating for No Apparent Reason
While phones can naturally warm up during resource-intensive tasks, such as gaming or video streaming, if your device gets excessively hot without any significant activity on your part, it’s a potential sign of external control or intrusion.
3. Suspicious Activity on Linked Accounts
Monitoring your linked social media accounts can provide critical insights. If you observe posts or activities on your accounts that you didn’t authorize or remember doing, your accounts may have been compromised. Difficulty sending or receiving emails from your smartphone can also be indicative of a breach.
4. Sluggish Phone Performance
If your once-snappy smartphone becomes slow and unresponsive, using more resources and battery power than usual, it might be harbouring stealth malware in the background. Keep an eye on its responsiveness.
5. Abnormal Phone Behaviour
Beware of strange occurrences on your phone, such as frequent app crashes, apps failing to load, random reboots, shutdowns, or spontaneous wake-ups without your input. These could all be signs of malicious activity.
6. Mysterious Pop-Up Messages
Receiving unexpected push notifications that display fake virus alerts or other menacing messages is a clear sign of potential adware infection. Do not interact with or tap on such messages; they may be attempting to deceive you into providing sensitive information.
7. Unrecognised Apps on Your Device
Regularly review your smartphone’s list of installed apps. If you come across apps that you don’t recognize or remember installing, they could be spyware. Always download apps from trusted sources like the App Store or Google Play Store, and scrutinize app details before installation.
8. Surges in Mobile Data Usage
Check your mobile data usage. If it has suddenly spiked and exceeds your usual consumption, malicious software or apps might be surreptitiously consuming your mobile data in the background.
9. Unexplained Photos and Videos
Be attentive to your gallery contents. If you encounter images and videos that you don’t recall taking or storing, it could be an indication that your phone’s camera is being controlled remotely. Similarly, if your phone’s flash activates without your input, it’s wise to be cautious.
10. Unknown Texts or Calls
Review your text messages and call logs. If you find unfamiliar numbers or texts with strange symbols and character combinations, your phone may have been compromised.
Remaining vigilant and practising cybersecurity hygiene can help mitigate the risks of phone hacking or surveillance. Be cautious of suspicious activity and take prompt action if you suspect any intrusion. Your digital security is a priority in the evolving landscape of privacy and technology.