Red Flags of Cellphone Spying
Your battery drains too 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 (Red Flags of Cellphone Spying)
Your phone is too 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.
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 phone
- “Hacked users may spot unusual new apps popping up in their menus or within settings. You should always check to see which apps are running. Check to see if an app, that is draining the battery, is known to contain malware. Other malicious exploits.” –Ray Walsh, digital privacy expert at BestVPN.com.
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
There’s an overall spike in data usage
- “Use 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
You discover calls or texts you didn’t make
- “You might also notice calls and texts that you haven’t sent to numbers in your list of contacts. Ensure that you monitor this activity closely as some of these could be premium-rate numbers that malware is forcing your phone to contact with all the proceeds landing in the pocket of the person who has compromised your phone.” –Rob Webber, mobile expert, and CEO and founder of MoneySavingPro.com
You’re getting security messages
- “If your phone has been hacked you might notice some unusual activity, such as security messages notifying you that your email or social media account has been accessed using a new device, password reset links, or verification emails saying that you have signed up to new accounts that you are unfamiliar with.” –Rob Webber, mobile expert and CEO and founder of MoneySavingPro.com
You’ve lost signal and you know you should have one
- “There are several notable signs that your phone might have been hacked: You receive a text message or an email notification from your mobile carrier about an account change you didn’t make and, thirty minutes later, your cell phone has no signal, even after a reboot. You can’t log into your email. You’re locked out of your bank account.
- “This is called a number porting attack, and it’s effective against Androids and iPhones on all mobile carriers. Typically, threat actors only need a date of birth and an account number for this attack to succeed.
- “If you think you’re a victim of a number porting attack you should immediately call the police and let them know that your mobile number has been ported out and that you’re a victim of identity theft. You must call your mobile provider, of course, and may need to show them a police report to prove that you are a victim of identity theft.
- “Next, request free copies of your annual credit report before freezing your credit with the three major bureaus.
- “Last, but not least, plan on spending days changing the passwords for all the accounts where you used your mobile number and even more days working with banks and creditors where the threat actor set up fraudulent accounts using your stolen identity.” –Kayne McGladrey, IEEE Member and Director of Security and Information Technology at Pensar Development
You hear an unusual background noise
- “While common, humming, static, or other weird noises could be a sign that someone is tapping your line. Though all phones might have strange noises from time to time. You should check if there are other signs if you notice them. This is especially the case if you hear them when your phone is not in use. Robert Siciliano, Security Awareness Expert, and CEO of Safr.Me.
Your phone won’t shut down
- “If something seems weird with your mobile phone, try shutting it down. Watch how it reacts when you shut it down. Phones that have been hacked often won’t shut down correctly. Sometimes they never shut down, even though you tell it to.” –Robert Siciliano, Security Awareness Expert, and CEO of Safr.Me
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