Mobile devices nowadays are no longer mere accessories. They serve various purposes other than texting or calling. Smartphones can now be utilized for personal errands, school transactions, and business deals. Hence, these compact devices have become so valuable in the sense that they hold vital information, confidential data, and important files. This is why we can’t blame those users who search online – “Is my phone hacked Android?”, “My Android phone was hacked, how do I fix it?”, or “How to remove a hacker from my Android phone?”
Phone hacking is a broad term and is not always a bad thing. Depending on the ultimate goal, hacking could be an essential or detrimental process. For instance, ethical hacking is widely used in the corporate world for entrepreneurs to be on top of their business’ system security, constantly identifying and addressing issues. On the other hand, hacking with the intent to breach data or steal an identity could lead to legal ramifications. The idea of your personal device being hacked could certainly be bothersome. So if you’re one of the many users searching for ways on ‘how to fix a hacked Android phone’ or ‘how to unhack my Android phone’, read on.
How To Tell if Your Android Is Hacked
There are several means of hacking Android phones – from access bypass to hardware compromise to malware infection. So, how do you know if your Android phone is hacked? Is it even possible to detect any hacking attempt and prevent further damages?
In the same way that not a single technological process or device or software is a hundred percent flawless, not a single hacking method is perfect. One way or another, there are loopholes in the overall processes. If you’re keen and thorough enough, there are several key points on how to tell if your Android is hacked. Here are some of the most common red flags you must watch out for.
Battery life drains much faster.
Whatever software or application is utilized to extract information, it’s most likely programmed to run constantly and simultaneously unless otherwise set to shut down or deactivate. From running commands to uploading malicious codes to downloading collated data, the processes involved would use up the device’s energy, leading to shorter battery life.
Unreasonably high data usage.
For remote and real-time hacking to happen, there needs to be an established virtual connection linking the target phone and the hacker’s remote servers or command center. Such connections typically require access to the internet to be enabled or activated. Hence, an unreasonable spike in your phone’s data usage could be an indicator there’s suspicious activity in your Android phone.
Constant overheating even when not in use.
As a result of continuously functioning in the background, using up the phone’s resources, hacking software could significantly cause the device to get warm and eventually overheat. This is specifically suspicious if your Android device is hot even if it’s idle.
Unexplainable latencies and crashes.
Gone are the days when mobile devices slow down when multiple apps are running or when constantly used. This is specifically true if you’re utilizing phones running on the latest operating systems available. So if there are unexplainable latencies or frequent crashes, consider the possibility of hacking. Mobile malware utilizes much of the phone’s processing power, causing it to slow down.
The backlight remains lit even after locking the device.
Hackers typically control target phones remotely once they’ve successfully compromised or penetrated the systems, networks, or devices. The continuous sending of commands or extraction of data could result in the backlight remaining lit even after the phone’s locked or while in idle mode.
It takes longer to turn off.
Power off delay could also be a result of hacking attempts. When shutting off a mobile device, it would automatically stop any running application. Since malicious software typically utilizes multi-layered complex algorithms, it requires more time to be closed or deactivated.
Unexpected pop-ups and messages containing nonsensical codes, letters, and numbers.
Another loophole of hacking programs is the uncontrollable notifications, unexpected pop-ups, and random alerts. Aside from the internal out-of-the-blue messages, there are instances where spam messages are automatically sent out to saved contacts or random calls are initiated.
Strange background noises during phone calls.
Static noises during phone calls are normal especially if any of the parties are within an area with a poor network signal. However, noises like echoes, click sounds, murmurs, or recording beeps are telltale signs your line has been tapped or someone’s recording/monitoring your phone conversations.
How Can Someone Hack My Phone Remotely?
Can someone hack my Android phone without even touching it? Can an Android camera be hacked and remotely controlled to capture photos? Can hackers access my device without me initially noticing?
Since the technology works like a two-edged sword, there are various ways on how to fix a hacked Android phone in the same way there are various ways on how to hack Android phones. As tech experts tirelessly explore and innovate the digital world, hackers get more and more creative as well – from the utilization of hacked Android apps to the abused usage of app permissions to manual bypassing of admin accesses.
Manual hacking is a bit easier, especially if there’s a physical means of access. Juice jacking, for instance, enables hackers to extract data by utilizing public charging stations as gateways to access devices. Another example is SIM swapping wherein the victim is lured into swapping their SIM card to the hacker’s, granting the predator access to authentication messages usually sent via SMS.
However, if you’re curious if these hacking, breaching, and compromising acts can be done remotely, unfortunately, the answer is also yes. Here are some of the most commonly used methods.
- Malware Hacking – Hacking through the use of malicious software disguised as a well-known app, a trusted company API, an upgrade kit, or a software update program.
- Remote Spying – Hacking through the use of spy software – apps specifically programmed to remotely monitor target devices and make copies of the activity logs.
- Social Engineering – Hacking through luring or misleading wherein predators incorporate malicious links within convincing messages or enticing offers.
- Network Penetration – Hacking by intercepting network connections such as Bluetooth signal and Wi-Fi connection.
How To Remove a Hacker From Your Phone
Are there possible ways on how to remove a hacker from my Android phone that is invisible? Will factory reset remove malware Android? How to remove hackers from Android without losing my data?
As previously mentioned, the good thing about technology being a two-edged sword is that there are pros to cover up the cons, advantages to make up for the disadvantages, benefits to outweigh the dangers, and solutions to address the issues. So, if you’re an Android user and are worried about your device being hacked or compromised, you can ease your mind and keep your cool as there are effective steps to prevent such. Here are some answers to your ‘How to remove a hacker from my android phone?’ inquiry.
Delete Unknown Apps
Though a bit time-consuming, one of the most effective ways of removing a hacker’s unauthorized access to your device is to manually remove the malware used.
- Press and hold the Power button until a menu pops up on the screen.
- Select the Reboot to Safe Mode option.
- Tap on the OK button.
- Launch the Settings page.
- Go to the Apps or Apps & notifications section.
- Browse through the list of apps installed on the device.
- Look out for anything suspicious or watch out for any app you don’t remember downloading or using.
- Select the specific app/s and click on the Uninstall button. (You might need to disable admin permissions first: Settings > Security > Advanced > Device Administrators).
- Restart your phone and run in Normal mode.
Phone rooting bypasses admin access and default settings, possibly creating gateways for unauthorized penetration. So, reversing this process could help in cutting off the hacker’s excessive access. You may unroot your Android phone by using a file manager with root access, using a third-party app programmed to unroot devices, or seeking assistance from the person who rooted your phone. While this is doable, if you’re not tech-savvy enough, it’s best to leave this process to the experts to avoid further damages.
Update Your Phone’s Operating System
Most malware is programmed to match the target device’s current operating system; hence, by updating your OS, you could effectively get rid of the hacking app. Upgrading or downgrading your phone’s operating system could efficiently cut the remote connection established by the hacker. And since the malicious app will no longer be compatible with your device’s operating system, it’s more likely to not function properly as programmed.
Check Your Apps Permissions
App permissions are legal ways for app developers to gain a certain level of access to devices, ensuring the mobile application functions as programmed. Some hackers take advantage of this, asking for more permissions than they need and abusing their access with the intent to exploit or breach. Here’s how to change app permissions on Android.
- Launch the Settings app.
- Go to the Apps section.
- Browse through the list to locate the specific app you want to check out and tap on it.
- Select the Permissions option.
- Tap on the button to Allow or Don’t allow permission.
Run Antivirus Applications
Most smartphones nowadays, especially the latest versions, have built-in antivirus programs. Utilizing third-party apps like Kaspersky Antivirus could certainly go a long way in locating, isolating, and eradicating malicious codes from your device. The use of anti-malware tools is one of the most practical ways of preventing and addressing hacks as all you have to do is install the software. Such security apps are programmed with automated and streamlined algorithms capable of simultaneously identifying and addressing hacking attempts with minimal to no user input.
Change Your Passwords
This may sound like a basic step but it could go a long way in securing your device, files, and all logged-in accounts that hold confidential data. By simply changing PINs, passcodes, or passwords and logging out all other sessions, you could easily kick out any unauthorized party, hence, removing hackers from your Android phone.
Clear Internet Cache
Another instant and easy way of stopping hackers is by clearing the internet cache. This is specifically useful if you’re receiving random notifications or pop-up alerts. This quick and doable process can efficiently scrub off basic digital footprints that could lead back to you. Here’s how to clear storage and cache on Android devices.
- Launch the Settings app.
- Navigate to the Apps section.
- Select the Chrome option.
- Go to Storage & cache.
- Choose Clear storage and Clear cache.
- Tap on the Clear all data button.
Perform a Factory Reset
If all else fails, restoring the phone to its default settings will more likely get the job done. A factory reset eradicates customizations applied to the device, including installed third-party apps. So, if your Android phone is, indeed, infected by malicious software, resetting it to its factory setting will most likely get the job done, giving users a clean slate for their devices.
- Launch the Settings app.
- Go to the System section.
- Select the Advanced or Reset option.
- Choose Erase all data (factory reset) and reset your phone.
- Tap on the Erase everything button.
- Restart your phone.
- Restore any data you were able to back up then set up your phone accordingly.
How To Protect Your Phone From Being Hacked
How to secure an Android phone from hackers? Are there effective ways on how to block hackers from my Android phone? Is there really such a thing as “anti-hack for Android”?
Like in any other aspect, safety and security isn’t a one-man job or a one-time process. It takes constant efforts from parties involved, and yes, including you – the potential victim. And the good thing is, there are several precautionary measures to take to keep yourself protected from predators.
- Use Passcodes and Phone Lock – Enable PIN or passcode on your device and set strong passwords on all online accounts or important apps you’re accessing on your phone. It’s also recommended to utilize two-factor or multi-factor authentication. Avoid using one code across all accounts or platforms you use and avoid recycling PINs. Also, be sure to regularly change or update your passwords.
- Keep Your Phone Near You – Keep your phone with you and secure at all times. Never leave it unattended especially if you’re in public places like in public transports, shops, cafes, or even at your workplace. Remember, hacking cannot only be done remotely; in fact, it’s easier to exploit and breach data should a hacker gain physical access to the target device.
- Install Any New App After Scrutiny – A trusted and reliable security software is always a wise and practical decision to protect your device and data. Go for a security app loaded with security features like antivirus protection, GPS locator, auto-wipe feature, and other functionalities.
- Clear Your Internet History – Make it a habit to regularly optimize your web browser by clearing history, activity logs, cookies, and cache. By clearing your internet history, you’re getting rid of digital footprints that could easily be utilized to trace you. Also, be sure to always observe safe browsing by accessing safe sites only – those secured with an SSL certificate or web pages whose URL starts with that “https”.
- Update Your Phone Regularly – OS updates are meant to address system vulnerabilities and patch security loopholes. These updates are programmed with bug fixes capable of identifying possible means of compromise and applying appropriate solutions. Hence, regular and religious OS updates could be efficient means of eliminating threats or any malicious programs.
- Only Use Secured Networks – When accessing the internet, utilize private servers or trusted networks. Avoid connecting to unknown Wi-Fis or even to unknown Bluetooth networks. If there’s a need to, avoid accessing confidential pages or sensitive accounts while connected to public networks or servers. Also, don’t charge your phone in public stations/ports.
- Protect Your Smartphone With Smart Eye Technology – Spying software, more commonly known as spyware, isn’t entirely harmful software. Some spy apps are meant to remotely monitor devices, providing an additional layer of security. Such tools with smart eye technology grant remote real-time access, making it easier for you to identify and address any threat. Similar to anti-malware programs, these are automated and streamlined – with minimal to no user input, these monitoring apps can work efficiently as programmed.
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