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How to Tell if Your Phone Has Been Hacked

by on May 28, 2020
in Privacy, Phones and Mobile, Mobile Apps, Tips & How-Tos :: 724 comments

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From email to banking, our smartphones are the main hub of our online lives. No wonder that smartphones rival computers as common targets for online hackers. And despite the efforts of Google and Apple, mobile malware continues to land in official app stores – and these malicious apps are getting sneakier. According to the McAfee 2020 Mobile Threat Report, over half of mobile malware apps “hide” on a device, without a homescreen icon, hijacking the device to serve unwanted ads, post bogus reviews, or steal information that can be sold or used to hold victims to ransom.

And while iPhones can be hacked, more malware targets Android devices. In its 2020 State of Malware Report, MalwareBytes reported a rise in aggressive adware and preinstalled malware on Android devices designed to steal data – or simply victims’ attention.

Malware can also include spyware that monitors a device’s content, programs that harness a device’s internet bandwidth for use in a botnet to send spam, or phishing screens that steal a user’s logins when entered into a compromised, legitimate app.

It is often downloaded from non-official sources, including phishing links sent via email or message, as well as malicious websites. (While security experts recommend always downloading from official app stores – like the Apple App Store or Google Play – some countries are unable to access certain apps from these sources, for example, secure messaging apps that would allow people to communicate secretly.)

Then there are the commercial spy apps that require physical access to download to a phone – often done by those well-known to the victim, such as a partner or parent – and which can monitor everything that occurs on the device.

Not sure if you may have been hacked? We spoke to Josh Galindo, director of training at uBreakiFix, about how to tell a smartphone might have been compromised. And, we explore the twelve ways your phone can be hacked and the steps you can take to protect yourself.

6 Signs your phone may have been hacked

1. Noticeable decrease in battery life

While a phone’s battery life inevitably decreases over time, a smartphone that has been compromised by malware may start to display a significantly decreased lifespan. This is because the malware – or spy app – may be using up phone resources to scan the device and transmit the information back to a criminal server.

(That said, simple everyday use can equally deplete a phone’s lifespan. Check if that’s the case by running through these steps for improving your Android or iPhone battery life.)

2. Sluggish performance

Do you find your phone frequently freezing, or certain applications crashing? This could be down to malware that is overloading the phone’s resources or clashing with other applications.

You may also experience continued running of applications despite efforts to close them, or even have the phone itself crash and/or restart repeatedly.

(As with reduced battery life, many factors could contribute to a slower phone – essentially, its everyday use, so first try deep cleaning your Android or iPhone.)

3. High data usage

Another sign of a compromised phone is an unusually high data bill at the end of the month, which can come from malware or spy apps running in the background, sending information back to its server.

4. Outgoing calls or texts you didn’t send

If you’re seeing lists of calls or texts to numbers you don’t know, be wary – these could be premium-rate numbers that malware is forcing your phone to contact; the proceeds of which land in the cyber-criminal’s wallet. In this case, check your phone bill for any costs you don’t recognize.

5. Mystery pop-ups

While not all pop-ups mean your phone has been hacked, constant pop-up alerts could indicate that your phone has been infected with adware, a form of malware that forces devices to view certain pages that drive revenue through clicks. Even if a pop-up isn’t the result of a compromised phone, many may be phishing links that attempt to get users to type in sensitive info – or download more malware.

6. Unusual activity on any accounts linked to the device

If a hacker has access to your phone, they also have access to its accounts – from social media to email to various lifestyle or productivity apps. This could reveal itself in activity on your accounts, such as resetting a password, sending emails, marking unread emails that you don’t remember reading, or signing up for new accounts whose verification emails land in your inbox.

In this case, you could be at risk for identity fraud, where criminals open new accounts or lines of credit in your name, using information taken from your breached accounts. It’s a good idea to change your passwords – without updating them on your phone – before running a security sweep on your phone itself.

What to do if your phone is hacked

If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms of a hacked smartphone, the best first step is to download a mobile security app.

For Android, we like Bitdefender or McAfee for their robust feature sets and high ratings from independent malware analysis labs.

And while iPhones may be less prone to hacks, they aren’t totally immune. Lookout for iOS flags apps that are acting maliciously, potentially dangerous Wi-Fi networks, and if the iPhone has been jailbroken (which increases its risk for hacking). It’s free, with $2.99/month for identity protection, including alerts of logins being exposed.

Who would hack your phone?

By now, government spying is such a common refrain that we may have become desensitized to the notion that the NSA taps our phone calls or the FBI can hack our computers whenever it wants. Yet there are other technological means – and motives – for hackers, criminals and even the people we know, such as a spouse or employer, to hack into our phones and invade our privacy. And unless you’re a high-profile target – journalist, politician, political dissident, business executive, criminal – that warrants special interest, it’s far more likely to be someone close to you than a government entity doing the spying.

12 ways your phone can be hacked

From targeted breaches and vendetta-fueled snooping to opportunistic land grabs for the data of the unsuspecting, here are twelve ways someone could be spying on your cell phone – and what you can do about it.

1. Spy apps

There is a glut of phone monitoring apps designed to covertly track someone’s location and snoop on their communications. Many are advertised to suspicious partners or distrustful employers, but still more are marketed as a legitimate tool for safety-concerned parents to keep tabs on their kids. Such apps can be used to remotely view text messages, emails, internet history, and photos; log phone calls and GPS locations; some may even hijack the phone’s mic to record conversations made in person. Basically, almost anything a hacker could possibly want to do with your phone, these apps would allow.

And this isn’t just empty rhetoric. When we studied cell phone spying apps back in 2013, we found they could do everything they promised. Worse, they were easy for anyone to install, and the person who was being spied on would be none the wiser that there every move was being tracked.

“There aren’t too many indicators of a hidden spy app – you might see more internet traffic on your bill, or your battery life may be shorter than usual because the app is reporting back to a third-party,” says Chester Wisniewski, principal research scientist at security firm Sophos.


Spy apps are available on Google Play, as well as non-official stores for iOS and Android apps, making it pretty easy for anyone with access to your phone (and a motive) to download one.

How to protect yourself

  • Since installing spy apps require physical access to your device, putting a passcode on your phone greatly reduces the chances of someone being able to access your phone in the first place. And since spy apps are often installed by someone close to you (think spouse or significant other), pick a code that won’t be guessed by anyone else.
  • Go through your apps list for ones you don’t recognize.
  • Don’t jailbreak your iPhone. “If a device isn’t jailbroken, all apps show up,” says Wisniewski. “If it is jailbroken, spy apps are able to hide deep in the device, and whether security software can find it depends on the sophistication of the spy app [because security software scans for known malware].”
  • For iPhones, ensuring you phone isn’t jailbroken also prevents anyone from downloading a spy app to your phone, since such software – which tampers with system-level functions - doesn’t make it onto the App Store.
  • Download a mobile security app. For Android, we like Bitdefender or McAfee, and for iOS, we recommend Lookout for iOS.

2. Phishing messages

Whether it’s a text claiming to be from a coronavirus contact tracer, or a friend exhorting you to check out this photo of you last night, SMS texts containing deceptive links that aim to scrape sensitive information (otherwise known as phishing or “smishing”) continue to make the rounds.

And with people often checking their email apps throughout the day, phishing emails are just as lucrative for attackers.

Periods such as tax season tend to attract a spike in phishing messages, preying on people’s concern over their tax return, while this year’s coronavirus-related government stimulus payment period has resulted in a bump in phishing emails purporting to be from the IRS.

Android phones may also fall prey to texts with links to download malicious apps (The same scam isn’t prevalent for iPhones, which are commonly non-jailbroken and therefore can’t download apps from anywhere except the App Store.). Android will warn you, though, when you try to download an unofficial app and ask your permission to install it – do not ignore this warning.

Such malicious apps may expose a user’s phone data, or contain a phishing overlay designed to steal login information from targeted apps – for example, a user’s bank or email app.


Quite likely. Though people have learned to be skeptical of emails asking them to “click to see this funny video!”, security lab Kaspersky notes that they tend to be less wary on their phones.

How to protect yourself

  • Keep in mind how you usually verify your identity with various accounts – for example, your bank will never ask you to input your full password or PIN.
  • Check the IRS’s phishing section to familiarize yourself with how the tax agency communicates with people, and verify any communications you receive
  • Avoid clicking links from numbers you don’t know, or in curiously vague messages from friends, especially if you can’t see the full URL.
  • If you do click on the link and try to download an unofficial app, your Android phone should notify you before installing it. If you ignored the warning or the app somehow otherwise bypassed Android security, delete the app and/or run a mobile security scan.

3. Unauthorized access to iCloud or Google account

Hacked iCloud and Google accounts offer access to an astounding amount of information backed up from your smartphone – photos, phonebooks, current location, messages, call logs and in the case of the iCloud Keychain, saved passwords to email accounts, browsers and other apps. And there are spyware sellers out there who specifically market their products against these vulnerabilities.

Online criminals may not find much value in the photos of regular folk – unlike nude pictures of celebrities that are quickly leaked – but they know the owners of the photos do, says Wisniewski, which can lead to accounts and their content being held digitally hostage unless victims pay a ransom.

Additionally, a cracked Google account means a cracked Gmail, the primary email for many users.

Having access to a primary email can lead to domino-effect hacking of all the accounts that email is linked to – from your Facebook account to your mobile carrier account, paving the way for a depth of identity theft that would seriously compromise your credit.


“This is a big risk. All an attacker needs is an email address; not access to the phone, nor the phone number,” Wisniewski says. If you happen to use your name in your email address, your primary email address to sign up for iCloud/Google, and a weak password that incorporates personally identifiable information, it wouldn’t be difficult for a hacker who can easily glean such information from social networks or search engines.

How to protect yourself

  • Create a strong password for these key accounts (and as always, your email).
  • Enable login notifications so you are aware of sign-ins from new computers or locations.
  • Enable two-factor authentication so that even if someone discovers your password, they can’t access your account without access to your phone.
  • To prevent someone resetting your password, lie when setting up password security questions. You would be amazed how many security questions rely on information that is easily available on the Internet or is widely known by your family and friends.

4. Bluetooth hacking

Any wireless connection may be vulnerable to cyber-snoops – and earlier this year, security researchers found a vulnerability in Android 9 and older devices that would allow hackers to secretly connect over Bluetooth, then scrape data on the device. (In Android 10 devices, the attack would have crashed Bluetooth, making connection impossible.)

While the vulnerability has since been patched in security updates out soon after, attackers may be able to hack your Bluetooth connection through other vulnerabilities – or by tricking you into pairing with their device by giving it another name (like "AirPods" or another universal name). And once connected, your personal information would be at risk.


“Rather low, unless it is a targeted attack,” says Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky.“ Even then, a lot of factors have to come together to make it possible.”

How to protect yourself

  • Only turn your Bluetooth on when you are actually using it
  • Don’t pair a device in public to avoid falling prey to malicious pairing requests.
  • Always download security updates to patch vulnerabilities as soon as they’re discovered

5. SIM swapping

Another reason to be stringent about what you post online: cybercriminals can call up cellular carriers to pose as legitimate customers who have been locked out of their accounts. By providing stolen personal information, they’re able to get the phone number ported to their own device and use it to ultimately take over a person’s online accounts. In a spat of Instagram handle thefts, for example, hackers used known login names to request password changes and intercept multi-factor authentication texts sent to the stolen phone number. The purpose? To hold victims for ransom or, in the case of high-value names, sell on underground marketplaces. Some people have also had cryptocurrency accounts hijacked and drained.

On top of that, researchers found that there were representatives at all five major carriers who authenticated users giving the wrong information (such as billing address or zip code), by instead asking for the last three digits of the last two dialed numbers. Researchers were able to provide these details by first sending a text instructing users to call a certain number, which played a voicemail telling them to call a second number.


“Currently, SIM swapping is especially popular in Africa and Latin America,” says Galov. “But we know about modern cases from different countries worldwide.”

How to protect yourself

  • Don’t use guessable numbers for your carrier PIN – like your birthday or family birthdays, all of which could be found on social media.
  • Choose an authenticator app such as Authy or Google Authenticator instead of SMS for 2FA. “This measure will protect you in most cases,” says Galov.
  • Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication for all your online accounts to minimize the risk of a hack that can reveal personal information used to hijack your SIM.

6. Hacked phone camera

As video calling becomes increasingly prevalent for work and family connection, it’s highlighted the importance of securing computer webcams from hackers – but that front-facing phone cam could also be at risk. A since-fixed glitch in the Android onboard Camera app, for example, would have allowed attackers to record video, steal photos and geolocation data of images, while malicious apps with access to your camera app (see below) might also allow cybercriminals to hijack your camera.


Less prevalent than computer webcam hacks.

How to protect yourself

  • Always download security updates for all apps and your device.

7. Apps that over-request permissions

While many apps over-request permissions for the purpose of data harvesting, some may be more malicious – particularly if downloaded from non-official stores – requesting intrusive access to anything from your location data to your camera roll.

According to Kaspersky research, many malicious apps in 2020 take advantage of access to Accessibility Service, a mode intended to facilitate the use of smartphones for people with disabilities. “With permission to use this, a malicious application has almost limitless possibilities for interacting with the system interface and apps,” says Galov. Some stalkerware apps, for instance, take advantage of this permission.

Free VPN apps are also likely culprits for over-requesting permissions. In 2019, researchers found that two-thirds of the top 150 most-downloaded free VPN apps on Android made requests for sensitive data such as users’ locations.


Over-requesting permissions happens commonly, Galov says.

How to protect yourself

  • Read app permissions and avoid downloading apps that request more access than they should need to operate.
  • Even if an app’s permissions seem to line up with its function, check reviews online.
  • For Android, download an antivirus app such as Bitdefender or McAfee that will scan apps before download, as well as flag suspicious activity on apps you do have.

8. Snooping via open Wi-Fi networks

The next time you happen upon a password-free Wi-Fi network in public, it’s best not to get online. Eavesdroppers on an unsecured Wi-Fi network can view all its unencrypted traffic. And nefarious public hotspots can redirect you to lookalike banking or email sites designed to capture your username and password. Nor is it necessarily a shifty manager of the establishment you’re frequenting. For example, someone physically across the road from a coffee shop could set up a login-free Wi-Fi network named after the café, in hopes of catching useful login details for sale or identity theft.


Any tech-savvy person could potentially download the necessary software to intercept and analyze Wi-Fi traffic.

How to protect yourself

  • Only use public Wi-Fi networks that are secured with a password and have WPA2/3 enabled (you’ll see this on the login screen requesting password), where traffic is encrypted by default during transmission.
  • Download a VPN app to encrypt your smartphone traffic. NordVPN (Android/iOS from $3.49/month) is a great all-round choice that offers multi-device protection, for your tablet and laptop for example.
  • If you must connect to a public network and don’t have a VPN app, avoid entering in login details for banking sites or email. If you can’t avoid it, ensure the URL in your browser address bar is the correct one. And never enter private information unless you have a secure connection to the other site (look for “https” in the URL and a green lock icon in the address bar).
  • Turning on two-factor authentication for online accounts will also help protect your privacy on public Wi-Fi.

9. Apps with weak encryption

Even apps that aren’t malicious can leave your mobile device vulnerable. According to InfoSec Institute, apps that use weak encryption algorithms can leak your data to someone looking for it. Or, those with improperly implemented strong algorithms can create other back doors for hackers to exploit, allowing access to all the personal data on your phone.


“A potential risk, but a less likely threat than others such as unsecured Wi-Fi or phishing,” says Galov.

How to protect yourself

  • Check app reviews online before downloading – not only on app stores (which are often subject to spam reviews), but on Google search, for sketchy behavior that other users may have reported.
  • If possible, only download apps from reputable developers – for example, who turn up on Google with positive reviews and feedback results, or on user reviews sites like Trustpilot. According to Kaspersky, “the onus is on developers and organizations to enforce encryption standards before apps are deployed.”

10. SS7 global phone network vulnerability

A communication protocol for mobile networks across the world, Signaling System No 7 (SS7), has a vulnerability that lets hackers spy on text messages, phone calls and locations, armed only with someone’s mobile phone number.

The security issues have been well-known for years, and hackers have been exploiting this hole to intercept two-factor authentication (2FA) codes sent via SMS from banks, with cybercriminals in Germany draining victims’ bank accounts. The UK’s Metro Bank fell prey to a similar attack.

This method could also be used to hack other online accounts, from email to social media, wrecking financial and personal havoc.

According to security researcher Karsten Nohl, law enforcement and intelligence agencies use the exploit to intercept cell phone data, and hence don’t necessarily have great incentive to seeing that it gets patched.


The likelihood is growing, as the minimal resources needed to exploit this vulnerability have made it available to cybercriminals with a much smaller profile who are seeking to steal 2FA codes for online accounts – rather than tap the phones of political leaders, CEO or other people whose communications could hold high worth in underground marketplaces.

How to protect yourself

  • Choose email or (safer yet) an authentication app as your 2FA method, instead of SMS.
  • Use an end-to-end encrypted message service that works over the internet (thus bypassing the SS7 protocol), says Wisniewski. WhatsApp (free, iOS/Android), Signal (free, iOS/Android) and Wickr Me (free, iOS/Android) all encrypt messages and calls, preventing anyone from intercepting or interfering with your communications.
  • Be aware that if you are in a potentially targeted group your phone conversations could be monitored and act accordingly.

11. Malicious charging stations

While travel and tourism may not be on the horizon anytime soon, last year the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office released a security alert about the risk of hijacked public USB power charging stations in locations such as airports and hotels.

Malicious charging stations – including malware-loaded computers – take advantage of the fact that standard USB cables transfer data as well as charge battery. Older Android phones may even automatically mount the hard drive upon connection to any computer, exposing its data to an unscrupulous owner.

Security researchers have also shown it’s possible to hijack the video-out feature so that when plugged into a malicious charge hub, a hacker can monitor every keystroke, including passwords and sensitive data.


Low. There are no widely-known instances of hijacked charging points, while newer Android phones ask for permission to load their hard drive when plugged into a new computer; iPhones request a PIN. However, new vulnerabilities may be discovered.

How to protect yourself

  • Don’t plug into unknown devices; bring a wall charger. You might want to invest in a charge-only USB cable like PortaPow ($9.99 for two-pack on Amazon)
  • If a public computer is your only option to revive a dead battery, select the “Charge only” option (Android phones) if you get a pop-up when you plug in, or deny access from the other computer (iPhone).

12. Fake cellular towers, like FBI’s Stingray

The FBI, IRS, ICE, DEA, U.S. National Guard, Army and Navy are among the government bodies known to use cellular surveillance devices (the eponymous StingRays) that mimic bona fide network towers.

StingRays, and similar pretender wireless carrier towers, force nearby cell phones to drop their existing carrier connection to connect to the StingRay instead, allowing the device’s operators to monitor calls and texts made by these phones, their movements, and the numbers of who they text and call.

As StingRays have a radius of about 1km, an attempt to monitor a suspect’s phone in a crowded city center could amount to tens of thousands of phones being tapped.

Until late 2015, warrants weren’t required for StingRay-enabled cellphone tracking. The American Civil Liberties Union has identified over 75 federal agencies in over 27 states that own StingRays, but notes that this number is likely a drastic underestimate. Though some states outlaw the use of eavesdropping tech unless in criminal investigations, many agencies don’t obtain warrants for their use.


While the average citizen isn’t the target of a StingRay operation, it’s impossible to know what is done with extraneous data captured from non-targets, thanks to tight-lipped federal agencies.

How to protect yourself

  • Use encrypted messaging and voice call apps, particularly if you enter a situation that could be of government interest, such as a protest. Signal (free, iOS/Android) and Wickr Me (free, iOS/Android) both encrypt messages and calls, preventing anyone from intercepting or interfering with your communications. Most encryption in use today isn’t breakable, says Wisniewski, and a single phone call would take 10-15 years to decrypt.

“The challenging thing is, what the police have legal power to do, hackers can do the same,” Wisniewski says. “We’re no longer in the realm of technology that costs millions and which only the military have access to. Individuals with intent to interfere with communications have the ability to do so.”

From security insiders to less tech-savvy folk, many are already moving away from traditional, unencrypted communications – and perhaps in several years, it will be unthinkable that we ever allowed our private conversations and information to fly through the ether unprotected.

Updated on 5/28/2020 with new ways your phone can be hacked and what you can do to protect yourself.

[image credit: hacker smartphone concept via BigStockPhoto]

Natasha Stokes has been a technology writer for more than 7 years covering consumer tech issues, digital privacy and cybersecurity. As the features editor at TOP10VPN, she covered online censorship and surveillance that impact the lives of people around the world. Her work has also appeared on BBC Worldwide, CNN, Time and Travel+Leisure.

Discussion loading

Phone number used to harass others.

From Cheryl on April 19, 2018 :: 3:04 pm

Someone calls me and swears they keep getting calls from my phone number. They call the number right back and it is mine. But I know that NO call was made from my phone. I was charging the phone and it was sitting right in front of me. How can a call be made to someone from another phone and come up as another person’s number?!?


Number spoofing

From Josh Kirschner on April 19, 2018 :: 3:37 pm

Spoofing a phone number is not hard to do and common among spammers. A typical approach now is to spoof the area code and exchange (the first three digits) of a number being called to make that person think it’s someone in their neighborhood. For example, if a spammer is calling 212-555-1111, they may spoof their number to make it look like the call is coming from 212-555-2222.  If that second number happens to be your number, then the person getting the spam call will think you’re the one calling them.

So your next question may be, “How can I stop it?” And the answer is, you can’t. Only the phone carriers can come up with a solution that will prevent spoofing and spam calls. The FCC and others have been looking for ways to address this, but, so far, we’ve just had to twiddle our thumbs waiting for them to act.


I don’t know if my phone has been hacked, but

From Janice on April 23, 2018 :: 8:43 am

The screen will shake after I press the home button from viewing text messages, I’ve sent myself emails from websites (apparently. I haven’t actually done that. It just says that I’ve sent them to myself), and I was followed from work two weeks ago. The phone in question was one that I purchased for my ex to use for Lyft in October of last year. He tried to stab me and was sent to jail. I received the phone from his sister (as Maryland put him under a no contact restraining order) and it’s been really bizarre since. My WiFi router now has a zebra installed in it, my location is always tracked even though I disabled it. My current boyfriend thought I was bananas until the police escorted me home on the night I was followed from work. I tried to sell one of my televisions (as I never use it) and a district attorney from Maryland started following the items I was selling. Everyone interested in the television had literally no information about them anywhere online and, if they did, it was always linked back to law enforcement. I can find no information about the case online or my ex boyfriend aside from the fact that he was charged initially unless I search from a different device. This is literally driving me nuts. I just want to live peacefully. I go to work and come home. I’m afraid to leave my apartment or go out and do anything unless someone else is with me. I’m scared of everything. I don’t know what to do.



From RYAN on May 02, 2018 :: 12:43 am


I was one of the first people to mention gangstalking on this, and a related posted. I had a victim of gangstalking since late 2011. I’m happy to tell everyone, and all the TI’s out there that I don’t think I’m being stalked anymore. I’m no longer hearing the voices. I may have found the way out.

I’m going to be honest and say that I was using meth during the time I was being stalked. And I’m no longer using. However, if you’re. TI, you probably know that it’s easy for people to blame your being stalked on mental illness, or if you use drugs, they can say it’s paranoia, or psychosis. And hey maybe some of it is. BUT, if you’re a true TI, you know what you’re experiencing. And I know what I was dealing with for 7 years.

If you’re a TI, you’re probably a good person. Someone with empathy. A person that cares about the things, and people in this world that others don’t. An exceptional person in many ways. However you’re probably also engaging in some kind of deep sin. KEEP READING. Haha, I know you think some holy roller thing is coming now. But let me tell you, if you do what I’m telling you, the voices will probably stop. As will the stalking.

I have come to the very real reality, that there is a heavy demonic involvement in Gangstalking. If you’re a TI, and you’re using drugs, and or engaging in sexual immorality, or walking in any known sin. Ask God for help in turning away from the sin and to him. Then stop using or walking in that sin. Your withdrawals, and cravings for the drug, or the sin you were walking in will go away. The voices and the stalking will go with them. I know for a 100% fact that all the voices I was hearing were demons now.  Because it was all made known to me by them, and God. Go to God with sin and he will help you turn from it. I’m now months off the drugs and sin and I have not had a craving for the drug since day 3 of quitting. If I even think about the drug my stomach turns. That amazing. I will never use again. He will do it for you too. Drugs, sex, ego, pride whatever it is. He will straighten you out in amazing ways

Understand TI’s, there is a reason you’ve come under attack. And you’re probably trying to figure out exactly why. You’re probably thinking why a good person like you would be getting targeted. Well, it’s because you have a purpose. And you’ve been targeted by God himself. He’s trying to turn you from your sin, and you bring you to him. He will humble you, and let you see you will not be able to overcome this on your own, until you reach out to him.

I did, and I’m now addiction, lust, and gangstalking free.

I challenge you to do it, and prove me wrong.


I believe u 💯👏

From BlowNminds on May 18, 2019 :: 12:58 am

Makes sense, not to mention I had the same thoughts on the subject for many years now. I like to believe God wants to save as many as possible during these dark days but it is also possible for some cases anyways, man playing God. The technology is there, the drugs and mental interferance that goes along with allows the paranoia and victim Ripe for the taking. Possibly it could be both at same time as well. Regardless I agree you speak truth that I share, which needs to continuously reshared as often as possible.


Gang Stalkers are Demonic

From Targeted 2 on March 06, 2021 :: 5:36 pm

I can agree with you on your findings… with some additional comments. The 1st time I attempted to rid myself of them by turning to God & reading the bible.. It got WAY WAY WORSE 1ST.. before it got better. As if I was “poking the bear” so to speak, & the bear poked BACK! But becuz I get a response I stuck with it.. & although they stalking didn’t stop, the tormentive part did. I went about my way, moved & purchased a mobile home and was fixing it up to flip it, when suddenly it all started up again. Here, my Christianity was apparently bothersome to the 28 Jehovah’s Witness’ who went to The Hall with our landlord. They tormented me relentlessly. I prayed daily to no avail from the break ins, damages & every single device hacked to high heaven! (Pardon the pun). But not being attacked spiritually, or mentally. Corruption prevailed still tho, with an illegal evictions after no notice for a hearing. I decided this was becuz I knew I really was meant to move out of Pennsylvania. So I did. I had almost 2 years of peace b4 renting a lot for my RV in a 55+ park near the beach in Florida. Once again, I caught this landlord being corrupt also. Charging all the single women an extra $20 more & pocketing it! The break-ins were like clockwork EVERY TIME I LEFT! The hacking of every device also. Damages to my RV, property & devices now exceed $6000, not including financial losses from destruction of my online sales business. ONCE AGAIN I WAS ILLEGALLY EVICTED 11/14/20 WHILE FL. GOV & PRES. TRUMP SAID I WAS PROTECTED DURING COVID! ONCE AGAIN NO NOTICE OF THE HEARING!
I have come to the realizations, that I am a psychic sensitive. I am aware of things others don’t even believe in. THAT is what makes me a higher end target. Although, I believe.. (hold your pants) that EVERYONE is being subject to this. They just don’t realize it. & it is those of us who can SEE.. that become BULLSEYES. None the less they cannot make my ears ring, get anxiety, get frantic, have nightmares, nothing spiritual. But they still can do things that others would call coincidence. Flat tires. Propane leaks. Broke water lines. & of course HACKING!!! Etc. I am now homeless (in my RV) and the phone I purchased 5 weeks ago was hacked in a record 8 days. Attempting a hard reset it says “Cannot unmount system partition… Access Denied”. While on Google help a red box appeared “Custom ROM not Play Protect certified. Contact developer” I am being denied my Constitutional and 1st Amendment Rights!! for the pursuit of happiness (running my own business) & privacy to complete my patents on 2 mega ideas. One which could eliminate 80% of plastic use. If I knew it’d work.. Id give my left toes to have a secure phone and laptop. I swear. I just don’t see that ever being a reality. I cant even get Norton 360 Lifelike to install!!
We are The Witnesses. Don’t ever forget it. We will be here on their judgement day. So forgive, but NEVER FORGET.


I feel like that was for me

From TiffC on June 23, 2022 :: 4:53 pm

Hit it riight on the nail. I feel that was just for me. It’s amazing how reaching out the way you did, gave me confermation. Now I just need to act accordingly. Thank you and I hope all is still well with you. I really want to be TI


Spied/Stalked on for 4 years

From Michelle Jackson on May 05, 2018 :: 9:31 pm

Finally! I’ve found a forum that can assist me!! I have bought new phones iPhones android had over 100 email addresses, Facebook addresses taken over… vpns dont help… nor does malwarebytes.. sophos… etc.  None of them…


Reply back to Michelle Jackson

From W on March 15, 2021 :: 6:26 pm

Your not alone! Same thing you mentioned is same thing I been victimized by for the past 4 years! I have bought up to 7 different phones and have went through 3 laptops during these past 4 years. It’s still has not stopped! Every time the compromising gets so bad you get to point you cannot live another day like this so i go by another new phone and new phone service, 4 to 6 weeks later, they are in my device again; repeating the same steps or patterns all over again. I lost countless Facebook accounts and Google accounts-all social media accounts due to someone changing passwords,etc. Moreless, I have an abnormal amount of notebooks I completely used up from constantly having to keep changing passwords and forced to,endlessly,keep having to create new accounts! Photos, files, documents, etc continually disappears, sharing of files I did not ever share, settings being changed i did not change, my data runs way to high in apps I have not opened or mobile hotspot data shows it’s used up when I never got the chance to use it, bank accounts showing transactions I did not do, credit report showing loans & credit cards taken out under my name that did not belong to me! To many issues to mention! I performed different background checks on myself & my family to look for signs of identity theft & resulted in disturbing info, (For example, people listed as your inner circle closest relatives that are not related to you) that should not be on any of your background info including background showing prior addresses that you never lived at!! If anyone ever suspects their identity has been compromised, be sure to obtain copy of all 3 credit reports that belongs to you &
retrieve a background check of yourself! These reports will tell you everything you need to know if you suspect identity fraud! People take their privilege of having privacy for granted! People also do not have absolutely no clue how important privacy is until it is completely taken away from you! Your whole environment in your life becomes controlled by somebody using corceive control, gaslighting, & defamation! You beg for help and help never comes! You just want to break free and you want your life back! Hope becomes nothing but dismissive! You go to the police & get police report but nothing still does not get better! Who else can you go to for help if no help ever comes from law enforcement??


I think my phone is hacked

From Beth on May 06, 2018 :: 5:08 pm

My question is I think my boy friend hacked my phone but not sure , he knew all the people I was talking to on messanger , is this possible?


Did you follow the steps above?

From Josh Kirschner on May 07, 2018 :: 11:06 am

You can use the steps above to determine if your phone has been hacked and what to do about it. However, it may have nothing to do with your phone - not clear which messenger app you’re referring to, but if he has or an guess your login credentials for that, then he would be able ot see all of your conversations.


Possible hack

From Lucy Sandoval on May 07, 2018 :: 2:21 pm

Ok so I had a missed call, when I called the number back it began to ring, then I noticed the same number i was dialing was now calling me. I hung up and tried calling thE number and the same thing happeded. So I then called from a land line and now,my cell phone was the number I call had my cell ringing. I’ve since powered my phone off. Any suggestions on whAt to do?


No, not really sure what's causing that

From Josh Kirschner on May 07, 2018 :: 4:38 pm

Haven’t heard of that situation before, but it doesn’t sound like any type of “hack”. If I had to guess (and I am taking a guess). whomever you are calling has a set up that recognizes your caller ID and forwards the call back. Can’t explain why calling from your landline would ring your cell unless those numbers were connected in your system. It’s a weird situation that almost sounds more like a prank than a scam. Did you try Google searching the number to see what comes up?


I received a confirmation message from Google verification ,I give that code to my friend my wa

From Karthik Bathini on May 09, 2018 :: 12:43 pm

Hii ,I received a confirmation code from Google tell a code to my friend my phone was hacked or not


Hacked once. Need info and suggestions

From Maria on May 10, 2018 :: 8:49 am

Was hacked before and lost 3 emails! Now I signed in to retrieve a code only to access my YouTube account on a different device and I’m seeing little details that made me concerned! So changed all information on main email that possibly could, and dropped 2nd email that had access to email that is possibly being used by another. Also detached my email from it! Any suggestions what I may do to secure email I have in use and any security app for Android because I own my phone and also carrier provided app did NOT stop hacking on last 3 emails! Thanks!


Here's how to deal with email hacking

From Josh Kirschner on May 10, 2018 :: 10:35 am

It’s not clear to me why you think your email was hacked. But if you’re concerned, we have an article that specifically deals with email hacking and how to protect yourself.


Please help me my phones

From OkaDlaba on May 11, 2018 :: 9:35 am

Please help me my phones has been hacked my numbe r is 0734258972 and the other one is 066 209 4190


Random stuff keep happening

From AlienMan33 on May 13, 2018 :: 2:58 pm

i need some help, when i went on my tablet yesterday i was seeing some random stuff happening on my tablet, Google Voice Text (whatever it’s called) randomly starts up, volume randomly moves left to right. And at one point i heard a female bot voice saying “Your internet connection isn’t safe for the time being” idk if that is normal or if that could be a hacker or virus, i downloaded Malwarebytes and scanned, there were 2 risky stuff. One was a application i downloaded (which did not give me a virus at all) and a random file i did not know. Please tell me how to fix this! It maybe gone but it might come back or it might still be there, also at my time zone it occured in the midnight at 2 or 3 AM. But in the morning it did not happen. I though it might have been my tablet cover so i took it off in the morning and nothing strange happened. I am gonna go on my tablet again at some time and see if it happens again, if so then i will remove the cover and see if it stops working. If not then it might be a glitch in the hard drive or it could be a hacker or virus


Doesn't sound like hacking.

From Josh Kirschner on May 14, 2018 :: 12:27 pm

It’s hard to interpret what you’re describing without seeing it, but doesn’t sound like hacking. If I had to guess, it’s possible you may have gotten a malicious popup window while browsing that was mimicking issues and trying to get you to buy some scam “antimalware”. However, that really is just a guess. It’s definitely not an issue related to your tablet cover.

I would suggest downloading Lookout Security and giving that a shot on your tablet to see what it finds. (Malwarebytes is great for PCs, less so for mobile). If it finds nothing, I wouldn’t worry unless it happens again.


Sprint hijacks my phone

From Micki on May 16, 2018 :: 12:03 am

I have an lg treasure.Straightalk with verizon as the carrier.Most of the time i try to make a call and an automated message says Sprint will now connect you to continue your call with a crdei card or pin number.I turn phone off then back on this on occasion allows me to use phone again,but not often.friends tell me they call and it just rings.text messages wont send.I have called straight talk daily about this.There is always a triangle in the top of phone where time n date is supposed to mean my phone is roaming.i disabled roam.the only place i can call is Sprint.i explained my problem,they cant help because i am not a customer,yet they have control of my phone about 80 percent of the time.Straightalks suggestion is to call them when the problem is occuring duh i can only cal sprint when problem is occuring.please help me.


This is a Verizon problem, not Sprint

From Josh Kirschner on May 16, 2018 :: 7:26 am

Your phone should be defaulting to Verizon’s network unless it is unavailable - that is the only time your phone should go to Sprint. You should be able to force it to only use Verizon in the phone settings. Try this: Under Network & Internet, Mobile Network, there is the roaming switch, which it sounds like you have already turned off, but that only affects data. To change your voice roaming options, hit Advanced and turn off “Automatically select network”. Then, under Network, select Verizon.

Let me know if that works.


Sprint hijacks my phone

From Micki on May 16, 2018 :: 9:48 am

Tried your advice.under mobile networks i have 3 data,data roaming or access point names.under access point names there is one line it says:TRACFONEVZWENTP.there was a blue cirle lit by it.i could not do anything with this so i chose the three dot menu in upper right corner chose reset to default.the blue circle is grey now.briefly sprint will grab my phone but the triangle dissapears after a minute or the problem is solved a little bit.I did go into every setting i could and turned off anything that allowed roaming or location.Since it is still a problem it maybe time for new phone and ditch it possible for my neighbors netgear wifi extender to be my problem.twice when a text wouldnt send it gave error code97 or 93.(i cannot remember)but when i looked it up that error code said i was using my phone close to a wifi extender.i am not on my neighbors extender they gave me thier code but i chose not to use stuff is so confusing to me


This is something that Straight Talk needs to resolve

From Josh Kirschner on May 16, 2018 :: 2:46 pm

This isn’t an issue with Sprint “hijacking” your phone. It’s your phone connecting to the Sprint network.  My guess is that you are outside the Verizon coverage area and you phone is finding the Sprint network and trying to connect (which is not allowed under your Straight Talk plan). Does this always happen in one place (e.g., home) or all over? If the former, it may be that Verizon isn’t the right network for you. If it’s all over, this is something Straight Talk support needs to resolve, as it may be an issue with your device settings.

I don’t see how your neighbor’s Wi-Fi extender would impact your texting.

I accidently tapped the section

From Micki on May 16, 2018 :: 1:07 pm

I accidently tapped the section to not recieve so hoping by sending this it puts me back in .i did try your advice and sent you the results but not sure if i replied in the proper place.hope so.thanks for helping such a person who finds this technology confusing but neccesary


Thanks for your help Josh.It

From Micki on May 16, 2018 :: 2:55 pm

Thanks for your help Josh.It occurs at home.I have lived there 6 years,this has been going on for 2 months .I have had same phone number but different phones.this phone i have had for a year.straightalk is supposed to be sending me a phone or shipping label to send this back not real sure in what order because thier accent was hard for me to understand


Was I hacked I dont know what to do?

From David Chance Snyder on May 16, 2018 :: 12:49 pm

I have a galaxy s9+ what’s the best way to check my phone to see if I my phone has been hacked?? Thanks


Use tips in article above

From Josh Kirschner on May 16, 2018 :: 1:10 pm

The galaxy S9+ is no different than any other Android device as far as checking for hacking. You can follow the tips in the article above (especially #1) and follow those steps. Unless you have a specific reason why you think your phone may have been hacked, it’s highly unlikely that you have been, but having a mobile security app on your phone is always a smart idea.


Comments and your response

From Anne Stone on December 18, 2021 :: 7:31 pm

Hi,for an article such as you wrote,I am not sure why nearly every concern people have as writing in, you have minimized. More than one professional private eye has stated it IS happening.


I'm analyzing, not minimizing

From Josh Kirschner on December 23, 2021 :: 10:21 am

Phones absolutely can be hacked. And there are some particularly insidious spyware apps easily available online that I know from direct experience people have been impacted by. I’ve covered these in depth in other articles.

But the fear of being hacked is not the same as the reality of being hacked. Where there is reason to believe your phone may have been hacked because of your personal situation or specific indicators in your device’s operation, then it is prudent to follow the steps I outline in the article (and that’s exactly what I suggested in my comment above).

However, in many cases, what people are describing in the comments is either not a sign of hacking or is extraordinarily unlikely/improbable. And that is the professional opinion I am providing.


From BOB on January 15, 2021 :: 11:38 pm

TRY; “Have I been pawned?”


Why people hack phones and

From Mike Fernandez on May 17, 2018 :: 2:21 am

Why people hack phones and emails


I think my phone was hacked but not confirmed

From Kavi on May 23, 2018 :: 3:54 am

Suddenly vidoes stoped and playing and sudden hang pop up like suddenly ui system has stopped


Please help !!

From Scott on May 24, 2018 :: 2:39 am

I think my email.account has been hacked through my phone and I need to know how to stop it.


Hacked call

From Stacey on May 27, 2018 :: 5:31 pm

Is it possible for a hacker to hack a phone call and leave that call open without the people realizing it? I had called a friend on morning and talk to her for a while but later when looking at the call log realize that the call was open for almost 7 hours. I am asking because my phone was hacked and several text and photos were pulled from my phone .  They were used to do some damage not really to me but to the guy that was in the text and pictures and his girlfriend. I know never should put anything in pictures that you don’t want out it was stupid but I’m just wondering if it’s possible. Can a phone call be hijacked like that?


When I look at my

From ImTechChallenged on June 04, 2018 :: 2:18 pm

When I look at my location while using Google on my android device I am often times not in the location provided. For example it will say you are logged in “near Los Angeles or Lynwood or some other So.Cal city. I’m in Arizona. Is that anything to be concerned about? Just wondering if my phone is compromised. TechChallenged. Thank you


Likely not a concern.

From Josh Kirschner on June 04, 2018 :: 2:56 pm

If you are not using GPS on your device to allow Google to track your location, it will do so using cellular and/or Wi-Fi networks. In many cases, Wi-Fi networks will be identified as the central hub, rather than a precise location. So you may be in Arizona, but the hub of the network you’re using where the IP address is registered may be in southern California. See this article for ways to improve the accuracy of your location on Android devices:


Is anyone can hack our

From Ashish sharma on June 16, 2018 :: 4:31 pm

Is anyone can hack our mobile by knowing only our contact number..??
If yes…then how we can protect our phone..


That's not quite correct

From Josh Kirschner on June 20, 2018 :: 4:10 pm

No one can “hack” your phone just by knowing your contact number (Well, okay, it’s theoretically possible, but would likely involve a national spy/police agency specifically targeting your device in conjunction with a device manufacturer. Let’s assume you’re not that major crime figure or high profile politician). You could be “monitored” with the SS7 vulnerability or StingRay. But that’s likely to only be used by spy agencies/law enforcement on specific targets.

None of those threats are things that should keep normal people up at night. But if they do, we provide ways to protect yourself in the article above.


facebook messenger customer service

From shiwakant mishra on June 21, 2018 :: 4:23 am

The time when i had got forgotten my facebook password
and also security questions I tried everything but not got
solution at last i had contacted to facebook
professionals and finally recovered my facebook account,


Facebook Account

From KB on March 04, 2019 :: 10:54 am

Do you remember “how” you contacted Facebook professionals?
I am also a victim of hacking on my iPhone. Seemed as if hackers got in through apps? My bank account, my apps like Verizon, FB, Instagram etc
  I have changed banks, routers, factory resets, called Apple so many times.
  I finally just gave up as Police do nothing. Doesn’t matter if I have two factor code on as hacker gets to it first and by the time I type it in the “code” doesn’t work etc
  But I SO want to get my FB back. In the last year and a half I have lost my 31 year old Son and 10 months later my husband. I had a lot of friends on FB and they all have posted things and I want to thank them and read their messages. So important to me for my healing. Can you please tell me where and how to contact FB?  I have tried and then they want a copy of my passport or drivers license? I don’t think so!!  Thanking you in advance for ANY help you can give me.
  FB has so much History and many messages that I need desperately.



From Ala on June 26, 2018 :: 6:40 pm

I was trying to watch a movie when I was taken to this weird link that showed an explicit image and said my phone has been hacked. It kept trying to call me and it would not let me click the home button to leave the site. Finally I just restarted my phone. What should I do? Was I really hacked?


No, you weren't hacked

From Josh Kirschner on July 03, 2018 :: 1:12 pm

From the description, it sounds like you experienced a malicious ad redirect, not a hack. This is a method where unscrupulous companies exploit the JavaScript used to serve ads on websites which can redirect the user to another site or create those annoying pop-ups that can’t be closed. If the scammer site isn’t letting you leave, the easiest thing to to is to just close the browser tab - no need to restart your phone.

While you’re more likely to experience this on questionable sites which use shady ad networks, it can happen on any site, including ours, if some evil-doer manages to get past to ad screening for Google Adsense or another major ad network used by major publications.


Help me please.

From Richard Trekell on June 27, 2018 :: 9:10 am

My phone is acting really weird. I think it must of been hacked can u help me?


Hacked help

From Jayson Collin Underwood on July 02, 2018 :: 7:34 am

So I have noticed all
Of a sudden there is a clicking sound through out every phone call this has never happened before
I keep turning find my iPhone and every time I go back into it it’s always switched on
I have noticed recently that messages and notifications pop up but when I go into it they disappear
My Apple Music just lost all what I had then next minute it had a whole selection of song I hate and have never downloaded
Please help
If there is a way to catch them out or sever the connection
And also have just noticed that my phone isn’t doing face recognition on downloading from iTunes or the App Store
I have a feeling I may no who it is
No proof


Hacked bad

From Concerned on July 11, 2018 :: 7:27 am

So.. someone managed to get into all our devices. 2 phones a tablet and
2 computers. I had strange numbers call daily from all over the US. Some didnt say where they originated.  I never answered but the would leave VOICEMAIL And only say my name sounded like different ppl everytime. They changed administrative control on my comp and set up a guest account which went unnoticed for a long time. Erased my gmail inbox or denied me access. Blatently set up a very obvious soundbar which would move if we spoke recording from every Bluetooth device we had. Ads sites and ppp ups pertaining to conversations or relate to something relevant in our lives freauently.setting were constantly restored after my restrictions or just no longer availble to change. I could not factory reset my tablet at all. Had to shut down everything. Unplug devices modems amd routers and completely replace them. Get new phones and numbers. Things seemed fine but my boyfriend swears its happening again. Someone sent a picture to my boyfriend from my Facebook account which wasnt me.
I think i know who it is but dont know why. They are known to is and have made remarks in convos that they should not know. What do we do if its happening again. They are shady for sure and live on our street.


Same happened

From Sue on May 04, 2021 :: 10:12 pm

I have had same happen with a group of people. They remark or repeat stuff spoken in private phone conversations or through text. Step kids and few others.
How to secure a phone so I may have privacy back


tip https

From ann on August 18, 2018 :: 3:33 am

More on phone


Implantables are here and dangerous as You know what!

From deana on August 24, 2018 :: 10:31 am

You did not mention reversing electric signals using unacknowledged and stolen implantable technology used by criminals for harassment mind sabotage and information gathering through computer and reversed spy listening! Criminals figured out how to use the old “Spy cat 2-way war implants” now they are updated and anyone could have them and being stalked followed listened to and even being spied on and or robbed right under their nose but through their own body! Read Nano Implants want to and this stuff is sold everywhere over the internet even in E-bay and all they have to do is hire a doctor to put them in! Dentally or surgically without your knowledge! and they think no-one can hear them because it is an internal real implantable 2-way spy implant1


I was hacked by jealous boyfriend

From Candace on August 25, 2018 :: 1:52 pm

My phone was taken from me while I was pretending to be asleep. He did a free 5 day trial and could track my every move, see inbound and outbound texts as well as phone calls and all social media. He told me after the free five day trial was up he quit tracking me from that spy crap. How do I know for sure that I’m not being hacked,stalked, recorded and most importantly he can erase everything in my phone if he wanted to. Please help


Help Required Please

From Rayhan on September 04, 2018 :: 3:59 am

i am using huawei P10lite, i just saw an email id
add in setting>accounts without my consent.
i dont how its add in.
my mobile is protected with bio metric security

please help me out


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