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How to Tell if Your Phone Has Been Hacked

by on February 15, 2023
in Privacy, Phones and Mobile, Mobile Apps, Tips & How-Tos :: 729 comments

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Updated by Suzanne Kantra on 2/15/2023 with new research and interviews with Keatron Evans, Principal Security Advisor at Infosec Institute, Sachin Puri, Vice President of Marketing at McAfee, and Jakub Vavra, Threat Analyst at Avast.

From email to banking, our smartphones are the main hub of our online lives. No wonder 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.

There are three main types of threats faced by mobile users: malware apps, adware, and spyware. According to the McAfee 2022 Mobile Threat Report, mobile malware apps are mainly masquerading as gaming hacks, cryptomining, and messaging apps to gather account logins, charge fees for bogus services, and sign users up for premium text services. In its 2022 State of Malware Report, MalwareBytes reported a rise in aggressive adware – ads that appear in notifications, the lock screen, and in popups – and highlights the fact that preinstalled malware on inexpensive Android devices continues to be a serious problem. Spyware is software 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 unintentionally downloaded from non-official sources that people visit in phishing links sent via email or text messages, as well as malicious websites.

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

There are technological means and motives for hackers, governments, and even the people we know, such as a spouse or employer, to hack into our phones and invade our privacy. However, 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.

Not sure if you may have been hacked? We spoke to Keatron Evans, principal security advisor for Infosec Institute, Sachin Puri, Vice President of Marketing at McAfee, and Jakub Vavra, Threat Analyst at Avast, about how to tell if a smartphone might have been compromised. And, we explore the nine ways your phone can be hacked and the steps you can take to protect yourself.

What are the 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 significantly decreased battery life. This is because the malware – or spy app – may be using your phone's resources to scan the device and transmit the information back to the hacker's server.

(That said, simple everyday use over time can also shorten your phone's battery life. 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 specific applications crashing? This could be a sign that malware is overloading your phone’s resources or interfering with other applications. You may also experience continued running of applications despite efforts to close them, or even have your phone crash and/or restart repeatedly.

(As with reduced battery life, many factors could contribute to a slower phone. One main contributor can be running out of storage space, so try freeing up space on your Android or iPhone.)

3. Phone feels hot when not using or charging it

Malware or apps, like bitcoin miners, running in the background can cause your phone to run hot or even overheat, according to Vavra. If your phone feels hot to the touch and it's not in use or on your charger, it could be a sign that malware is present. Try turning your phone off and on to see if the problem goes away. If not, there may be cause for concern.

4. High data usage

Another sign of a compromised phone is an unusually high data bill or running out of data before the end of the month. Extra data use can come from malware or spy apps running in the background and sending information back to their server.

For iPhones, go to Settings > Cellular and scroll down to see the list of apps using cellular data. You can check the current and last billing periods.

For plain Android phones (Google Pixels phones), go to Settings > Network & Internet > SIMs > App data usage. For Samsung phones, go to Settings > Connections > Data usage > Mobile data usage. Or, search for "data usage" in the search bar of the Settings app.

5. Outgoing calls or texts you didn’t send

If you see 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.

6. Mystery pop-ups and apps

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, pop-ups coming from external sources can include phishing links that attempt to get you to type in sensitive info or download malware.

You may also find apps on your phone that you didn't download and could be signs malware has been installed on your device. If you don't recall downloading the app, you can press and hold on the app icon (Android) and click on the option for App info. Scroll down and the App details section will tell you were the app was installed from (should be Google Play Store). Click on App details to go to the Google Play Store, where you can check the app is a legitimate app from a trustworthy developer. For Apple owners, go to the App Store and tap on your profile icon, select Purchased > My Purchases, and search for the app name.

7. Unusual activity on any accounts linked to the device

If a hacker has access to your phone, they also have access to your 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, signing up for new accounts whose verification emails land in your inbox, or moving emails to trash that you don’t remember seeing (especially those verification emails).

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.

How your phone can be hacked and what you can do to prevent it

From targeted breaches and vendetta-fueled snooping to harvesting data from the unsuspecting, here are nine 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, others are marketed as legitimate tools 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.

Techlicious has studied consumer cell phone spying apps and 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 their every move was being tracked. Commercial spyware programs, like Pegasus, sold to law enforcement and government agencies (including in countries with poor human rights histories), don't even require direct access to the device.

“The purpose of spyware is to be undetectable. Generally, if it's sophisticated, it may be very difficult to detect,” says Vavra.


Spyware apps are not available on Google Play or Apple's App Store. So someone would have to jailbreak your iPhone or enable unauthorized apps on your Android phone and download the spyware from a non-official store. Parental monitoring apps, which are available in Google Play and the App Store, have similar features for tracking and monitoring, but they aren't designed to be hidden from view.

How to protect yourself

  • Since installing spy apps requires 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 a 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 in the App Library. 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. For iPhones, ensuring your 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 into the App Store. The easiest way to tell if your iPhone has been jailbroken is the existence of an alternate app store, like Cydia or Sileo. They may be hidden, so search for them. If you find one, you'll need to restore your phone to factory settings. Back up your phone and then go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
  • If you have an Android phone, go to Settings and search for "install unknown apps" and make sure all sources are set to off.
  • Download a mobile security app that will scan for rogue apps. We recommend Avast, Bitdefender, or McAfee.

2. Phishing messages

Whether it’s a text claiming to help you recover a package or a friend exhorting you to "check out this photo of you last night", text messages containing deceptive links that aim to collect 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 concerns over their tax returns. You'll also see a rise after natural disasters, asking people to donate.

Android phones may also fall prey to texts with links to download malicious apps. Android won't allow you to install apps from sources outside the Play Store unless you change your install permissions in Settings to allow unknown app, so it's safest to always keep these set to "Not allowed". The same scam isn’t workable for iPhones, which are commonly non-jailbroken and, therefore, can’t download apps from anywhere except the App Store.


Quite likely. While people have learned to be skeptical of emails asking them to click links, people tend to be less wary when using 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 provide your password or PIN via text message or email.
  • 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 in texts from numbers you don’t know or in unusual messages from friends.

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, contacts, location, messages, call logs, and saved passwords. This information can be used for phishing or blackmail.

Additionally, access to your Google account means access to your Gmail, the primary email for many users. The ability to use your email for verification codes to your accounts can lead to a domino effect of hacking all the accounts your email is linked to – from your Facebook account to your mobile carrier account, paving the way for identity theft.


If you use a weak password, it won’t be difficult for a hacker to gain access to your account.

How to protect yourself

  • Create a strong password for all your accounts (and, as always, your email). We recommend using a password manager so you can use strong passwords without needing to memorize them. Password managers can also generate strong passwords, making the process even easier.
  • Enable login notifications, so you are aware of sign-ins from new computers or locations.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) so that even if someone discovers your password, they can’t access your account without access to your 2FA method.
  • To prevent someone from resetting your password, lie when setting up password security questions. You would be amazed by how many security questions rely on information that is easily available on the Internet or is widely known by family and friends.

4. SIM swapping

Last year, the FBI announced that it saw a significant rise in SIM swapping complaints. With SIM swapping, cybercriminals 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, including virtual currency accounts.


SIM swapping is not common, but it is on the rise.

How to protect yourself

  • Make sure you have your cellular account protected by an account passcode. Don’t use guessable numbers for your carrier PIN – like your birthday or family birthdays, all of which could be found on social media.
  • For AT&T, log into your AT&T account, select Account settings > Linked accounts > Manage extra security and make sure "Extra security" is checked in the Account Passcode tile.
  • For T-Mobile, log into your T-Mobile account with the T-Mobile app and select Account > Profile Settings > Privacy and notifications > SIM protection, and toggle on SIM protection for your accounts and select "Save Changes."
  • For Verizon, log into your Verizon account with the Verizon app. Select Account Settings > Number Lock and toggle on for all of your accounts and select "Save Changes."

5. Hacked phone camera

The prevalence of video calling has highlighted the importance of securing computer webcams from hackers – but that front-facing phone cam could also be at risk. To gain access to your phone's camera, hackers would need to have the ability to run software remotely in a remote code execution (RCE) attack. In 2021, a vulnerability found in Qualcomm and MediaTek chips used in two-thirds of all phones sold that year put people at risk of RCE attacks, including streaming video from the phone's camera. This vulnerability was quickly patched, but RCE vulnerabilities regularly crop up, including Apple's recent update to old iPad and iPhones.


While RCE vulnerabilities continue to be a problem, cameras are not usually the target. Hacking is unlikely unless someone has physical access to install an app on your phone.

How to protect yourself

Always download security updates for all apps and your device.

6. Apps that over-request permissions

While many apps over-request permissions for the purpose of data harvesting, some may be more malicious and request intrusive access to everything from your location data to your camera roll. Puri notes that "Cheating tools and hacking apps are popular ways to get extra capabilities in mobile games. Criminals are exploiting this by promoting game hacking apps that include malicious code on legitimate messaging channels." Other types of apps that have been known to deliver malware include camera filters, photo editors, and messaging apps. And last year, McAfee identified a group of "cleaner apps" that purportedly removed unneeded files or optimized battery life, but actually installed malware on millions of devices.


It's common to run into apps that over-request permissions.

How to protect yourself

  • Read app permissions and avoid downloading apps that request more access than they should need to operate.
  • For Android, download a mobile security app such as Avast, Bitdefender, or McAfee that will scan apps before downloading and flag suspicious activity on apps you do have.

7. Snooping via open WiFi networks

The next time you happen upon a password-free WiFi network in public, be careful. Nefarious public hotspots can redirect you to lookalike banking or email sites designed to capture your username and password. It's not necessarily a shifty manager of the establishment you’re frequenting who's behind the ruse. For example, someone physically across the road from a coffee shop could set up a login-free WiFi network named after the café in hopes of catching useful login details for sale or identity theft.


If you're using a legitimate public WiFi network, Vavra says that "there are now enough safeguards it [snooping] shouldn't be too much of an issue." Most websites use HTTPS to encrypt your data, making it worthless to snoopers.

How to protect yourself

  • Use the apps on your phone to access email, banking, etc., rather than your browser, and you will be protected against malicious redirects.
  • Vavra says that "VPN adds another layer of encryption and essentially creates a more secure tunnel between the user and the website. While HTTPS only covers the communication data, VPN encrypts all data sent and can be used to change user location as perceived by the website or service the user is communicating with. So even the ISP (Internet provider) doesn’t see what is sent." Paid versions of mobile security apps often include a VPN, and we like Nord VNP and, for a free option, Proton VPN.

8. SS7 global phone network vulnerability

A communication protocol for 2G and 3G mobile networks, Signaling System No 7 (SS7), has a vulnerability that lets hackers spy on text messages, phone calls, and locations. The security issues have been well-known for years, and hackers have exploited this hole to intercept two-factor authentication (2FA) codes sent via SMS from banks. According to Evans, his method could also be used to impersonate a user's identity by spoofing their MSISDN or IMSI number, intercept calls, locate the user, commit billing fraud, and launch a Denial of Service (DoS) attack, which could bring down the network.


Evens says that the likelihood is pretty low of experiencing this type of hack. The major U.S. carriers have shut down their 3G service, and Evans estimates that only about 17 percent of the world still uses 2G or 3G networks.

How to protect yourself

  • Choose email or (safer yet) an authenticator app as your 2FA method, instead of text message. We like Authy and Google Authenticator.
  • Use an end-to-end encrypted message service that works over the internet (thus bypassing the SS7 protocol). WhatsApp and Signal encrypt messages and calls, preventing anyone from intercepting or interfering with your communications.
  • Keep your device updated.
  • If you want to be extra careful, Evans suggests, "If you're traveling abroad, get a cheap phone that you can almost use as a disposable and get rid of it when you get back or getting ready to return."

9. Fake cellular towers, like the 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 ISMI 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 half a mile, an attempt to monitor a suspect’s phone in a crowded city center could amount to tens of thousands of phones being tapped.

The American Civil Liberties Union has identified over 75 federal agencies in over 27 states that own StingRay-type devices but notes that this number is likely a drastic underestimate. In 2015, the Department of Justice started requiring its agencies to obtain warrants for using StingRay-type devices, but this guidance doesn't apply to local and state authorities. Several states have passed legislation requiring a warrant for use, including California, Washington, Virginia, New York, Utah, and Illinois.


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

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. WhatsApp and Signal encrypt messages and calls, preventing anyone from intercepting or interfering with your communications. Most encryption in use today isn’t breakable, and a single phone call would take 10-15 years to decrypt.

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.

[image credit: hacker smartphone concept via BigStockPhoto]

Natasha Stokes has been a technology writer for more than seven 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

i did it now

From henry on April 17, 2021 :: 11:51 pm

Okay I’m in my 50s I was married for over 30 years I got charged with domestic violence and then convicted 3 years later after I served all my probation’s… I happened to go to the house at which I still own and I’m not under any order not to be there and broke into the home but hadn’t been there for three years wasn’t allowed Not In Law’s eyes I don’t think I still own the home and it was no order 2 not answer so I went through a window took a look around the house first and and the alarm went off so I ripped the speakers down and control top so it would not make noise and I checked the rest of the house then I left I was gone for a while I came back for something else the police were there and they wanted to arrest me so I said that they couldn’t they didn’t listen so so I got arrested detained fingerprinted charged with break and Enter Ali destroying public property under $5,000 K that’s my story pretty stupid. How many years in a jail am I going to get for that



From Cinco on April 28, 2021 :: 6:53 am

I rarely read comments or discussions at the bottom of posts/articles etc….
However for some reason I did this morning!
Some of you need to either lay off the meth,and get some sleep,
Or make that follow up appointment with your psychologist/mental health evaluator.
I could hear the hallmark- rapid, forced, and transient speech, take over in a few of those rambling dissertations. If your comment requires me to scroll 2 or more times, you probably need to reevaluate some key factors in your life. Such as sharing… As in, sharing too much. What’s appropriate, what’s not… validity and substance (are you driving home a point that is relevant to the article and discussion or burdening others with your ranting and psycho babble bull sh**?) Ik I came to read an informative article about digital security- and that is it.


Cinco you're on METH? WHAT,!!

From Not crazy. Too SMART on May 05, 2021 :: 4:30 am

IDK . this page is filled with a “certain” group of people who are..  AWAKENED and ARE BEING PUNISHED FOR IT. IDK IF YOU’RE THERE YET ..



From Sue on May 05, 2021 :: 4:54 pm

Thank you for your critique. Thank you for your professional diagnosis and treatment, Dr.


I need help

From Sara on April 30, 2021 :: 1:51 pm

Hello everyone i need help, today when i login to my Gmail i found something strange, one unrecognized device login in my account. its a Samsung S20 5G Ultra i dont use samsung Devices. i removed that device. is my account compromized. need help.


Change your Gmail password and set up 2-factor authentication

From Josh Kirschner on May 04, 2021 :: 10:54 am

Sometimes, Google can be a little unclear whether someone actually accessed your account (i.e., they had the correct login info) or “tried” to access your account (perhaps with login info from another site that was leaked in a breach). If they did access your account, or if you’re just unsure, you should immediately change your Gmail password. I also strongly recommend setting up two factor authentication for Gmail.


Thank You.

From Sara on May 04, 2021 :: 11:07 am

Thank You.


Tearesa Holland I lived upstairs from you!

From Tearesa Holland old neighbor from PA !! on May 05, 2021 :: 5:25 am

Tearesa! This is your namesakes… Spelled different tho! me & my daughter lived upstairs from you! IDK why some comments have reply & some DONT write back home to 5021 Stanton St. its Delphines address!! Where have you been!!! Lets help each other! I’m in sunny Florida now! Last I saw u was across from your d@ds



From Hithesh on May 05, 2021 :: 3:37 pm



Need help

From Zohar on May 06, 2021 :: 2:26 am

I answered a call from an unknown number on my iPhone
As soon as I answered there was no one on the other side
Since then I keep on getting pop up messages that say in all kind of different ways that my battery will stop working or can explode etc
It seems that these messages are not from a legal source as there are written with mistaces and since I don’t do anything they recommend me to do ,like download the antivirus they offer, the messages are send in all sorts of languages
Also all of a sudden my location is Italy even tough I live in Israel
And now the pop up messages are in Italian
And there are changes for example in Netflix my child’s profile is age 7+ or lower and all the presented movies are not fitting his age and the movies we stored in my list are gone and I can’t change it
Please tell me what I can do to fix all these problems and make sure all my devices are safe
I downloaded anti virus and cleaner but also that doesn’t salve anything
I am waiting hours on this and this is very frustrating


Need help

From kko on May 06, 2021 :: 1:35 pm

I received my debit card last Friday. Then I used my iPhone (safari) to unblock my card. On Sunday, my card was used to purchase a Netflix account. I didn’t use my card, neither left my house. I already canceled my card, but I’m worried now. Is it possible that my iPhone is hacked? Or only my safari? I already changed my passwords, what else should I do to stop that? Please help.


I believe I've been targeted. I need help!

From James on May 08, 2021 :: 12:41 am

Since may of last year I’ve been targeted by a hacker or group of hackers. I’ve gone thru over ten devices. I believe their using the android.Obad trojan.  But, I only know what I’ve learned from reading stuff on the internet.  They have gained access thru my blietooth, the DNS, and now the keystring.  They are using this telecommunications SI to force their way in. They use all apache open source licenses for their apks and configuration changes. Its by apache.  I’ve read some of their coding. Its apache.ignite.  then whatever they want
First they take over as as administrator.  Then I’ve looked in each app.  At each system app.  With different explorers.  Their monitoring me.  Recording everything I do.  I’m just a boring retired old person.  Rooting my device is over my head.  They control what info I see.  Its probably wrong.  I just replaced my devices again two weeks ago and they were in them within hrs.  Please help.



My cell has been hacked

From Mike Palacio on May 10, 2021 :: 8:36 am

Ever since I was working at a memory care company this guy was always talking about data and everything and he got a hold of my number and now my whole cell is hacked.A couple of my apps look like Iphone(but yet I have a android S10)
He can see everything and knows where I go….hes even hacked my girlfriends cell and I don’t know what to do.
I would go to the police but idk what would they do they can’t arrest him because there’s no proof so please help…this is getting very annoying.


they won’t let go

From james on May 18, 2021 :: 8:24 am

i have a person using all my emails to hack me, and make me look like i’m stealing from myself.  he’s linked to everything


phones made in China

From Greg on May 23, 2021 :: 8:26 am

Apps aside, my concern is more with firmware. Is it possible that some legitimately-priced phones from smaller Chinese companies like Unihertz are NOT under the thumb of the CCP and NOT sending all kinds of user (in the U.S.) personal data to the CCP’s servers?


Hard to say, but does it matter?

From Josh Kirschner on May 25, 2021 :: 10:17 am

We have never seen any direct evidence that any of the Chinese phone companies are compromised by their relationship with the Chinese government. However, given the strong warnings and actions by the US government, as well as a number of European nations, it does suggest there is evidence out there that is not being released to the public.

The question you should ask yourself, though, is do you care? Government spying of this nature is intended to target political or commercial information valuable to that party. For most of us, the Chinese government could care less what we’re up to. Meanwhile, there are plenty of advertisers, big data companies, social media sites, apps, etc. collecting data about your online and offline activities through perfectly legal means.

Privacy should be a concern for all of us. IMHO, the Chinese government should not be where most people’s concerns should lie.


which method can hack and access mobile camera

From sara on June 05, 2021 :: 4:05 pm

which hacking method or technique can hacker uses to hack and monitor someone camera ? does the only way is by installing spy app ? if mobile is android 6?


does secure screen lock password prevent pyhiscal access hacking

From Sara on June 11, 2021 :: 6:24 am

Hello sorry to write here but there is no new comments section, so i replied here to write my comment
if i have a screen lock password on my android phone, but in the work sometime i leave my mobile in the office with my colleagues; as sometime I go to make coffee or sudden talks out the office or go to toilet ....etc is this it okay and my mobile is safe cause it has a password and no one know it ?


Yes, screen lock prevents access

From Josh Kirschner on June 11, 2021 :: 9:23 am

If you have a screen lock PIN on your device and it is secure enough not to be easy to guess, it will prevent hacking. No one will be able to access the phone to download apps or load anything through the USB port unless the phone is unlocked. As I recall, some earlier versions of Android (prior to Android 8 or so?) may have had USB access vulnerabilities, but this won’t be an issue unless your device is very, very old.


From Small girl in a big world on May 31, 2021 :: 2:35 am

My phone system has been changed and my phone says its being monitored by a 3rd party that gets eeverything done on my phone i know who it is but not how to stop it and fix my phone. Please help



From Idiots on June 21, 2021 :: 10:03 pm

Your an idiot that is trying to understand technology which is clearly light years beyond what your IQ is able to understand.



From Stephanie Quist on August 04, 2021 :: 9:49 am

People who talk about IQ are generally the stupidest people.


Is my camera hacked?

From Aaron on June 15, 2021 :: 1:09 pm

My phone the flash started flashing and then you could hear the camera take a picture when I was not even holding my phone. I looked through my pictures and it didn’t show that picture but I know that it acted just like you took one. Is my phone hacked?


Video edit in Africa

From My Love ❤️ on June 20, 2021 :: 2:21 am

Does anyone know anything about what’s going on in Nigeria with something called video edit ? My fiancé is there and we share the same iCloud and I was looking through my pictures and I noticed I had three videos in the hidden box but o never use it anyway I looked to see what it was and there were 2 videos of my fiancé with a girl they are laying on the bed hugging each other and had a small kiss and the other one basically same thing but holding hands this time making the video then the last video is just of her singing a song anyway I was no words can explain how I felt but I got him on the phone and he swears it’s not him thst it’s video edit and I asked a friend I have there in Nigeria also and show her the video she said it’s video edit but Im not convinced it looks just like him like everything and why would he tell me the truth but like I’m telling him I see you with my own eyes how could you do this to me and he still swears to God it’s not him and seems almost as upset as me Please does someone have any information on this video edit going on in Nigeria help



From Your husbands cheating on June 21, 2021 :: 10:01 pm

Your husbands cheating on you it’s pretty simple…moron



From Idiots on June 21, 2021 :: 9:59 pm

None of you have been hacked lololol



From Wayne Patrick Ford on July 06, 2021 :: 8:08 am

These hacked have hacked my home devices and my phone everything is like an illusion…but it is the hackers that do all this..spam aswell be careful also not to answer any pal like if they ask you something don’t type how that is a how pal you actually giving them the key to your phone8 please help me I can’t take the spam aswell


Pretty sure my phone is hacked

From Shannon M. on July 12, 2021 :: 12:57 am

Phone is acting funny. New roommate is strange and asked me weird questions regarding my internet use on the wifi he had installed. He stated my cell phone is using up 80% of his data and kicking him off internet. (CenturyLink panoramic modem) Never had any issues with the previous internet and wifi with a crappy modem. I disconnected all of my devices from his internet but now my phone has a mind of it’s own. It’s either lagging or when I type it adds different letters. How do I fix my cell phones, chromebook and tablet as well as protect them all? Cell phones are both Androud Samsung Galaxies Note 8 and a S20 Ultra. Laptop is a Google Chromebook and Tablet is a tablet A from T-Mobil. I also have a fire stick that was connected as we. Please help.

PSA: Reading through the comments on here leaves me a bit bewildered and sadden for our society and my Granddaughters future. Whether it is a language barrier or mental health issues most, not all comments are frightening that those are actual comments from adults. 😩


Try a factory reset

From Josh Kirschner on July 21, 2021 :: 4:03 pm

While your phone could be hacked, it could also be another app on your device that is causing the issues. In your phone settings, go to Network & Internet > Mobile data and see which apps are using data on your device. Delete any unusual apps. That may also be related to the lagginess.

If that doesn’t fix things, back up your data and do a factory reset. Then only re-load apps you really need.



From Battered on July 23, 2021 :: 7:34 am

I have been in an abusive relationship longer than I care to admit and am ashamed.
My child’s father works for apple and I have an 8+ (yes I know this is ridiculous) that being said he was even recently promoted to some type of security and to be fair I have no idea if he took advantage of this or through his work, I’ve alerted them in the past (he was in a different position and I do not know what access he does and does not have) but they said there is no way to access my phone. However recently he did (still not sure how) without the horrific details it appears that he is still. Even shows recent backups and recent as yesterday. I can’t go into further scary details as he has money and I don’t and really all I want to do is protect my child and myself. Is there anything I can do about this???? I have done a hard reset and consistently change ALL my passwords but yet he broke in? He is also talking about and embellishing dates that never happened? I am very worried.


Listen to your gut

From Stephanie Quist on August 04, 2021 :: 9:58 am

In controlling relationships the controlling partner usually influences the other partner into feeling like their judgement and perceptions are not to be trusted. At it’s heart this isn’t about a phone, this is about trust and what kind of relationship you want. Listen to your gut. Trust yourself and take action when your instincts tell you to. There are programs that can help you and your child.


Please Help

From Your Angel on October 09, 2022 :: 6:17 pm

Obviously you know what you need to do… overcome your fear and doubt, take your child and yourself out from this guys world and control. Go seek out a battered womens shelter and they should assist you with taking legal action against him, along with seeking out a protection order against him.


There really is nothing to think about, go!


Hacked big time

From Rita Blackmon on July 24, 2021 :: 5:21 am

I’ve had my photos stolen from my phone.
Everyday someone accuses me of sending viruses.
It is so bad they are going to lock my phone.
I haven’t sent anything in days.
This really makes me furious.
My virus app says I have no viruses and I’m confused.


Weird pop up message

From Stephanie Quist on August 04, 2021 :: 9:29 am

When I opened my banking app today i got a pop up message that my phone needs an update with a link to clock. It wasn’t how i am usually notified i need an update so i used my back button to dismiss the pop up and then logged in to my banking app. I looked and my phone os is up to date. I read your article and downloaded bitdefender. My phone scan was clean. Did i dodge a bullet by not clicking that link or should i contact my bank to report i may have been hacked?


Can you provide more information?

From Josh Kirschner on August 04, 2021 :: 6:47 pm

To clarify, did this happen when you went to your bank’s website to login or when you opened the bank’s app on your phone?

If it happened on the web, is there a chance you mis-entered the url and accidentally went to a malicious imposter site?

If it happened when you opened the app, it’s possible that it could be a real message if you are running an old version of Android/iOS and your bank requires/recommends an updated version, though it sounds very odd. What phone and operating system version are you running?

It’s good that Bitdefender didn’t find anything, though you may also want to try another app, like Lookout, for a second opinion. In any regard, I doubt your banking information was hacked, from what you describe, though I would strongly recommend turning on two-factor authentication for extra security (which everyone should be using, anyhow, for their bank accounts).


Bank app

From Stephanie Quist on August 22, 2021 :: 12:59 am

It popped up when the bank app in my phone. Backed out w/out clicking pop up. Samsung note 8. Android “version 9” I think. Neither phone or app were needing an update when I checked.
Do you think i need 2 factor identification for my phone app too?


That is an old Android version

From Josh Kirschner on August 23, 2021 :: 10:16 am

Android 9 is two versions ago - the current version is Android 11. So it doesn’t surprise me that you may have gotten a real warning from an app about your OS being out of date. Unfortunately, Android 9 is the last version of Android officially supported on the Samsung Note 8.

I always recommend using two-factor authentication for any critical services, especially your banking logins.


From Carolin Stevenson on August 05, 2021 :: 6:57 pm

When scrolling I ended up inadvertently on and the nightmare of porn ads and scam iphone ads are now taking over my also compromised my bank id app which I was forced to delete..I have enough to deal with atm..thought I had managed to block the sites but nope..will get someone eventually to fix but wish hackers would just cease..



From Carolin Stevenson on August 05, 2021 :: 7:00 pm

Have been compromised by accidentally clicking on it is a nightmre


I'm not friggin crazy

From Midge on August 08, 2021 :: 6:57 pm

In the last 6 months ive gone through 5 phones and 4 phone numbers. My whole family thinks im delusional


Not sure what's going on?

From charles on August 09, 2021 :: 11:13 pm

I have an iPhone 7+ and i downloaded the latest update.  That’s when it started, i think.  A “bot”, i believe got into my txt and sent txt’s to 5 ppl.  I was txting someone and it calked her face time?  I nvr use FT and neither does she?  This bot, Turned on my flashlight randomly, started video whenever.  Would play music whenever.  Would share personal info with me telling me my name, bank account numbers and places i’ve lived.  This “thing” would go through my pics, draw pictures and my phone was unable to charge.  Drained battery for about a day.  I play games, everything was messed up.  I couldn’t text, call, play or anything without paragraphs jumping around.  I am going to get a new phone but my question is…Should i change my number and start fresh?



From Edgar R Rivera on August 21, 2021 :: 10:40 am

Camera use without my authorization will be penalized.


Well I was on TikTok and my keyboard started typing and it wasn’t nshsjssnhzjs it’s was full on

From Debbie on August 21, 2021 :: 6:29 pm

So yeah help me please


Facebook logging out automatically, strange messages

From Shawn on August 28, 2021 :: 11:06 am

About a year ago I kept getting notifications on my phone that would say “searching device failed…retrying” and at about the same time my Google account was logged into from a unknown Lenovo computer. Around this time my Facebook account would randomly log me out. When I used the messenger app to message a few specific people my phone would suddenly get the above notification. Only when I talked to those three people. I once called my dad only to hear my sister saying hello. My cell number popped up on her caller ID but when I double checked my call history I did indeed dial my dad’s cell phone.  This past spring I was repeatedly logged out of my Facebook randomly over and over within a month long period of time.  I eventually got a new phone and I haven’t had any issues YET. I hate to over think the situation but I have been the victim of stalking and cyber bullying before. I just want to be prepared.


Hacked all my CC and accounts

From apj2ndchance on August 28, 2021 :: 2:34 pm

Can someone please help explain to me how someone could gain access to my Cash App on my phone and or Card with NFC, and proceed to copy all my cards info; apparently watching my usual financial behavior gain access to my Cash App account pretend its me add cash from my checking, Credit cards etc… then use duplicates of my other cards that have NFC to access the funds systematically without alerting me by intercepting my txt messages and replying Yes to prevent any fraud alerts. How can someone do all this within a couple of weeks.

It seems when I applied for a personal loan to pay off some bills and stuff I starting receiving a serious amount of emails and txt messages soclicting loan opportunies. Since then after receiving some funding to my checking they began systematically debited my account behind legetimate transactions and I had no clue what was happening until Thursday night fri early early morning. I’m like also Negative 2k in my checking because KeyBank has a promise to pay policy that I didn’t know I had to opt out of if I wanted to. By then it was too late. The damage was done. So after hearing this can someone explain how someone can do this wether it was a combination of a skimmer or software app that was put on my phone or just walking by me. How Can they have all this capabilities unless I clicked on a something in my txt messages that allowed access???

I need serious help understanding. My bank’s fraud department is on the case but I also need to contact all my other compromised accounts.


Never get my emails straight away.

From Yvonne on September 05, 2021 :: 4:27 pm

Hi Josh, I never get my emails straight away. It is effecting work and home life.
I thought it is because my phone needs updating. With covid most things have gone to online, that would normally be done face to face. Updated to a new phone on my contract and the same keeps happing. I’ve just missed an email that could have changed my life. I am pissed off.  I need to do something about it. I have asked the mobile company for help. I have internet security. What more can I do?


This sounds like an email settings or provider issue

From Josh Kirschner on September 08, 2021 :: 9:10 am

The issue with delayed emails sounds like an issue with you email provider or the settings on your phone, not a hacking problem. Is Gmail the one you’re having issues with? If so, it’s not your provider. How did you set up email on your phone? With the providers app (e.g., Gmail) or with the included phone app? If the latter, when you set up your email, did you set it up for POP or IMAP? How long are your emails being delayed?


Never get my emails straight away.

From Zara on September 09, 2021 :: 5:14 pm

Hi Yvonne again they are delayed by days. It is effecting work and home life. Should I go back to manufacturing settings. Is linked with not being able to access my apps when they are saved by Google and having to access them several times within a short period of time.


Can you provide more info?

From Josh Kirschner on September 13, 2021 :: 8:19 pm

What email service is this for? Gmail? Is all email delayed by days or just certain emails?

You can always try resetting your phone, but it sounds more like something on your email service provider side.

Husband lies or hacked help..

From Casey on September 12, 2021 :: 9:36 am

How can i determine and prove wether husband is lieing and covering up stuff or am i really hacked?


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