How to remove a hacker from my phone is a question constantly searched online. Continue to learn more about phone hacking and how to protect your own devices.
Let’s face it, you use your phone for everything.
Whether it’s sending emails, taking photos, or checking your bank account, mobile devices put your personal data right in the palm of your hand — and, if your phone gets hacked, right in the hands of others.
If you suspect a hacker is messing with your device, the first thing you may ask Google is, “how to remove a hacker from my phone.”
And that's where this guide comes in. Continue reading to learn how you can protect your information and get a hacker off your device.
What is phone hacking?
Phone hacking is when an unauthorized person gains access to your phone and its information. Hackers can do this in a few ways, including:
- Taking advantage of unsecured networks
- Physically stealing your device and using brute force attacks
- Gaining information from security breaches
Worth noting is that any internet-connected device can be susceptible to cyberattacks. Cybercriminals often target smartphones because of the valuable information stored on them. If a phone hacker hijacks your phone, they may have unguarded access to your:
- Social media
- Online banking
- Text messages
- Home security system
- Smart appliances
By gaining access to a single device, phone hackers can control numerous aspects of your everyday life and have unlimited access to your private information.Thankfully, knowing the common signs of a hacked phone can help you remove a hacker from your phone faster.
Common signs of a hacked phone
Luckily, warning signs may help indicate if your phone has been hacked. Let’s take a look at some of the most common red flags of a hacked phone.
Shortened battery life
Hackers often use malware in fraudulent apps when breaking into your phone. These methods will use up a lot of your phone’s battery power, therefore shortening your battery life.
Suspicious increase in data usage
Malicious applications are also known for their high data usage. Because these apps will constantly run when you’re under attack, you may notice a higher data usage on your monthly bill.
If you notice any new apps you don’t remember installing, your phone could be compromised. Many smartphone hackers rely on malware disguised as phone applications to trick users into giving up personal information.
Combatting frequent pop-ups when browsing the web may be a sign your phone is under attack. Common examples of malicious pop-ups include:
- Notifications you’ve won a prize or contest
- Fake virus alerts
- Warnings that your personal information has been leaked
If you see any of these pop-ups, close your browser immediately, because clicking on anything in the window may further expose your phone to cyberattacks.
Once your device is under the control of a phone hacker, malicious applications may use up a large amount of its computing power. While it’s common for phones to slow down with time, malware can cause a sudden decrease in speed.
How to get a hacker off your phone
Do these warning signs sound familiar? If so, there’s no need to sweat, because these tips can help quickly get a phone hacker off your device.
Remove unfamiliar apps
As a rule of thumb, if you didn’t download the application yourself, then you should delete it. In doing so, you may end up deleting a malicious app used by your hacker. Removing unwanted apps is also a great way to keep your phone clean.
Many phones have pre-installed bloatware, including weather, music, or messaging apps. Keep in mind that you may not be able to remove these apps from your device.
While jailbreaking your phone may unlock desirable features, it can also compromise your device’s security. For example, jailbreaking your device may keep you from installing your operating system's latest security updates, therefore allowing hackers to easily attack your phone.
Review app permissions
After downloading an app, you may be asked for permission to access various information, including your:
- GPS location
To ensure an app isn’t violating your privacy — and, in turn, hackers aren’t either — you can review or change app permissions in your settings. On an iPhone, you can find out which apps can access your information by going to Settings, then Privacy. On an Android, go to Settings, then Apps, and then Privacy.
Practice password hygiene
These days, giving someone your password is like giving someone the keys to your house. With so much sensitive information stored on our phones and online, a password is often the final line of defense between a hacker and your valuable data.
Using strong passwords can stop hackers from taking over your digital life with password attacks. For extra security, be sure to change your passwords periodically, especially if you think your phone may be under attack.
To make your browsing experience quicker and more enjoyable, your phone temporarily stores data from the websites you visit. In case you’ve encountered any malware in your web browsing routine, clear your cookies and cache regularly.
Update the operating system
Updating your operating system (OS) is a great way to keep your device running smoothly. In addition to added features and bug fixes, these updates contain security patches to keep your phone secure. Just as you wouldn’t leave your door unlocked when you’re out of town, you shouldn’t leave your phone without proper security.
Complete a factory reset
If all else fails, you can perform a factory reset on your device. Before doing so, back up your important files, as a factory reset will wipe all of your files and personal data from your phone’s internal storage. On the plus side, a factory reset will also remove any malicious files a hacker may have been using.
9 phone hacker protection tips
Now that you know how to get rid of hackers, it's time to ensure they’ll never come back. Follow these tips to keep your phone safe from mobile hacking:
- Never visit any suspicious websites: In many cases, suspicious website URLs include numbers, symbols, or hyphens.
- Avoid clicking links and attachments from unknown senders: By clicking a strange link, you could
accidentally install malware on your phone.
- Install an antivirus app: Using an antivirus app can protect your phone from hackers.
- Avoid third-party apps: Unlike an app from your phone’s native app store, third-party applications could be malware in disguise.
- Use a VPN on public networks: Using a VPN can help keep your web connection secure and encrypted.
- Limit app permissions: By limiting app permissions in your settings, you can control what information your apps have access to.
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA): Enabling 2FA adds an extra layer of security between a hacker and your personal information.
- Keep your phone’s operating system up to date: Installing the latest OS ensures your phone has the most up-to-date security patches.
- Disable password autofill features: Disabling autofill can prevent a hacker from easily logging into your accounts.
Whether you’ve dealt with a phone hacker before or are just now learning about it, following these tips can help keep you and your device safe from mobile security threats.
Phone hacking FAQs
Have questions beyond “how to remove a hacker from my phone”? We have answers.
Can someone hack my phone from my number?
Yes, hackers often commit SIM swap fraud by tricking cell phone carriers into rerouting a stolen number to a new phone. However, many service providers require security questions, PINs, and passwords before completing that kind of request.
Will resetting my phone remove hackers?
Resetting your phone will remove all files from your phone’s internal storage, which should remove the hacker if they’re using malware to control your device.
Is there a way to tell if my phone has a virus?
You may be able to tell if your phone has a virus if you begin to notice a change in your phone’s performance. Examples include:
- Slow speeds
- Frequent pop-ups
- Shortened battery life
These symptoms can stem from any malicious applications that are running on your device.
Can hackers see through my phone camera?
Cyber threats have evolved, and so have we.
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If a hacker gains access to your device, they may be able to control and use your phone’s camera. To avoid this, always take the proper steps to protect yourself online, and block hackers from accessing your device.
Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. Our offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about Cyber Safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses. The Norton and LifeLock brands are part of Gen Digital Inc.
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