We spend a significant amount of time on our mobile phones

According to an article released by the BBC earlier this year, people spend 4.5 hours a day on their mobile phones. This takes into account your everyday family and friend interactions, social media engagement, and app usage.

The use of devices, such as mobile phones, has become an integral part of our lives. Even when we leave our phones behind on accident, we can’t help but feel a little anxious without them. It’s such a normal part of our routine that it doesn’t feel right when it’s not there on hand. It’s essentially an extension of ourselves, something that we regularly rely on and use.

One of the best features of our mobile phones is that we can source almost anything and everything whilst we are on the go. If you have a question or a worry, without a doubt your first point of call will be to grab your phone and look it up.

Trojan malware

Data gathered from 2019 detected 68,000 new ransomware trojans on mobile devices.

A Trojan is a form of malware that disguises itself as a snippet of legitimate code. When downloaded onto a device, it allows the attacker to take total control. Hackers can export, modify, lock or damage files with the Trojan in place.

Trojans come in various forms. They can be attachments, links, or a download. When using any device or network it is important to stay vigilant. Think carefully before clicking or downloading something that appears suspicious.

However, even big names in the corporate world still fall victim to cyber-crime every day. Cyber attackers are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks. It makes it much harder to spot from the outset. One of the key skills you need to stay safe online is awareness and this is no different in the case of your mobile phones. This is why spotting signs, like if your mobile device has been hacked for example, is so important.

How do I know if I have been hacked?

There are 4 dead giveaway signs that your mobile device has been hacked that you need to be aware of.


1. Your phone becomes sluggish

If you are noticing that your phone is regularly crashing, freezing, or just being generally glitchy, this could be a sign of a virus. If malware has been downloaded onto your phone it will overload your device storage. Therefore, causing your phone to slow down and become sluggish. Another thing that you may notice is that certain apps will not close despite continuous efforts of trying to do so. Some malware, will use a third party app to gain access to your device and files. Please ensure that nothing unusual has been downloaded to your device.


2. High screen time and data usage

In the settings of your mobile device, you should be able to locate and access your screen time. This is something that you should be checking regularly to ensure that your device isn’t being overworked. A compromised device will experience unusually high levels of screen time and data usage. You will particularly be able to pick up on this if the graph shows that your device has been running when you are asleep or away. Malware will typically run continuously in the background, often without obvious detection.


3. Unexpected popups

Not all popups are viruses, some are simply just ads. However, it’s not uncommon for hacked devices to experience an influx of popups that are a result of malware. This type of hack is referred to as ‘adware’. The idea behind this is to lead users to certain websites that generate revenue through clicks.


4. Unusual activity

When your device becomes compromised, the hacker will also have access to apps and accounts that are already on your phone. What you need to do is reset all of your passwords, preferably on a different and secure device, before completely resetting and security sweeping your hacked phone.

Are suspecting that your mobile may have been hacked? There are ways that you can quickly regain control of your device:

Use an antivirus software

The purpose of an antivirus software is to provide protection and the tools to keep cyber attacks away from your device. The software will regularly perform checks on your phone to ensure that there hasn’t been a breach. In the event of an attack, your antivirus software will react quickly to remove the threat with immediate effect.

Keep your devices updated

One of the most common ways that devices become compromised is through vulnerabilities. Patches and updates are regularly released by providers. This is to ensure that vulnerabilities are reacted to immediately with fixes in place. Therefore, as soon as you see that there is an update available for you to download you should react quickly.

Remove anything suspicious

Lastly if you have noticed that something has been downloaded onto your device that you are not aware of, delete it straight away. It may be something harmless but it is best to be safe and not take the chance.

Reset your device

As a last resort, you may need to factory reset your device. Please note that this will completely wipe your entire phone. However, at least you can be sure that anything virus or malware related has been deleted. Essentially, your phone will be reverted to the state that it was originally bought in.

This concludes our blog about spotting the signs your mobile has been hacked along with general mobile safety. With cyber-crime still on the rise, it’s crucial to remain vigilant and aware of what is happening with our technology. For more information visit our cyber security page.