What does it mean when your device has been compromised or hacked?
A compromised or hacked device is where someone (hacker) has unauthorised access to your phone or computer. These unauthorised users have broken into your computer system or phone device to steal, change or destroy information. Dangerous malware is often installed without your knowledge or consent and helps the hacker to access the information that you do not want them to have.
How can my device be hacked?
Hackers can gain access to your phone in several ways, but they almost always require some action on your part. For example, you may have downloaded a malicious app, clicked on a malicious link, or used an unsecured public Wi-Fi.
How do I spot the signs?
– Strange or inappropriate pop ups: Bright, flashing ads or X-rated content popping up on your phone may indicate malware.
– Texts or calls not made by you: If you notice text or calls from your phone that you didn’t make, your phone may be hacked.
– Higher than normal data usage: There are many reasons for high data usage (for example, increased use of a new app). But if your phone behaviour has stayed the same and your data usage has skyrocketed, it’s time to investigate.
– Apps you don’t recognize on your phone: Keep in mind that new phones often come with pre-downloaded apps. But if you notice new apps popping up once you already own the phone, there may be malware involved.
– Battery draining quickly: If your phone use habits have remained the same, but your battery is draining more quickly than normal, hacking may be to blame.
How do I keep my device secure?
1. Check suspicious links before clicking them
2. Steer clear of public Wi-Fi
3. Avoid storing sensitive information such as credit card numbers on your phone
4. Turn off Bluetooth when you’re not using it
5. Create a custom passcode for accessing your phone
6. Install the latest software updates as soon as they are released
7. Regularly monitor your phone for signs of unusual activity, like unusual pop ups or high battery usage.
What should I do if my device has been hacked?
Tip #1: Delete all suspicious apps
Confirm that any recently downloaded apps came from reputable developers and have good reviews. If they don’t, delete them from your phone.
Tip #2: Change your passwords
Once you’ve removed the malware, reset all your passwords, and create unique passwords for each account.
Tip #3: Run anti-malware software
Anti-malware software can help you identify and target malware lurking on your phone. You should run this regularly, but if you haven’t done so before, now is a good time to start.
Tip #4: Inform all your contacts to ignore suspicious messages
Let your contacts know that your phone has been hacked, and that they shouldn’t click any suspicious looking links they may have received from you.
Tip #5: Reset your phone
Majority of malware can be removed with a factory reset of your phone. This will, however, wipe any data stored on your device, such as photos, notes, and contacts, so it is important to back-up this data before resetting your device.