Everyone has a smartphone these days, and they lead pretty much our lives, which means keeping it safe and virus-free is very important. So, how do you know if your Android device has been hacked?
If your phone is having fun, check these five tips for malware, scams, and other problems with your device. In addition, we will explain how to keep you safe going forward.
1. Poor battery life or extreme battery usage
Even if you don’t see clear signs of suspicious activity, something harmful can still happen behind the scenes. One of the best ways to check if your phone is hacked is to check battery usage.
If your phone is hot for no reason even though it is not charging, something may work in the background when the screen is off. Some of the most advanced malware can still leave traces on your phone or tablet, so start by checking the battery usage menu.
Open settings > Battery > Using the battery and search for an unknown application or any unusual one.
This doesn’t happen so often because Google is comprehensive Google Play Protect Built-in system for Android, but we still recommend checking. As shown above, you will see some random unknown twilight application called “10214” that will kill 40% of the battery. “Miscellaneous” is worse, draining about 70% of your juice. That’s not good!
In this scenario, we probably have a keylogger or virus that hides its name to prevent detection. At the same time, don’t just look for weird app names because we’ve seen completely normal apps we haven’t installed to do similar things. Look for something unusually exhausting.
We all use our phones differently, but if you notice a very serious drain on your battery, that’s a concern. You can restart your phone, force the suspicious software to close, or uninstall the application completely if possible.
2. Check for occasional unwanted application installations
Another malware detector is if you see random applications installed on your phone. These are applications that you have not installed yourself.
Bad apps or websites can install the program on your phone and send sensitive information back to a third party.
Don’t worry about this: it probably means your device has been hacked. Sometimes it doesn’t consume tons of battery, but it can still damage and erase your data. If you can find one, here’s how to get rid of it.
Navigate to something Settings> Applications> Application manager and scroll through the list of applications in your phone. Sometimes you may have to tap All applications drop-down arrow. Find everything you don’t want, tap it and choose uninstall.
Of course, you should only remove things that look suspicious, but you know they aren’t important. If you start removing random content, you may do more harm than good and break important components of your phone.
There are many applications that are pre-installed and harmless by phone manufacturers or operators. Make sure you are careful when removing.
3. Unusually high data transfer
Most people have an unlimited data plan, so they don’t look at the “Data Access” menu in the settings. But if your phone works, it’s another easy way to check for problems. If you have a virus, it can send your private information back to a third party through an application that is constantly running and communicating with bad players.
To check this, go to Settings> Connectivity and WiFi> Data usage and would push a little.
YouTube, Spotify, and other streaming services regularly use a lot of information. But if another application uses too much, something is not right. No random app is allowed to use 5GB in a given month, so look for something unreal here.
When you find something suspicious, remove it (make sure it’s not necessary for your device).
4. Look for weird pop-ups and ads
Pop-ups are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, randomly and from all types of websites. We’ve learned to deal with them, and for the most part, it’s nothing more than an ad covering content.
However, sometimes they can be deceptive and cause you problems. Keep an eye out for weird pop-ups or fun-looking ads. Never click on them.
Google has made several changes in recent years to avoid such events, especially in Google Chrome on Android, but it still happens from time to time. Usually, it makes your phone vibrate when pop-ups appear over and over again. Sometimes your screen even flashes.
But it is completely fake: do not tap the “delete” button.
Close the entire browser and turn on your smartphone instead.
Never send personal information in an input field that you are unfamiliar with. Never enter credit card or password information.
5. Apps and phone crashes constantly (unexplained behavior)
Often Android phones start working incorrectly: apps open for no reason or your phone is slow or constantly crashes. Sometimes these problems are caused by a virus.
First, try Google’s own “Play Protect” scanner, built right into the Google Play App Store. Open Google Play and tap the menu button at the top. Then continue Play Protect in the middle of the box and hit Scan to scan your phone and applications.
Keep in mind that Play Protect is a pretty basic tool, so you may want to consider a more robust option like Malwarebytes.
The Google Play Store has dozens of “Anti-virus Scanners” and “mobile security” apps, but we recommend that you stick to trusted brands and names. Do not install only the first visible option. Look for well-known brands that you have used on your computers, such as Avast, AVG, or BitDefender.
These tools help you quickly and easily scan your device for problems. Usually, if Malwarebytes finds something, it will remove it for you.
Charge: Malwarebytes Security (Free, subscription available)
Restore factory settings if necessary
If you uninstall applications, run anti-virus software, and you still have problems, the last task is to do a factory reset.
Remember: this process will delete everything from your phone.
Back up your photos, text messages, videos, and anything else you want to keep, then continue uninstalling Android. Mene Settings> Backup and Reset (or Safety) > Restore> Restore factory settings.
Only resort to this when all other means have been used and the AV software fails. It wipes everything away. Your phone will turn on in the same way as on the first day. So you have to set it all up again, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
How to keep your Android device secure
In 2019, Google confirmed that there are more than 2.5 billion Android devices, making it the world’s leading operating system and a huge target for hackers. Therefore, hacking of Android phones can take place in random pop-ups, fake ads, rogue state apps, or new installations you disapprove of, billing charges, low battery, and more.
Hackers are creative when the target audience is so large.
Vigilance and caution can prevent you from dealing with potential security breaches. Here are a few things you can do (or look for) to secure yourself.
Stay up to date and always install latest software updates
Only get apps from trusted sources
Disable or deselect Install from unknown sources option in settings
Use fingerprint, eye scan, password or PIN to protect lock screen
Stay alert to keep your phone safe
Only install apps from trusted sources, such as the Google Play Store, Amazon App Store, or Samsung Galaxy Apps. Websites that offer Android APKs (installation files) are not your friends. Under no circumstances should you install these files.
The most important way to keep your smartphone safe is to simply be careful and use common sense.
You would be sad if you lost all the data on your Android phone, right? Years of contact information, photos, documents, texts, and more is impossible or time consuming.
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