A hacked phone is an unfortunate but common problem. Viruses seem something that might concern Android device owners more often than iOS device holders, but even the latter aren’t completely immune from threats. To be concise and frank, the best way to keep your smartphone safe from malware and viruses is by preparing for them beforehand. Unhacking a hacked phone is always more difficult than preventing these attacks. However, should your smartphone already be infected with a virus and hacked, don’t start panicking but start looking for solutions.
Wondering how do I unhack my phone? How to stop hackers on your phone? How to prevent or stop a hacking attack? We’ll address all of this and more!
How are phones hacked?
Let’s discuss how hackers get into phones. Late-night movies are full of scenes showing how someone breaks into a locked house. These kinds of break-ins require brute force and are very straightforward. Most real-life electronic hacks are very different.
Hacking phones is usually not about opening locks. It can actually be quite the opposite: about not opening anything or making things harder to open. Phone hacking is introducing some flaw in your phone so that the software is bypassed. Once your phone does something it’s not supposed to do anymore, you can say that your phone got hacked.
So, as the visualization helped us understand, there are three main ways of hacking a phone. Hackers can firstly attack your device precisely. This is usually associated with whaling
and/or spear-phishing but is only a viable concern exclusively to high-ranking officers, CEOs, and people who have access to valuable information. Targeted attacks on random devices rarely provide benefits to hackers.
Hacking through malware is the most common way of hacking smartphones. Nowadays, installing an .apk file on your Android, if it’s downloaded not from a trusted source, can be very dangerous. There is also malware that can be installed into your device without your awareness or consent even. But more often than not, malicious apps come from non-secure or shady websites, when users go a bit too deep into the wormhole of the internet or fall for some scam ads and click on untrustworthy links.
Finally, you have network attacks that are probably most sophisticated and harder to prevent on your device or by your actions. Here, the actions of your network service provider or company IT policies, come into play.
Signs that your phone has been hacked
There are different kinds of possible attacks and some can be detected more easily than others.
The most common sign of malware is that you began getting pop-ups or unwanted ads all around your screen.
The second sign is that everything works slower than usual, especially when you browse the internet on mobile data or when you try to use an app.
No cell connection is another sign of a possible comms jam or other malware that’s disrupting the normal workflow of your device. And the final hack sign we’d like to note is when an app is pinging you with requests for root access, etc.
Can I unhack my phone by myself?
Most people are of the opinion that unhacking a phone is something only an expert can do. And they are not wrong, actually!
The first problem is why this is hard to do is rapid patching. For various reasons, mostly due to cost-effectiveness, many companies neglect to patch their software or apps on time. This leads to vulnerabilities being left in the open, becoming very easy for attackers to exploit. And since the hack can feature a new and innovative approach, defenses may not be known by many, thus, unhacking can only be done by the hackers who invented the hack, or cyber security experts with vast knowledge.
Secondly, smartphones are complex pieces of technology with many layers of software. The basic nature of the operating system is also something that makes this process even more difficult. There are so many angles and layers to consider that monitoring everything is just too time consuming for an individual who doesn’t have this as their first profession.
Thirdly, how do you know what has been hacked? It’s not like there’ll be a notification popping up on your screen saying “I’m the core that is hacked now, please save me”. Oftentimes, your phone or device will still appear normal and work as it should, and the hacking will happen in the background.
How to unhack a phone that’s already hacked?
If you think or are absolutely sure that your phone is hacked, you usually have three options. Actually, there are likely just two since facing the challenge head-on by yourself requires extensive time, resources, and vast knowledge as well as practical familiarity with malware, the operating system of the phone, and various other digital nuances. Hence, the two remaining options are:
- You can conform with the hackers and pay a ransom or fee to regain access to the device. Once you do that, back up your data and reset the device completely.
- You can directly contact a reputable mobile security firm or specialist to help secure your device.
Both options will cost you a lot of money and the latter one can’t even offer guaranteed results. This is why you should put your efforts into preventing mobile phone hacking and being aware of the possible routes that cyber criminals may choose in order to compromise the integrity of your data and security.
A shocking statistic that might help you better understand the scope and the threat posed by phone hackers.
How to prevent mobile phone hacking?
The best medicine to the hacking disease is being aware of the possible threats. Since the human user is usually the largest weakness of the entire architecture, limiting your mistakes and avoiding high-risk actions can lead to a significant decrease in hacking probability. We decided to compile a short list that can help you not necessarily unhack your phone but rather prevent it from being hacked altogether. Here are our 5 top tips:
- Do not download files from untrusted sources. And when in doubt, do not click on links. Malware is usually installed from the internet or sent through suspicious emails. Install an antivirus service to protect your device from unwanted installs and don’t frequent shady or not HTTPS websites.
- Do not have your device rooted or jailbroken. Phones should be as protected as possible from outside interference and these two options imply a lowered security level, which makes it easier for hackers to exploit your phone. Yes, having customizability and developer tools is cool and all, but it also makes your data much more vulnerable to outside threats.
- Do not share sensitive data with strangers online – do not click on strange links sent by random people on Facebook or Twitter.
- Pay attention to the permissions of each individual app installed on your phone. Some apps may claim to do one thing but in reality request access to much more – possibly indicating harmful intentions.
- Connect with people using end-to-end encrypted messaging apps. Your data is not secure on most popular messaging apps and social networks. The only genuine way of communicating private and safe is by trusting end-to-end encrypted messengers like Kraden!
What kind of files and apps do mobile hackers usually target?
Well, there are several types. Attackers are typically after personal data, information that can be monetized or used to establish remote control over your device.
As you can see, if malware infects your phone and when you’re hacked, cybercriminals mostly target your social media profiles.
Most of them are after your social media accounts to steal business accounts and demand ransom, steal IG pages with lots of followers for their own business, etc. Personal profiles are targeted rarely unless it’s a spear-phishing or whaling attack.
Once hacked into your phone, cybercriminals will also likely try and pursue your bank information or more precisely – embezzle your crypto-assets since they’re extremely difficult to trace.
That being said, in some instances, cybercriminals may target your device with the goal of establishing ransomware control which enables them to lock out users from their own devices.
This is why you should always have antivirus software installed on your mobile phone or tablet in order to prevent hackers from breaching it in the first place.
Mobile device hacking is very dangerous and should be taken seriously. By being aware of the existing threats and using precautionary measures like end-to-end encrypted messaging, antivirus software and careful browsing, you can help prevent hacks.
But what if you’ve already been hacked? Well, your best bet is to reach out to cyber security experts or your carrier service for security help. Otherwise, in the most dark scenarios you might need to collaborate with the hackers.
You can reset or erase everything on your device remotely or clear all existing data corruption on your phone but that might not work 100%.
Kraden takes mobile and data security seriously offering a messenger app aimed at keeping your data safe from hackers and prying eyes.