Nowadays, everyone owns a smartphone, and they pretty much govern our lives, which means keeping it safe and virus-free is critical. Thus, how do you determine whether or not your Android device is hacked?
If your phone is behaving strangely, you should follow these steps to check for malware, scam apps, and other device issues. Additionally, we’ll discuss ways to stay safe moving forward. Here’s how to determine if your Android device has been hacked.
1. Inadequate battery life or excessive battery usage
Even if there are no obvious signals of suspicious activity, malevolent activities may still be occurring behind the scenes. Checking your battery use is one of the greatest ways to determine if your android device is hacked.
If your phone becomes very warm for no apparent reason, even while it is not charging, something may be running in the background while the screen is turned off. Because even sophisticated viruses can leave traces on your phone or tablet, check the battery usage option first.
Navigate to Settings > Battery > Battery Usage and search for an unknown program or anything out of the ordinary.
This occurs less frequently since that Google has integrated a thorough Google Play Protect mechanism into Android, but we strongly recommend checking.
While we all use our phones differently, if you find an abnormally high rate of battery loss, this is cause for alarm. You can restart your phone, force close the dubious software, or entirely delete the app if that is possible. If your battery is draining excessively quickly and you’re asking “is my phone hacked?” then you should absolutely run this check!
2. Check for Unwanted App Installs at Random
Another way to check if your android device is hacked is the appearance of strange apps on your phone. These are applications that you did not install.
Apps or websites that are malicious can install a program on your phone and communicate critical information to a third party.
Do not disregard this: it most likely indicates that your device has been compromised. While it may not consume a great deal of battery life, it can nonetheless cause harm and drain your data. If you come across one, here’s how to eliminate it.
Navigate to Settings > Apps > App Manager and navigate through your phone’s list of installed applications. Occasionally, you may need to tap the All Apps dropdown arrow. Locate anything you wish to remove, press it, and then select Uninstall.
Obviously, you should uninstall anything that appears suspicious but isn’t essential. If you begin deleting random items, you risk causing more harm than good and damaging critical components on your phone.
Numerous apps are pre-installed by phone manufacturers or carriers and are completely safe. Take care with what you remove.
3. Exceptionally High Data Consumption
Because the majority of individuals have unlimited data plans, they rarely check the “Data Usage” menu in settings. However, if your Android device is acting strangely and you want to check to see if it has been hacked, this is another simple technique to check for faults.
If you have a virus, it may be transmitting your personal information to a third party via an app that is continually operating and talking with malicious actors.
To determine this, navigate to Settings > Connections & WiFi > Data Usage and explore about.
YouTube, Spotify, and other streaming services consume a large amount of data on a regular basis. However, if another app consumes an abnormal amount of data, something is wrong. No random app should consume this much data in a single month, so keep an eye out for anything out of place here.
When you discover something that appears suspicious, uninstall it (after ensuring that it is not required for the operation of your device).
4. Keep an eye out for Strange Pop-Ups and Advertisements
Pop-ups occur in a variety of shapes and sizes, appear at unpredictable times, and originate from a variety of different types of websites. We’ve grown accustomed to them, and the majority of the time, they’re nothing more than an advertisement concealing content.
Occasionally, however, they can be malevolent and bring you problems. Keep an eye out for strange pop-ups or advertisements that appear to be amusing. Always avoid clicking on them.
Fake Virus Popups on Android
Google has made various improvements in recent years to avoid such events, most notably in Google Chrome for Android, but they do occur on occasion. Typically, it will cause your phone to vibrate as pop-ups appear repeatedly. Occasionally, your screen will flash.
However, it is completely fake: do not touch the “delete” button.
Instead of closing your entire web browser, reboot your smartphone.
Never enter any personal information into an input field with which you are unfamiliar. Never input a credit card number or a password.
5. Apps and Phone Continue to Crash
Another clue that your Android device has been compromised is if it frequently crashes. Occasionally, Android phones will behave erratically: apps will launch for no apparent reason, or your phone will become slow or crash frequently. Occasionally, these issues are caused by a virus.
To begin, utilize Google’s proprietary “Play Protect” scanner, which is integrated right into the Google Play App Store. Tap the menu button near the top of Google Play. Then, halfway down the Play Protect screen, click Scan to begin scanning your phone and apps.
Bear in mind that Play Protect is a quite simple tool; you may want to try a more comprehensive alternative, such as Malwarebytes, one of the finest applications for determining whether a phone has been hacked.
On the Google Play Store, there are dozens of “anti-virus scanners” and “mobile security” apps, but we recommend sticking with known brands and companies. Look for well-known brands such as Avast, AVG, or BitDefender that you’ve used on your machines.
These tools are excellent for scanning your device for issues fast and easily. Generally, Malwarebytes will delete whatever it detects.
Malwarebytes Security – Download (Free, subscription available)
If Necessary, Perform A Factory Data Reset
If you’ve tried removing apps and running antivirus software and are still having problems, a final resort is to perform a factory data reset.
Bear in mind that this method completely deletes everything on your phone, so be certain before proceeding.
Make a backup of any images, text messages, videos, or other data you wish to save, and then proceed to wipe your Android. To perform a factory data reset, navigate to Settings > Backup & Reset (or Security) > Reset > Factory Data Reset.
This should be used only when all other options have been explored and antivirus software has failed. It will obliterate everything. Your phone will restart exactly as it did the first time you received it. As a result, you’ll need to re-configure everything, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
How to Secure Your Android Device
Google revealed in 2019 that there are over 2.5 billion Android devices, making it the world’s most popular operating system and a lucrative target for hackers. This is why Android phone hacks can manifest themselves in the form of random pop-ups, phony advertisements, rogue apps, or new installs you didn’t authorize, bill charges, and battery drain, among other things.
When the target audience is so large, hackers are inventive.
Being cautious and circumspect can help you avoid having to deal with security breaches in the first place. Several things you can do (or seek for) to keep yourself safe include the following:
- Maintain an up-to-date system and constantly install the most recent software updates.
- Only download programs from reputable sources.
- In Settings, disable or uncheck the Install from Unknown Sources option.
- For lock-screen security, use a fingerprint, eye scan, password, or PIN.
- Remain Alert to Protect Your Phone
Install applications only from reputable sources, such as the Google Play Store, the Amazon App Store, or Samsung’s Galaxy apps. Websites that sell Android APKs (install files) are your adversary. Under no circumstances should these files be installed.
The most important approach to keep your smartphone secure is to exercise care and common sense.