Is My Phone Hacked? 12 Ways to Find Out and Protect Yourself

April 8, 2024

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Have you noticed strange activity on your smartphone lately? Unexplained battery drainage, sluggish performance, or suspicious pop-ups may indicate your device has been compromised. This guide will walk you through 12 ways to detect common signs of hacking and steps to secure your phone.

How to Tell If Your Android or iPhone Has Been Hacked

While robust security features help safeguard modern devices, hackers employ increasingly sophisticated tools to break in. Stay vigilant for these 12 warning signs:

1. Decreased Battery Life

Background processes from malicious apps can drain battery faster than normal usage. If your phone dies unusually quick, check which apps use the most juice. Delete any unfamiliar or little-used ones.

2. Slow Operation

Laggy operation likely stems from malware straining system resources. Run antivirus software to identify and remove infections. A factory reset may be necessary as a last resort.

3. Hot Temperature

Excessive heat indicates high CPU usage. This suggests malware operation. Closely monitor which apps generate the most heat to troubleshoot the culprit.

Hot Temperature Phone

4. Unexpected Pop-ups

Random pop-up ads likely signify adware installed from a third-party app. Delete recently downloaded apps and run malware scans to eliminate.

5. Higher Data Usage

Surging data usage suggests unauthorized processes transmitting your information. Check connections with ##4636## on Androids or 3001#12345# on iPhones.


6. Unfamiliar Apps

Don’t recall downloading an app? It may have been sneakily installed. Remove right away and run security checks.

7. Strange Notifications

Odd messages from unknown numbers or accounts may indicate spoofing attacks attempting to spread malware or steal your data.

8. Unauthorized Purchases

Mysterious charges to accounts linked to your device point to compromised financial data. Alert institutions immediately to freeze payments.

9. Unlimited Access Denied

Can’t access personal data that should be available? Criminals may have hijacked your accounts and changed credentials to lock you out.

10. Call/Text Redirection

Redirected communications refrain victims from receiving sensitive verification codes. Dial *#62# to identify spoofing.

Call Text Redirection

11. Unfamiliar Login Attempts

Notification that your accounts had login attempts from unrecognized devices confirms credential theft. Update passwords and enable two-factor authentication.

12. GPS Discrepancies

Inaccurate location data displayed on maps indicates potential GPS spoofing to track movements. Use ##1472365## on Androids to confirm.

Protect Your Smartphone From Intrusion

Once aware of infiltration, take measures to evict attackers and prevent repeat break-ins:

  • Only download apps from official stores like Google Play and Apple App Store
  • Install reputable antivirus software
  • Set complex PINs/passwords
  • Enable two-factor authentication
  • Avoid public WiFi networks
  • Keep software updated
  • Backup data regularly
  • Never root or jailbreak devices
  • Monitor activity routinely

Secret Codes to Detect Issues

Special USSD, MMI, and ADB codes uncover hidden threats:

  • *#06# – Display IMEI Number
  • *#62# – Call Forwarding Status
  • *#21# – Active Call Recording
  • ##4636## or ##197328640## – Running Services List (Android)
  • 3001#12345# – Connection Diagnostics (iPhone)

See full list below of helpful code commands.

Using codes provides quick hard evidence regarding suspicious activity. But don’t rely solely on them to ensure security. Take a layered defense approach.

Key Takeaways

  • Decreased performance and unusual behavior signify potential compromise.
  • Special codes uncover hidden threats like call/text redirection or GPS spoofing.
  • Run frequent antivirus scans and monitor activity closely via task managers.
  • Reset passwords, update software regularly, avoid public WiFi to keep hackers at bay.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you fully remove a phone hack?

While difficult, it is possible in some cases. Start by resetting passwords, removing suspicious apps, running antivirus scans and restarting the device to clear memory caches. A factory reset fully eliminates all data and customization, restoring original settings.

What code displays if an iPhone is being monitored?

On iPhones, enter 3001#12345# to open a hidden Field Test Mode. Inspect the list under the Traces tab for any unknown connections. Hackers may attempt to intercept data traffic.

What are signs Android phone is hacked?

Common Android red flags are unexplained hot temperature, constant battery drainage, abnormal bandwidth spikes, foreign apps installed or notifications received, new administrator privileges granted to unfamiliar sources.

Does Android antivirus software help?

Quality antivirus apps aid substantially in combatting threats. They continuously scan for infection activity, prevent suspicious installations, filter out phishing attempts and provide added firewall protections. Use reputable brands like Avast, AVG or Bitdefender.

What happens when you dial #06#?

Entering *#06# displays the IMEI number to identify that specific mobile device. Users can compare the output number to what is listed on their smartphone box or account records to help determine if the handset has been tampered with or swapped.