The Pegasus snooping row has again thrown into spotlight the issue of how safe our phones are. While most people do not need to worry about Pegasus, there are several other hacking and spying software and apps that you need to be cautious of.
While some apps try to access financial information from your phone like bank account details or passwords, others can take complete control over your phone including photo gallery, calls, messages and more.
But there are signs that you can look for, which tell you if your phone has been hacked.
#1 Phone's battery is draining faster than usual If your phone's battery is draining faster than usual, malware and fraudulent apps may be using malicious code that tends to drain a lot of power. But before we scare you, check the number of apps running in the background. First close them and then monitor.
#2 You spot apps that you didn't download Your phone may be vulnerabe to hacks if you notice apps on your smartphone that you are sure you didn't download.
#3 Your phone is crashing too many times Keep an eye out if you find your smartphone is acting weird. Apps crash unexpectedly or fail to load. Many sites look different than they usually do, is a telltale sign.
#4 Your phone is throwing up too many pop-ups If you notice a lot of inappropriate or X-rated advertisements as pop-ups on your phone, it could suggest that your phone has been compromised. Pop-ups may be due to adware, a type of malicious software that inundates your device with ads. Remember to never click on such links.
#5 The flashlight of your phone turns on, on its own The flash light turning on even when you are not using your phone is another sign to look out for. This may be because your device is being remotely controlled.
#6 Your phone is getting very hot even when not in use Phones can heat up during prolonged periods of use, like gaming for hours, or running navigation apps etc. But, if your phone is getting very hot even when you don't use it, there is some cause for worry.
#7 You notice gibberish call logs or text messages You must watch out for texts or calls in your log that were not sent to you or sent by you. If you notice gibberish and unusual characters there, it would be a sign that a hacker could be accessing your phone.
#8 Your data usage suddenly shoots up If your data bill is higher than usual without you increasing your online activities, it is likely that your phone is hacked and the hacker could be using your phone’s data to run apps in the background.
#9 Unrecognised activity on social media accounts If there are posts on your social media handles that you haven't made or emails sent from your account, that are connected to your phone, it could mean that a hacker has gained access to the device.
#10 Your phone becomes unusually slow and sluggish If your phone is hanging more often, or the screen is freezing too many times, or your phone is rebooting unexpectedly, it could be a sign of a hacked device.