Your Android phone keeps more information than you think, including phone numbers, email, and even banking details. Despite it helps simplify your life, there is a big risk of hacking that should be kept into consideration. The question is, how to tell if your Android is hacked?
In many cases, Android users do not know if their device has been hacked until they receive spam email or suspicious bank transactions. Considering Android is easier to hack than iPhone, learn how to know if your Android phone has been hacked so you can take action immediately!
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Signs If Your Android Is Hacked
When your phone is being hacked, it commonly sends signs and warnings. Unfortunately, it is not unusual that Android users don’t understand the signs. Be a thoughtful Android user and know the following signs of a hacked phone.
1. Battery drains too fast
When your battery drains much faster than it should, it may be a sign that your Android is being hacked. This is because the spy or malware application is using Android phone resources to collect information and set it back to the hacker’s server. All the process is commonly running in the background, so users are less likely to notice it. In some cases, the phone is getting hotter than usual.
2. Tardy performance
There are many reasons that cause tardy performance in Android phones and hacking can be one of them. When you find the phone is frequently stopping or crashing but you do not install new apps, someone maybe hacking your device. The malware app may be scanning the device using the phone’s resources, causing it to overload.
When the resource is overloaded, chances are it takes more time to run other applications, even the small one. You may also experience repeated restart, crash and apps won’t close.
3. Background noise on a call
Another way to tell if your Android has been hacked is the presence of background noise on a call. Some users who have reported malware on their device found electronic interference or background noise. It is commonly noticeable when users are on a call and it means the communication is interfered with. The electronic interference may include static, echo, or click noises during a call.
4. High data usage
If you suspect your Android phone is hacked, check on the data usage. Exceptionally high data usage can be a sign that someone is interfering with your device. It also means there is an unknown app, which is commonly a spy or malware app, running in the background and consumes lots of your data.
However, high data usage can also be caused by something unrelated to hacking. It may be an app that is downloading updates such as Instagram or podcasts. Make sure to check your update setting to know if high data usage is caused by regular updates or malware.
5. Unknown outgoing calls and texts
Checking call logs and outbox is another way how to tell if your Android is hacked or not. Some users may find unknown outgoing calls and text they did not send. This can be premium-rate numbers that malware app forces you to contact. You may also need to check the phone bill. When there is a cost you don’t recognize, it is positive that your device is hacked.
6. Device misbehavior
When your device begins to behave strangely, it can be a strong sign of hacking. The majority of malicious software, including spyware and malware, often causes weird behavior. For instance, you find suspicious activity such as text with garbled words. If you receive this kind of text, it means your phone is connecting to an unknown device.
Besides, it is not uncommon for the device to show suspicious activity on linked accounts such as email or social media. You may receive a notification of resetting a password but you did nothing with it. Or, your unread emails may be read without your knowledge.
7. Unwanted pop-ups or ads
Do you notice unwanted ads that keep popping on your screen? If this never happens previously, it means something is wrong with your device and it can be caused by hackers. In many cases, hackers install new applications to do certain functions, such as rooting. The new installed app potentially contains ads, so you keep seeing it on the screen.
But before coming to the conclusion that your phone is being hacked, you need to make sure if you did not install a new app. Check and recheck the app list on your Android and if you are sure there is a new guest on the list that you never install, take action to counteract the hacking.
8. Disabled Google Play Protect
Each Android phone comes with Google Play Protect by default. This app helps scan viruses and malware on the device. A hacker needs to disable this app before doing an action. For that reason, the disabled Google Play Protect can be a strong sign if your Android is hacked. To check whether Google Play Protect is on/off, do the following steps:
- Access Google Play Store.
- Select Menu, then choose Play Protect. Tap Settings.
- See if the Scan menu is on/off. If it is off, tap to turn on.
9. Scan the phone with antivirus app
If you don’t see any of those signs but still worry about Android hacking, convince yourself by scanning the phone with an antivirus app. This app enables you to scan devices and find out if there is spyware or malware on the system.
How to Fix a Hacked Android Phone?
Now that you know how to tell if your Android is hacked, it’s time to learn how to fix this situation. Being hacked is a nightmare but it is not the end of the world. There are many things that you can do to counteract this crime, including:
1. Install a reputable antivirus
Malware or spyware can be detected by reputable antiviruses. Not only can they detect the presence of threats and malware, but these apps also help fix the problem. There are many antiviruses that work well on Android such as McAfee and Norton. Once you install the program, scan the device and see the result.
2. Uninstall unwanted apps
In case you notice unwanted apps on your phone, uninstall immediately. This is the most effective way to stop hackers from collecting your information. Since unwanted apps may drain the battery and make your phone sluggish, uninstalling these apps allows you to bring back the performance of the device. Here is how to uninstall unwanted apps from your Android:
- Go to Settings, choose Apps.
- Tap App Manager and navigate to the unwanted apps.
- Click and choose uninstall.
3. Clear phone cache
Clearing phone cache helps fix the problem of hacked Android. When your phone shows strange behavior and you suspect it is being hacked, do the following steps:
- Turn off your device.
- Press the Volume Up button and Power button at the same time to boot up the screen.
- Recovery mode will appear and allow you to clear the device cache.
- Use your volume buttons to navigate up and down. Choose Wipe device cache.
- Your phone will reset, wait for a while.
- Reboot your phone and see if the problem persists.
4. Factory reset
If those actions don’t show positive results, you may need to factory reset the device. Remember that once your factory reset the device, all data and apps stored on the phone will be erased. It makes you start over, just like using a new phone. Before deciding to reset the device, make sure to backup any photos, videos, contacts, and other important information.
When everything is backed up, do these steps to factory reset the Android phone:
- Open Settings, select Backup and Reset.
- Choose Reset, then tap Factory Data Reset.
- Wait until the process is finished.
Your Android device will look like new. Please note that factory reset is the last option when none of the methods above work. But if you don’t mind setting up the phone over and over again, it can be on your top of the list.
The fact that Android is easier to hack than iPhone forces you to be thoughtful to know the signs when an Android phone is hacked. How to tell if your Android is hacked? There are many symptoms that should be considered, ranging from strange behavior and draining battery. Once you see one or more of the signs, do several methods above to fix it. Good luck with your Android phone!