How to detect secret hacking on your smartphone

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Our smartphones have become the main focus of our lives and we use them for almost everything.

However, smartphones are also great targets for hackers who can secretly download malware into your phone turning it into a device that does more harm than good.

Because these criminals put their malware into your phone without you knowing it, you have to be a bit of a detective in order to figure out if your phone has been compromised — but there are signs.

Raleigh resident Heather Milanesi worries about her phone being hijacked saying on a scale of 1 to 10, she “rates her concern at an 8.”

She worries for good reason.

The cyber security company Kaspersky detected nearly 3.5 million attacks on mobile devices in 2021.

How do those infections get on our phones? Some are imported via apps that contain malicious software. Still, others result from clicking phishing links sent by text or email.

“If someone does click on a link or open up an attachment and it has malware on it, your local machine can be compromised,” said Joel Hollenbeck of Check Point Software Technologies.

There are several signs your phone has secret malware in it:

  • You notice your phone battery drains quickly after it’s been fully charged
  • Your phone gets very hot to the touch because it’s running constantly
  • You get about high data usage notices because your phone is always transmitting something
  • There are outgoing calls or texts you didn’t send

In addition to malware from phishing and apps, you need to be aware of external threats to your phone

“I try not to go on public Wi-Fi because I heard that’s a way they can get into your phone and do things,” said Raleigh resident Cheryl Warren. “Also, I would never charge my phone at a charging station they provide.”

That scam is called “Juice Jacking.” Consumer Investigator Steve Sbraccia reported on it in the past.

“Juice Jacking” is where hackers manipulate the USB ports at public charging stations to infect your phone.

If your phone shows signs of infection, you need to download anti-virus software for your phone.

It can be tough figuring out which one is best for you. To help you, here is a link to price and feature comparisons of seven different brands of anti-virus software.

By looking at the comparisons, way you can decide which works best for you and your budget.