Just like other devices, a smartphone is vulnerable to hacking. Cybercriminals know that phones store people’s personal and financial information, from photos and sensitive emails to financial details and passwords. Hackers have a lot to gain by exploiting this data. They might use the stolen information for identity theft or to commit fraud.

No technology is perfect, and many people experience problems with their devices. However, repeated issues can leave you wondering whether or not your phone has been hacked. Knowing the signs will prevent you from suffering any loss. Read on to learn about some common signs of a hacked phone and what to do to keep it safe.

Rapid Battery Drain or Overheating

Phone battery capacity degrades gradually over time. If you suddenly notice a significant drain in battery life, it is a sign that something is wrong.

Apps running in the background can cause the battery to drain quickly. Ensure that apps are not running in the background and restrict battery consumption for the apps that take too much of it. If this is not the case, someone has probably hacked your phone.

Hackers often plant malicious codes on legitimate-looking ads. If clicked on, such ads install malware on a device, leading to performance issues like fast battery drain.

Likewise, playing games for an extended time or watching movies and videos will cause your phone to heat up. If it constantly overheats while it is not in use, this might signify the presence of malware. Malicious software consumes extra energy when it runs in the background.

What to Do

  • Update Phone Software and Apps: Old software versions may not receive the latest security updates, that’s why it’s essential to update the operating system regularly. Removing the apps you rarely use will also keep the device
  • Install Antivirus Software: Antivirus software will detect a piece of malware and quarantine it. Once quarantined, remove the infection to stop it from spreading.
  • Delete Unknown Apps: Remove and delete all unfamiliar apps that you did not install. Hackers could be using them to download viruses on your phone.

Slow Phone Performance

Various factors can contribute to a slower performance of the device, and running out of storage space is one of them. If the storage space runs out, the operating system will not have room to store temporary files or cache data.

The level of performance of the device, therefore, can suddenly drop. Perhaps your phone freezes, specific apps crash, or some apps take longer to load. It could also be due to malware overloading your system resources.

What to Do

  • Delete Unused Apps: Delete apps running up in the background. They use your phone’s resources even when you are not actively using them. Deleting these apps frees up resources and improves the performance of the device.
  • Clear Cache: Your apps will perform better with cached data. But cached data can hog storage space. Clearing the cache removes unnecessary data, freeing up your phone’s space and improving its processing speed.
  • Do a Soft Reset: Performing a soft reset cleans the RAM, leading to faster and more efficient performance.

Unknown and Persistent Pop-up Ads

Pop-up ads you see while browsing online are popular advertising techniques. Online businesses use them for marketing activities, including promotions, advertising new products, and gaining customers.

Persistent and suspicious pop-up ads while browsing reputable platforms like Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) signal that hackers have infected your phone with adware. Pop-up ads can have malware that forces you to view pages, driving revenue for hackers through clicks.

In addition, these ads might even be more harmful than this. They might take you to pages that steal your personal information.

What to Do

  • Do Not Click on Ads: Avoid clicking on suspicious pop-up ads. It will prevent you from downloading malware to your device.
  • Avoid Performing the Default Installation: If you want to install an app, choosing the Custom or Advanced installation options is a good idea. That way, you can check whether or not the app you are installing will download additional software to your phone system.
  • Use a Pop-up Blocker: Install ad blockers to prevent intrusive ads from appearing on your device.
  • Never Click on Suspicious Links and Attachments: If someone sends you links or attachments via messages, never click on them. If you think it could be someone you know, first run a background check on the person on Nuwber.

High Data Usage

Running out of data is a red flag. It is a possible sign that malware software is running on your phone in the background, sending information to a malicious server.

Sometimes, unexpected higher phone bills mean that someone has hacked your device. Criminals might be transferring data without your knowledge.

Strange background noises during phone calls could mean weak reception. But it might also be a sign that someone is listening to your calls.

What to Do

  • Keep Track of Data Usage: Check for unusual traffic to ensure you are the only one using your phone.
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN): Cybercriminals can compromise your device through public Wi-Fi at hotels or airports, for example. Public networks expose your activities to other people on the network. A VPN, in turn, will make a public network private, keeping you and your activities protected.
  • Check Background Data Usage: Look for apps running and consuming data in the background. Restricting access to suspicious apps will reduce data usage.


With all your contacts, passwords, bank accounts, and more information stored on your phone, hacking is the last thing you want to happen to it. Unfortunately, device hacking is on the rise, leading to significant personal and financial issues.

Knowing the signs of it will help you stop the hackers. These signs include rapid battery drain or overheating, slow phone performance, unknown and persistent pop-up ads, and high data usage. Taking immediate action will secure your phone and protect your personal information. Protecting your phone should be an ongoing process in today’s digital world.