The iPhone has a reputation for being secure. Apple has a closed operating system (unlike Android’s open source) and more closely monitors and vets apps in the App Store. And with just one phone model, the iPhone, Apple can more easily push updates and pressure its users to download them.

This does not mean that your iPhone is immune to attack. Hackers are always coming up with new ways to get into any device, and your iPhone is a prime target for malware, spyware, ransomware, viruses, and more. Tap or click here for seven settings to change and increase your iPhone’s security.

Whether you’re using iOS or Android, it’s not always easy to tell if your phone has been compromised. Hackers can target your devices in many ways and you may not get a warning or even know that something malicious is happening in the background. Read on for tips on diagnosing a hacked phone.

How do they get in?

One does not have to be a hacker to get into your phone. As you will see in some examples below, they may have other motives.

  • Someone can bring your phone up to your face when you sleep and unlock it. This allows them to view your device without your knowledge.
  • Stalkerware is designed to track you using GPS, call logs, messages, images, browser history, and more. This may be hidden behind another app that looks harmless.
  • Harmful downloads and malicious links can infect your phone without your knowledge. Something as harmless as a PDF file can carry some poisonous data. Be careful where you touch.
  • Bad apps, like bad apples, exist everywhere. They can mimic well-known apps or try their luck to trick you into downloading and running them. Once you do, your phone is infected with malware.
  • Hackers can target your SIM card, the small chip in your phone linked to your mobile account. This is known as SIM swapping and the scam involves convincing your mobile operator that you are the scammer. They may say that the phone or SIM card is lost or destroyed. They answer a few security questions and redirect your phone number to their SIM card. They then have access to your accounts.
  • Hackers can intercept your MAC address via Bluetooth and remotely infect your phone.

There are more ways for strangers to access your phone and these are just a few to watch out for.

CONNECTED: How to tell if you’re being stalked or just paranoid

Look for the signs

How do you know your phone is hacked? Here are some red flags:

  • Too many processes running at once slows down your phone. Or it could be a single culprit in the form of malware that eats up a lot of resources. This can also cause your phone to heat up.
  • Your battery is draining much faster than usual due to some unknown activity.
  • Significant spikes in data usage may signal adware and the like running in the background.
  • Malware can slow down your internet by redirecting your traffic to dangerous servers or simply take over your bandwidth to steal more information from you or target others.
  • If you notice activity that has nothing to do with you, such as sending emails and messages and posting on social networks, your phone and accounts have been hacked. Also check your streaming history and credit card purchases for unknown activity.
  • Spam pop-ups are a good indicator that your phone has been hacked.
  • Check for changes to the home screen and unfamiliar bookmarks.
  • Apple has announced that it will notify users if their devices have been compromised by state-sponsored malware and spyware. Tap or click here for our report.

How to protect your phone from hackers

When it comes to keeping hackers out of your phone, just a little effort can make a huge difference:

You might like more: Do not scan this QR code! Hackers use them to steal your information and money

How to know if hackers are in your phone

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