In this digital age, there is a famous saying, “There are only two types of people on the internet, one who knows they are hacked and others who don’t.” Many cyber security experts also agree on this, which gives sheer anxiety to many internet users. So, can someone hack your phone through text or call?
At some point, you have read that intruders hacked someone’s phone through text. Nowadays, many people get spam messages on iMessage or WhatsApp from unknown people. Thus, this is a common question among many people: “Can someone hack my phone by texting me?”
Well! The simple answer is “YES.” It is possible to hack a phone through text. But there is a catch. Your mobile phone won’t get hacked just by opening a text. However, malefic techniques can be used to target your phone. This article will cover a few ways your smartphone can be hacked and techniques to shield you from hackers.
Can Someone Hack Your Phone Through Text?
Although tech companies like Apple and Google work hard to keep your phone safe, hackers always get a way around them. These cybercriminals mostly try to steal your personal data from your phone so that they can use it to harm you further. Here are a few ways someone can hack your phone through text, whether you use iPhone or Android phone.
This technique is the most common and evil practice. Big celebrities (like Jeff Bezos) have also fallen prey to it. In this, cybercriminals will send you text messages & gain your trust by pretending to be your friend. Then they manipulate you into revealing your personal details. Finally, they use the same data to blackmail or exploit you.
- The hacker will pretend to be a bank official by sending a text message.
- Then they will gain your trust by telling basic info about you that is available in the public domain.
- Next, they will tell you some problem with your bank account, and to fix it, you need to install a support app. That will be a remote connectivity app.
- Out of panic, you trust the person and share installed the app with the shared link.
- After that, they will ask you to allow access to the app on your phone so that they can fix the problem remotely.
- Next, they ask you to open the bank app and log in with your username & password.
- If you make this mistake, you lose control of your phone.
- Never talk to suspicious-looking people on messaging, chat, or calls.
- Don’t share your login credential with anyone.
- Never enter your login credentials when someone remotely accesses your phone.
- Don’t share your personal information with unverified and bait-looking websites. For Example – Sites that claim to give free cash or $1000 Amazon Gift Cards just for $20.
Phishing Emails and Texts
Cybercriminals have been sending phishing emails and texts for decades. They send you legitimate-looking emails and SMS messages, but the link or button inside it takes you to a phishing website. When you click a button on the email or tap the link in the message, you see a page where you enter your credit card number, bank details, or password. Then, after clicking the submit button, you unknowingly share your financial information. The even more concerning thing is that you will not even come to know what you did.
- Always use the filter in your email service to clear spam, junk, and harmful emails.
- Never click on any unknown link. Firstly, verify their safety through tools like Google URL Checker.
One of the common ways cybercriminals can hack into your phone is through Keyloggers. These spy apps are also known as keystrokes. They log everything you type on your keyboard and send the texts to hackers. How threatening, right?
First, someone who has gained access to your computer or phone can install a keylogger and hide it in the background without knowing you. Then, they will encourage you to log into your bank or social media account. Next, you’ll start typing without knowing anything. Keylogger will work in the background, and logged strokes will be sent to them. It’s how they access your phone with your help.
- Never share your phone with a person you don’t trust.
- Use only default or trusted third-party keyboard apps like Gboard and Microsoft Swiftkey.
- If you suspect your data have been compromised, consult cyber security experts and ethical hackers.
Spywares are malware programs that spy on your phone. It monitors all activities and collects phone data silently in the background. They can hack everything from the camera, microphone, apps, calls, text messages, search history, etc.
This is similar to the hide-and-seek game, but the hidden malware watches all your activities and is rarely caught.
Primarily spyware installs on your phone when you:
- Click on unknown links in suspicious text messages.
- Tap or click a button on the spam email.
- Install cracked or modded apps or games on your phone.
- Tap on murky popup ads on unsafe websites.
- Use total security or antivirus software like Bitdefender, ESET, McAfee, Norton, or Avast.
- Never click on unknown links.
- Download apps and games from App Store or Play Store.
- Always visit safe websites.
Using Free Wi-Fi
Looking for free Wi-Fi when going to cafes and restaurants is normal. But that is also a place where cybercriminals are also looking for you. They create free Wi-Fi networks in the name of the cafe you visit. You connect to their Wi-Fi in good faith, but they infiltrate your phone.
In this way, all the data on your phone gets hacked. So better be cautious while using public networks.
- Don’t fall prey to free public Wi-Fi networks. Instead, use your hotspots or ask for help from your friends.
- Always verify their Wi-Fi network with waitpeople or employees in cafes and restaurants.
- Use a VPN app to encrypt all your internet activities.
Can You Get Hacked By Replying To A Text?
Replying to a text might seem safe to anyone, but it isn’t. If someone is doing social engineering, you can become personal with them. In this case, they trick you into giving your bank details or social media accounts or convincing you to install their malicious app. So, never share your login credentials with anybody untrusted to stay safe.
Can Someone Hack My Phone By Calling Me?
If you trust an unknown, share your confidential information with them on a call, then ask yourself whether it might happen.
Advanced spyware like Pegasus can hack your phone by calling you.
An Israeli cyber-intelligence firm developed Pegasus called NSO Group. This spyware majorly exploits zero-day vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, iOS & Android developers and security experts have not yet discovered these bugs. Thus, your phone can be hacked by a simple-looking WhatsApp call or text message. Pegasus was initially sold to government and security agencies to tap terrorists and criminals. But now, it is being misused by some agencies.
Pegasus is also very dangerous because leaving zero or little evidence behind it. So you never know that your phone is tapped or hacked. Your device can also act as a remote camera or microphone for the attacker, who can use it for mala fide and criminal intentions.
There are few chances that someone would tap your phone just by calling. Also, Pegasus is very costly and is strictly sold to governments and federal agencies. You can be its target if you are a celebrity or politician; in that case, we suggest you use high-security devices like iPhones. You can get help from cyber protection agencies and cells if you doubt any cyber attacks.
Can Someone Track My Phone By Texting Me?
Yes, anyone can track your cell phone location by texting you. It is often done by:
- Phishing attacks
- Cracked or modded apps
The attacker may send a text with a link and manipulate you to click it. Once you click the link, the virus gets installed on your phone. After that, the person gets access to your live location without having access to your phone.
Thus it is of utmost importance to:
- Never click on any unknown and malicious link.
- Install only authorized apps and games from Play Store and App Store instead of random websites.
- Always turn off your GPS whenever you are not using it.
- Don’t entertain suspicious strangers in chat or messaging.
Thus, this article showed how cyberpunk can hack your phone through text and other methods. We have also discussed the tips and safety measures to avoid it. Phone manufacturers and OS providers like Apple & Google keep improving their software to fix security flaws & bugs. Thus you should update all your apps and operating systems to the latest version to access all security updates.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can opening a text message be harmful?
You can open and read a text message, nothing to worry about. But never click on a link or photo if you don’t believe it’s from a trusted source. It might download and run the malware code.
Can someone hack my phone by texting me on WhatsApp?
No, someone can’t hack your phone through text on WhatsApp. However, attackers can use social engineering to bait you into clicking links. They can also trick you into revealing your confidential details. Thus you should avoid entertaining these people at all costs. Never share your sensitive information and data in text or verbal form with them.
Can someone hack my phone by texting me a photo?
Yes, of course; the hackers use the following technique to do so:
- The hackers first write malicious code.
- Then they inject it into any eye-catchy jpg or gif image.
- Next, they send the photo to you.
- The malicious code runs in the background when you open or download the image.
- You may only see a picture of, let’s say, a cat, but your phone is hacked as of now.
How long does it take to hack a phone through a call?
It may take longer if someone tries to trick you on a phone call, but no one can tell the exact time. The software might do the same in a couple of minutes.