Android phones are often considered safe as they come packed with lots of security features. So, is hacking android phone possible? Well, yes. No matter how many security features a developer adds to the device, a hacker finds a loophole to break into Android phones. Sometimes, a hacker may misuse a little information provided by the android phone user to break into his phone. If you also feel that your phone is hacked, read on how to fix a hacked Android phone.
The cases of hacking and data breaching are increasing every day. More than 98% of the hackers target Android for mobile banking attacks; it isn’t surprising as most users use Android phones globally.
Still, people don’t pay any attention to the updated security features introduced regularly on the phones. We often ignore the small details and signs telling us that our data or phone is not secure. A hacker takes advantage of the user’s ignorance and breaks into the phone’s security.
Don’t ignore any signs or wait for your android hack fix automatically. Install a licensed anti-malware software like Quick Heal, Norton, and McAfee on your Android phone to prevent hackers from hacking your device. Here we have explained everything from android phone hacked fix to how to fix a hacked phone.
Who Can Hack Your Android Phone?
Anyone from your home to the office can hack your phone, especially the person you share your secrets with and trust. An office colleague can try hacking your device to access your private chats or pictures. Sometimes, a kid may try to break into your device to get the banking details for online transactions. Here is a list of people who can try hacking Android phone –
- Family members like kids, spouse, parents, etc.
- Office colleague
- Hacking learner
- Professional hackers
- Government bodies
How to Fix a Hacked Android Phone Accurately?
When a hacker tries to break into a device, he usually uploads malware or installs a spy app that copies every keystroke, app activity, location, photos, files, etc., from the user’s Android phone. These apps work in the background so that the victim won’t know anything about it. But a spy app or malware runs in your device almost all the time, the phone’s workload increases, and it starts acting strangely.
There are several signs that an Android phone shows to indicate strange or unknown activity in the device. If you can identify them, you can quickly secure the device and prevent mobile hacking.
How to Tell If Your Phone Is Hacked?
Here is a list of signs that a victim can look for if he suspects that his phone is hacked. Don’t ignore them, especially if you want to learn how to find out who hacked your cell phone.
- Unknown calls were made and messages sent by the victim’s Android phone.
- Apps are getting crashed frequently.
- Changes in call forwarding and diversion settings.
- Presence of unknown apps.
- Frequent increase in the number of spammy pop-ups.
- Lost signals from the Android phone.
- Overall poor phone performance.
- Unidentified activity on the online account.
- A sudden spike in data usage.
- Android cell phones become hot even when kept idle.
- The phone is getting discharged frequently.
Advanced Ways to Fix a Hacked Android Phone
As discussed prior, Android phones are a secure device to use. Still, a hacker can find small details and exploit them to break into someone’s Android phone. The developers update their applications regularly to prevent mobile hacking. If the user follows them regularly, they can quickly find a phone hacked fix and secure their device from hackers. Here are some points for how to fix a hacked Android phone.
Factory Reset the Android Phone
Resetting the Android phone is the best way to remove malware from your device. But before you begin this process, make sure to take a backup of all the essential files, photos, and documents; otherwise, you will lose them.
How to fix a hacked Android phone by resetting it?
Follow the steps given below to learn how to reset an Android phone –
Step 1: Switch off your device. Once done, press and hold the Volume Up and Power button simultaneously.
Step 2: Once you see the mobile’s logo, leave the Power button but keep holding the Volume Up button till you reach the mobile recovery screen.
Note: Here, you can move up and down using the Volume Up and Down button, respectively. The Power button will let you select an option.
Step 3: Select ‘Delete all user data’ and press the Power button to implement the process.
Your Android may take a few minutes to delete data and reset. Resetting an Android phone is the last option you can choose if nothing seems to work with how to fix a hacked Android phone.
Alternatively, you can reset your Android device by accessing the mobile setting and then choosing factory reset to erase all data.
About Phone >Factory Reset >Erase all data.
Every Android phone has this setting, but it may vary among the different phone brands we are using. If you can’t find the above settings, here is what you can do.
Step 1: Open the phone’s setting.
Step 2: Tap on the search icon (or magnifying glass icon) to open the search bar and enter ‘factory reset.’
Step 3: Once you find the Reset setting, enter the page and select ‘Erase all data.’
Time taken to reset a device depends on the amount of data you have stored in your phone.
Disable Call Redirection and Diversion
Call diversion or forwarding is a known concept that we usually use to redirect our calls and messages to other numbers. But a hacker can misuse the same feature to direct messages, calls, or other data on his own device. You can dial the USSD code to find out who is receiving all your messages and calls.
To disable all the forwarded call settings at once, Open the phone’s dialer and dial ##002#.
General Ways to Fix a Hacked Android Phone
When a hacker tries to break into a device, he usually uploads malware or installs a spy app that copies every keystroke, app activity, location, photos, files, etc., from the user’s android phone. These apps work in the background so that the victim won’t know anything about it. But a spy app or malware runs in your device almost all the time, the phone’s workload increases, and it starts acting strangely.
There are several signs that an android phone shows to indicate strange or unknown activity in the device. If you can identify them, you can quickly secure the device and prevent mobile hacking.
Here are eight general ways you can follow to unhack your android phone –
- Install trusted licensed anti-virus apps and scan your Android device.
- Delete any app or messages that seem malicious.
- Keep an eye on your phone activity and performance.
- Check data usage of applications installed on your Android.
- Unsubscribe from all website notifications and reinstall the web browser.
- Turn off spammy messages and notifications.
- Backup your data and reset your phone if you aren’t satisfied.
- If you still feel your phone is acting strange, format your Android mobile and restore it to factory settings.
If you don’t want to factory reset your phone right now, then you may do the following things to fix a hacked Android phone. But, we highly recommend the factory reset method.
Reboot Your Android Device
People often consider rebooting the Android device will stop hackers from accessing your private data. But it works only a few times, primarily if someone has targeted your Android for just once. However, if someone has really hacked the device, even rebooting the Android phone won’t help as the malicious application will restart once your device reboots.
Clear the Phone Cache
Reduced phone performance is one of the signs that someone has installed a spy app on your Android. It can also happen when there is very little space in your phone due to unnecessary applications and other files. It results in lagging and slow loading speed even for small tasks like making a phone call. To fix this issue, check if you have unnecessary applications installed on your device and uninstall them immediately. You can also try cleaning the phone cache to make more space on your Android.
Step 1: Power off your Android device
Step 2: When the device is off, long-press the Power and Volume Up buttons together till you see your phone logo.
Step 3: Once you enter recovery mode, you will find an option to ‘wipe cache partition,’ ‘wipe device cache‘ or ‘clear phone cache.’
Step 4: Use the Power Up/Down button to navigate through the options
Step 5: Press Power Button to select ‘wipe device cache.’
Depending on the cache size, it may take a few minutes for your Android phone to restart.
Run the Anti-virus Scan
Every smartphone must have an antivirus or anti-malware apps that can monitor the unusual activities on your Android device. It will also block all the connections if someone tries to login or access your account from an identified device or location. If you doubt someone is trying to break into your device, run a security check using the anti-malware application. Make sure the anti-malware app you install on your phone is licensed and not the pirated ones.
Delete All Suspicious Apps
The spy apps don’t usually have an icon to stay hidden on the victim’s Android phone. But your phone’s setting enables you to find the hidden apps along with others. You can also identify a hidden app by looking at its data usage.
How to Check Data Usage?
Step 1: Open settings and tap on the ‘connection and sharing’ option
Step 2: Tap on ‘Data usage.’
Here, you will find all apps arranged in the decreasing order of their data usage. The spy apps use a lot of data to send files and information to the hacker device. If you find any unknown app using more data than it requires, uninstall it right away.
How to Uninstall An Unknown App?
Step 1: Open your Android phone settings
Step 2: Tap on Apps then Manage Apps (Here you will find every app installed on your phone, including system apps)
Step 3: Tap Uninstall (It will take you to a new window with a list of apps that you can uninstall from your device)
Step 4: Select the apps that you don’t remember downloading or that look suspicious. Then click Uninstall.
How to Secure Android Phone from Hackers?
Once you know how to fix a hacked Android phone, you must take some measures to prevent hacking in the future. Here are some points to remember –
Update the Android and Applications
After you have reset your phone, the next step that you must do is update Android and applications running on your phone. As discussed, the developers keep sending security updates for the apps running on the device. These updates carry recent changes to prevent hackers from exploiting your information. So, you must keep your phone up-to-date if your phone’s performance is lagging or you are finding it hard to open any app.
Disable Unknown Sources
If you don’t want hackers to break into your device, don’t download any application from an unknown source. You can also disable unknown sources to prevent anyone else from downloading malicious apps on your Android phone. Here’s how you can do it –
Step 1: Open phone setting.
Step 2: Open the Privacy Protection setting and tap on Special Permissions.
Step 3: Scroll down the screen to find the Install unknown apps option.
Here, you can find a list of apps that can download unknown apps on your Android.
Step 4: Make sure no app has access to download unknown applications.
Turn off Debugging via USB
This feature remains disabled by default on all android devices. But if you have entered into the developer mode and turned on this setting, we will advise you to disable it again. Not many people know that cybercriminals can easily hack into a device connected to the USB port available in public places.
Avoid using USB ports available in public places (like hotels, dining areas, airports, etc.) to charge your cell phone. Only use the outlets where you can connect the adapter for charging your device.
Set-up Two-factor Authentication
Nowadays, many apps provide a two-factor authentication method to make your online account more secure and safe from hackers. You can apply the same while setting up your Google account on your Android device. With 2-factor authentication, no one can access your online accounts even if the hacker knows your password.
Enable Biometric Authentication
Biometric authentication is the best way to protect your phone’s privacy. But did you know you can use the same to protect individual apps on your Android device too? Some applications (like WhatsApp) come with an in-built security feature that allows users to protect their apps using biometric authentication. Alternatively, you can choose to apply app lock on specific applications and add a biometric authentication method to protect their privacy (this setting is available in the phone setting).
Never Register on a Vulnerable Website
The internet is full of websites offering different content. But not all of them have robust security features to prevent hackers from stealing users’ data. If you have anti-virus or anti-malware apps installed on your device, it will warn you when you try to access unsecured websites. We will also advise you not to open them.
Hackers can hack an unsecured website and steal all data that the victim has used to register himself on it. Sometimes, it may include debit or credit card information.
Change Passwords of Your Online Accounts
If you think your Android phone is hacked, make sure to change your online accounts’ passwords. But don’t do it from the same device. Open your account on your PC or laptop and change every social media and bank account’s passwords. Sometimes, a hacker may install a malicious app on your phone that can duplicate every keystroke you type.
Once you have reset your Android, reinstall the apps and log in with the fresh passwords. It will ensure that your online accounts are safe to use. Avoid using any guessable passwords like your DOB, mobile number, lover’s name, etc., and use a strong password using alphabets, numbers, and symbols.
FAQ about How to Fix Hacked Android Phone
How to fix the phone performance issue?
Reduced phone performance is one of the signs that someone has installed a spy app on your Android. It can also happen when there is very little space in your phone due to unnecessary applications. It results in lagging and slow loading speed even for small tasks like making a phone call. To fix this issue, check if you have unnecessary applications installed on your device and uninstall them immediately.
How to fix the battery drainage issue?
The battery issue is common in old phones, but it can indicate one of many things if you see the same in a new Android device. It is common for a hacked phone to start losing battery frequently. Check if your phone has any unknown application which is consuming a lot of battery. Remove it as soon as possible to fix this issue.
What to do when you detect automatic calls/texts from your phone?
When you find your phone sending unknown calls or messages without your knowledge, it is evident that someone has access to your phone. To fix this issue, you can enter your Gmail account from the computer and change all online accounts’ passwords. Once done, reset your phone and login into your accounts with fresh passwords.
How to remove unwanted pop-ups?
It is normal to get a pop-up notification for a recently visited website where you have subscribed to receive notifications. But you won’t get it again if you have unsubscribed from it. In case you are receiving pop-ups from a website you never visited, it can signal that your Android is hacked. Scan your device using a licensed anti-malware app and remove any unwanted application.
If the issue prevails, check if there is an app using a high amount of data. Sometimes, a hacker may change the spy app’s look and make it resemble an original application. If you find a similar app, uninstall it and download it again from a verified site like Play Store to remove hackers’ access. You may read this article on how to stop pop-up ads and protect yourself against unwanted ads.
Hacking Android phones and data breaches are common threats that we have been dealing with since the internet and social media became part of our lives. But there are ways we can avoid becoming victim to these threats and prevent mobile hacking. Installing anti-malware apps and updating all other applications regularly in our Android phones are the two most basic steps everyone must take to keep their data safe online. Here, we have mentioned every trick to learn how to fix a hacked Android phone. If we left any, mention it down in the comment box.