RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – Our smartphones have become the center of our lives and we use them for almost everything.
However, smartphones are also great targets for hackers who can stealthily download malware onto your phone and turn it into a device that does more harm than good.
Because these criminals plant their malware on your phone without your knowledge, you’ll have to be a bit of a detective to figure out if your phone has been compromised — but there are signs.
Raleigh resident Heather Milanesi is worried about her phone being hijacked and says on a scale of 1 to 10 she “rates her concern an 8”.
She’s worried for a reason.
Cybersecurity company Kaspersky detected nearly 3.5 million attacks on mobile devices in 2021.
How do these infections get on our phones? Some are imported via apps that contain malware. Still others result from clicking on phishing links sent via SMS or email.
“If someone clicks a link or opens an attachment and it contains malware, your local computer could be compromised,” said Joel Hollenbeck of Check Point Software Technologies.
There are several signs that your phone contains secret malware:
- You find that your phone battery is draining quickly after fully charging
- Your phone feels very hot from running all the time
- You get high data usage alerts because your phone is constantly transmitting
- There are outgoing calls or SMS that you have not sent
In addition to malware from phishing and apps, you also need to be aware of external threats to your phone
“I try not to use public Wi-Fi because I’ve heard that’s how they get into your phone and do things,” said Raleigh’s Cheryl Warren. “Also, I would never charge my phone at a charging station they provide.”
This scam is called “Juice Jacking”. Consumer investigator Steve Sbraccia has reported on this in the past.
In “juice jacking,” hackers manipulate the USB ports on public charging stations to infect your phone.
If your phone shows signs of infection, you need to download antivirus software for your phone.
It can be difficult to figure out which one is best for you. To help you out, here is a link to price and feature comparisons of seven different antivirus software brands.
The comparisons will help you decide which one is best for you and your budget.