Are you one of those people who does everything on their phone? Maybe you use Apple Pay or Android Pay to pay for things, and you’re also on every social media site there is. You can even record shows on your television by pressing a button on your phone.
So what should you do if your phone gets hacked?
It can feel humiliating and scary. Suddenly your entire life has been exposed. Even saying to your friends, ‘my phone was hacked’ can feel hard.
But don’t despair, as there are several steps you can take to rectify the situation. Here’s what to do if your phone is hacked.
Call the Police
The police should be the first port of call when your phone is hacked.
Hacking a phone is a criminal offense. The perpetrator has invaded your privacy and, if they are a career criminal, are likely to use the information to steal from you or to blackmail you. They can also lock you out of all your accounts.
Hackers can use your bank details that you have inputted into the app to clean you out of your life savings. They can also impersonate you over the phone or in-person at banks where you don’t do online banking.
They can also do damage when it comes to releasing your personal information on the internet. If you have private pictures on your phone that you might have shared with a partner or a lover, then hackers could threaten to release them for a sum of money.
You should involve the police in all the scenarios. They will be able to help you catch the criminals and mitigate the damage from this kind of situation.
Consider Hiring a Private Investigator
The police are often very busy, and they might not have the resources to track down the perpetrators of an offense. The police are also only able to operate in the country where you live.
Police can find it challenging to track down the perpetrator if the hacker fled abroad to a country that doesn’t enforce the laws as strictly, or to someplace where it’s harder to track people down.
Often phone hacking scams involving data loss originate in large factories in foreign countries.
One solution to this is to hire a private investigator. If you pay them, then they can investigate the hack more thoroughly than the police might be able to. They might have a whole team of people that can track down the perpetrators.
PIs can also work with the police to ensure they get the best result through a team effort.
But best of all, PIs can also work internationally. If your hacker was based abroad, you stand a chance of justice if your PI is prepared to hop on a plane to investigate.
Replace Your Phone
This is the easiest and most straightforward way to fix the issue of your phone hacking. This cannot reverse the damage caused by the hack itself or bring back any of your data, money, or photos.
For photos, the question many people like to know when replacing their phone is can I recover permanently deleted photos from my iPhone? The answer is generally yes if you have saved your pictures in the cloud.
Replacing your phone, however, can give you the security that you need going forward. Before you choose which phone you want, be sure to do some research to find out what phones are best for security. A recent security hole put many users of popular brands at risk.
Consider Your Security Arrangements
How much care do you take when it comes to security? You might be somebody who shares everything online when there’s no need to. Instead, you might want to decide to review the way you use your phone.
Do you need to do your banking on your phone, or can you do it on another, more secure device that you don’t take around with you?
Should you store intimate photos on your phone that are easily accessible, or should you keep them in an encrypted hard drive and not online?
Also, consider changing the chat app you use. You should use an encrypted chat like Whatsapp rather than Facebook messenger, which is not very secure.
If you’re in any doubt, then consider hiring a security expert to review your arrangements to help you improve.
Tell Your Freinds and Family You’ve Been Hacked
The last thing you want is for your friends and family to hear from your hacker, pretending to be you. Instead, find some way of contacting them by phone or through a channel the hacker doesn’t have access to. Say to them, ‘my phone was hacked’ straight away.
Then tell them what has happened and instruct them either to block the hacker or not to reply and screenshot all of the messages that a police officer or a private investigator can use.
A phone call is often the best way to contact friends or family as they can hear your voice and will know that it’s you.
Make a list of all the services and people the hackers have access to and methodically find a way to contact them.
What to Do If Your Phone Is Hacked? Stay Calm and Take Action
What to do if your phone is hacked? It’s a question all of us need to think about.
The reality is there’s no real way to ‘unhack a phone’ as once the damage has been done, it’s hard to reverse. Hackers can choose to share your information around.
Be sure to phone the police if you feel you got hacked. It’s important to report it straight away so that criminals cannot cause any lasting damage like hacking your bank account or releasing private photos. Be sure to tell your friends and family members, too.
If you are interested in learning more about topics like this and how to protect yourself in cases like these, be sure to check out the rest of our site.