Can Someone Hack My Phone and Read My Texts?

Updated: September 10, 2020

23 comments

Having a weak password or using a public network while logging in to your account is a significant risk. In many such instances, you are at risk of having your phone hacked. Once a phone is hacked, personal data can easily be stolen and misused.

There are different ways in which your phone can be hacked. It is essential to familiarize yourself with all the various ways someone can use to breach your phone. This makes it easier to take the necessary precautions and relevant actions as preventive measures.

Here are the main topics we’ll be covering:

  • How to tell that your phone is hacked;
  • See whether your phone can be hacked by texting you;
  • Different ways that someone can hack your phone;
  • How to prevent hacking your device.

How to Tell That Your Phone is Hacked

There are many signs by which you can tell whether someone has hacked, trapped or monitored your phone.

The most common ones include:

1️⃣ Noticeable decrease in battery life.

2️⃣ High data usage.

3️⃣ A high number of mysterious ad pop-ups or notifications.

4️⃣ Unusual slowdowns in performance, crashes, and loading failures.

5️⃣ Outgoing calls or texts you don’t remember sending, purchases you didn’t make.

6️⃣ Device heating up or acting strangely (you can’t turn it off, or the screen activates on its own, etc.)

7️⃣ Suspicious apps are hidden in the Application Manager.

8️⃣ Strange background noises or interruptions during the calls.

9️⃣ Photos you don’t recognize or sudden flashlight activation.

1️⃣0️⃣ Changes in the settings.

In such cases, it’s essential to prevent identity fraud as criminals may open the credit on your name using your accounts.

Can Someone Hack My Phone by Texting Me?

Yes, someone can hack your phone by texting you. Such methods are called smishing or phishing. These attacks allow hackers to access your phone through texts.  Attackers send bait text messages in the form of trustworthy sources. The SMS can be a link that invites you to download an application, enroll in a competition, or generally participate in something online.  Once a user clicks on the link, the browser hackers can exploit your mobile connection to gain access to the data on your device.

In some instances, the text message may be from a regular contact starting with odd numbers, characters, or shapes. Opening the notification will download an app on the phone giving hackers access to your device.

How Can Someone Hack My Phone and Read My Text Messages?

Hacking Apps

There are lots of hacking and spy apps available in the market today. Some jurisdiction laws allow parents and bosses to use them. When installed in a targeted phone, the owner will be clueless that he/she is being tracked.

One of such apps can be mSpy.  Using hacking apps, the person can get access to information on your smartphone, including photos, GPS locations, emails, and other related data.  They can even record and listen in your phone call conversations by tapping your microphone.

SS7 Vulnerability

Fully known as Signalling System No.7 is a  hacking interchanging wireless network that allows a hacker to read your text messages, locate your IP address, and listen in on phone calls .

When you make a phone call or send a text message, there are specific details such as number translation, billing by the network service you are using, SMS messages transfer that happen in the background. These are what hackers use to access personal details. The same technology can be applied to gain access to your bank account, social media platforms, and even to hack your cell phone camera remotely.

Access to iCloud and Google Accounts

Hackers can hack your Google or iCloud account and see any relevant information saved there.  Most of our mobile devices automatically back up our contacts, bank statements, pictures, phone books, location, call logs, screenshots, and many other things in the cloud. This leaves us very vulnerable to data theft. 

Also, a hacked Google account translates to Gmail access, which is the primary email for most people. Gmail text messages hold all the relevant information about our passwords, social media logins, to even employee information. This makes it easier for an attacker to steal your identity.

Charging stations

USB cables are used to transfer data from your phone to another device. W hen you plug into someone’s computer malicious port, the owner can access your phone information. 

Older Android phones automatically connect your phone to another device, facilitating standard data transfer once you plug in a USB cable without authorization.

Even though chances are minimal for the latest models, with the right hacking spyware, a hacker can access your information, including text messages, without your permission. With this option readily available, a hacker can read your text messages and even transfer them to their device.

Law Enforcement Agencies

Government agencies like the CIA, FBI, IRS, DEA, Army, Navy, and National Guard are known to spy on civilians. They use StingRays (non-existence wireless carrier towers) for cellular surveillance.  StingRay was initially developed for military and intelligence agencies. When in use, it mimics a cell tower, enabling connection with phones in the area and other data devices. Thus, giving authorities access to phone calls, text messages, numbers dialed, etc.

StingRay has a 1km radius and can tap into thousands of phones at the same time. Phone owners won’t have any idea that their devices are being tapped.

Sim Swapping

Hackers can use the ‘sim swapping’ trick to access your phone details. Someone else can call your cellular service providers, pose as the owner who happens to be locked out of their account. Using information stolen from your online accounts, i.e., social media, they can mount your sim on their devices.

All authentication texts will be directed to them, totally shutting you out from your phone.

As a user, you will have no idea that your sim has been swapped. This gives them access to your contact information, receive all your text messages and other personal details. Hackers use this trick to send text messages to your friends or relatives and even ask for wire transfers.

Can Someone Hack into My Phone Through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Airdrop?

Yes.  When you are connected to an unprotected Wi-Fi network, you are at risk of being hacked.  Anyone with ill motives can access login details and passwords from a target device as long as you are on the same network. Using particular hacking app software, a tech-guru can intercept and analyze internet traffic with ease.

Opening your Bluetooth setting in public is dangerous, especially for android users. Without any user interaction, someone within your device Bluetooth range can get into your phone.

Airdrops allow an attacker in your proximity to get into your phone and even install an application. Using this over-the-air file-sharing technology, you don’t have to grant hacker access. This means they can also access text messages from your iOS mobile devices.

How to Protect Your Phone from Hackers

Regularly Update Your Phone 🌻

Updated OS and iOS versions have new and improved security software as compared to old ones.

Create Strong Passwords 👾

Avoid using obvious numbers such as birthdays as your PIN. Most of these details can be accessed via your social media platforms. Use multi-factor authentication and strong PINs even for your lock screen to prevent people from hijacking your phone.

Don’t make your security password questions too obvious. You can lie if possible since factual information is well-known, especially with family and friends. Also, create a long and complex password.

Never Share Your Sensitive Data 🤖

Avoid sharing your personal information like phone passwords or accounts with others. Also, Don’t give your number to strangers.

Don’t Give Physical Access to Your Device 👁

Don’t give your phone to someone you have doubts about. Also, ensure to log out of your iCloud or Google account when you sign-in from a device that isn’t yours.

Enable the Login Notifications 👌🏻

Enable the login notifications from any new device. This way, your information security will be improved.

Enable Two-factor Authentication 👩🏻‍💻

Employ authenticator apps to enhance security on your device. No one will be able to access your account without authorization from your phone.

Use End-to-end Encrypted Messaging Services 👐🏿

Use encrypted service networks for sending texts. Utilize end-to-end encryption for your emails. When you find yourself in a situation that could be of government interest, i.e., a protest, ensure you use encrypted messaging services. This prevents someone from intercepting your communication.

Don’t Use Password Credentials When Connected to the Public Network 🐦

Don’t connect to any open networks. If you have to, ensure your phone data has been adequately encrypted.

Turn off Wi-Fi, LTE, Personal Hotspot, AirDrop, and Bluetooth While Not Using Them 🦨

Disable the ‘connect automatically’ option from your phone. You don’t have to be in a public place to get hacked, do this even when in the comfort of your house. When using Bluetooth enabled headphones that support wired connection, always opt for the second one.

Don’t Root Your Android or Jailbreak Your iPhone 🌚

Rooting or jailbreaking your phone leaves it vulnerable to malicious attacks.  If your phone hasn’t been jailbroken or rooted, all apps will be visible. Therefore, users can identify malicious and unknown apps.

Use of VPN, Antivirus, or Anti-malware Software 🐾

This software helps to detect and flush out malicious activities on your phone. Also, make an effort to download security apps. Ensure the security apps are compatible with the type of device you are using.

Don’t Open Unauthorized Sources 🌵

Avoid clicking on unknown links or opening weird messages, even if they are from your friends. Don’t download unofficial apps. If you happen to accidentally download that has surpassed android warnings, quickly delete it.

Don’t Charge your Phone with Unknown Charging Stations 🐲

Always select the option “Charge only” when you connect your phone to someone’s computer for charging. Carry a wall charger whenever possible. It is a safer option.

Conclusion

We are entitled to privacy. There are rights reserved that clear state breach of confidentiality as an offense. There are numerous ways someone can get into your phone.

All these options are readily available for anyone who will decide to hack your device and read your text messages using surveillance applications. Although all spy apps work in stealth mode and tracking should be undetectable, you sometimes notice some strange things going on with your device.

If you happen to notice something is a miss, then chances are you’ve been hacked. If you suspect any malicious activities on your phone, take it to a service center for a diagnostic test.

23 comments

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  • sabes

    Hi, can a hacker also WRITE messages from your phone, such as those “START ABO” messages that subscribe you to premium messaging services?

    • Anjelica
      Anjelica

      It depends. If the hacker has remote access to your phone AND can send messages, then yes. If they have spying software, probably not. Sometimes they can send a fake message, one that is from your number but not necessarily your phone.

  • Sommer

    Hi! My husband has hacked into my phone. Even after I changed to my own iCloud he got my sons phone number under trusted devices so he could see everything. He hacked into my google account too! He’s out of control. I’ve changed passwords and did everything in privacy and turned of iCloud backup. Please help anyone

  • Norbert Byaruhanga Musisi

    Hullo there.
    I notice something unusual on my phone that I can’t comprehend.
    When I open my Google search, I find alot of activities (searched issues)
    I am a student but stay alone, I suspect someone is using a garget to access Internet using my data without my knowledge.
    Is this possible and how can I solve it
    Norbert

  • Sammar Abbas

    I have noticed something very strange I’m a it student myself but i was unable to understand this thing when I’m talking to someone.. sometimes i receive a message from them in that chat on texts that is mixed up with the original message and when i ask them they says i haven’t sent any of message like this i have checked their mobiles and my mobiles but I can’t find what is that is it a network companies lag or is it a hacker interfering as third party and changes the message on the way is it possible?

  • Ben

    A number I dont know sent me a text message
    Seemed like a bit but still the bot knew my name

    Anything I can do to ensure that I am safe?

    • Anjelica Rivera
      Anjelica Rivera

      You can try using Spokeo to see who the number belongs to.

  • Gigi

    my fiancé just told me everything about everyone I was talking/texting to on my android phone! I was talking to my ex, who is still a friend. he even printed out my texts. how do I fix this invasion of privacy? besides ending my relationship

    • Cinderalla

      When you find out how they do this let me know as I am having the same problem my husband tells me things I texted on my phone when I have had it on my possession and have not been with him all day so I was wondering if I was going to be committed for hallucinations and am going nuts but I guess this is becoming quit common but no one seems to fill me in on how obviously if he that worried and thinks I am guilty is usually because they R QUILTY OF YHE SAME THING THEIR VERY SELF SO MAYBE I NEED TO DO THE SAME

      • Belinda Whitehill

        Id like to know also as I suspect my partner is doing the same

      • Diana Windsor

        My husband was able to read my text messages and my teenaged children’s text messages. You know how? He was the account manager or the name listed as primary on our family cell phone bill. But even bigger, we all SHARED THE SAME APPLE ID. When I told my older daughter that he was spying on us, she knew right away it was because of shared Apple ID’s. When I went to Apple first, they said there was no way. Well we changed our apple ID’s. In too of that, with my husband being account manager on the family cell phone bill, when I would call the company yo make changes to my cell phone plan, they were like we need to talk to your husband and get his permission. Well to hell with that. So in order to get full power over my own cell phone, I had to remove MY phone ftom HIS plan. They told me I could “simply” change my phone number and be my own account manager. Change my phone number? The alternative was that my husband had to give T-mobile his “permission” to let go of my number. Well, I dragged him down to a t-mobile store who then connected him through a phone call to customer service where he gave verbal permission to let me have my permission hone number removed from his account. It costs a little more but the privacy issues you can’t beat. This is for anyone who is concerned about their safety. My husband had anger issues, verbally and physically abused us for years. I supported the family teaching while he was unemployed for the last 22 years. He noticed i was happy. For three weeks. He tapped into my phone messages and found i had met a peaceful, non-violent man who i had fallen in love with. A week later, my husband violently raped me with his hands. I was bleeding and could not scream as our teenaged kids were sleeping. It was 3 AM and he had been awake going over and over MY text messages and became angry. He had saved my text messages to HIS COMPUTER . He had agreed earlier in the week he would not say anything to our children about my brief affair as long as i stayed and kept quiet. What an awful predicament. The day after he raped me was my younger daughter’s 16th birthday party. So I had to pull it together. So ladies or gentlemen, if u get married or are concerned about your welfare, always be account manager of your own phone and never share your apple ID. Even to share songs. Not worth the heartache.

        • Sommer

          I have the EXACT SAME PROBLEM!!! And my husband is an asshole who loves to control me. I changed my iCloud and stuff but somehow he hacked in and put his own email address and my sons phone number under trusted devices. Like how the hell does he do that

        • Steve

          Well two things: so he was account manager? But been unemployed for 22 years ? Crazy and two family plans aren’t cheap.. second thing, if u knew he was abusive and an asshole, why would you tell him you wanted your own plan? U shuda opened ur own then get buck nasty with his brother and cousins, then go home ann tounge kiss him.. but i guess…

        • Samantha J.

          I’m just in despair reading your comment as I feel my future is the same fate if I move to another state with my current partner. Over 6 months he has effectively ruined a part of my person. But whats worse is he took a part of me. 2 STDS, a hate for myself through out 3 months total of awful, horridly hurtful messages and threats, lied to, held captive be it in my own car where he wouldn’t get out, even when I was driving and got out, taken my ability to leave the room by blocking, taken the ability to really ever cling to safety in him or someone else or my own person.

          So ladies and gents, if you’re ever in a place with a partner where you fear your ability to be fully respected or safe emotionally or physically- Don’t move across state lines if the answer to these are ‘Absolutely Not’:
          Do I want this around my niece?
          Can I trust he won’t hate me if I fuck up?
          Can I forgive him for something that he won’t stop doing like lying, emotional terrorism, promises of drugs have no future?
          Can my love for him outweigh my love for myself?
          Can I make it out of life happy with someone I feel universally designed just for even though its really killing me now inside?
          Am I happy with my own self?

  • MICHAEL MURPHY

    I texted my friend a steam wallet card numbers. Before she could access fthe card, someone already did. Is my phone texts being hacked?

    • Anjelica
      Anjelica

      That’s a possibility!

  • Ann

    Thank you so much!
    Well, I had this group chat where I and my friends would text on and there would be these different numbers sending us weird messages and pictures and I don’t know how but it scares me because they know my name. Any advice or info you can give?

  • Tim

    Very strange tone with this article. Trying to walk the line between helping people with compromised devices and selling the service yourself. With such mental gymnastics you’d make a good politician.

    • Anjelica
      Anjelica

      We are not selling anything, we’re merely referring to software that can spy on someone’s phone. You need to know your enemy to fight it.

  • mmbaganee

    so what if i want to spy someone without touching the phone

    • Damon

      Can you get access remotely or account info?

      • Miracle

        Yes, I can get access remotely or account info. How do I go about it?