This is a common question – can someone hack my phone by texting me? In my opinion the simple answer is yes, someone can hack your cell phone by text message. But probably not in the way you are thinking, or how some people claim online.
Another question is can someone hack my phone by calling me – by phone number?
This one is easy, No – simply calling a phone number will not let you hack someone’s phone or give you any access to it.
I’ll cover both these questions once and for all.
A determined hacker can access lots of information stored on your phone or device and that is why it is vitally important to take as many precautions as you can to protect your phone.
This article will address some of the frequently asked questions about phone hacking and hacking by text message in particular.
Could Someone Really Hack My Phone or Device?
Yes, is the simple answer and it could be happening to you right now. One of the most common ways phones are hacked is by spy apps – easily available online.
Spying apps need to be installed on the target device so in most cases this means the hacker needs to have access to your phone or device for a few minutes. Once the software is installed they can then see almost everything you do on your phone.
They can be very well hidden and you might have no idea you are being monitored!
These apps are cheap and legal to buy – but there are legal restrictions on their use. It is not legal to install a spy app on just anyone’s smartphone or tablet device.
These apps are meant to monitor your own kids phone to keep them safe online – or for employers to monitor company cell phones.
There are many ways to hack a phone including – Wi-Fi network hacking, iCloud hacking or Google account hacking and phone network hacks. Hackers are always trying to come up with new ways to steal information stored on cell phones and you therefore need to keep up with these changes to protect your information and data.
But be sure – your phone or mobile device can be hacked and it is more common than you think!
Can Someone Hack My Phone by Texting Me – Really?
Yes, technically someone can hack your phone by texting you – but let me explain.
Just being sent a text message and opening it will not hack into your phone. What hackers do is send a text with a download link. This link will have malicious code or software that enables them to gain access to your smartphone.
The text with a download link can be sent in different ways including by sending the message through WhatsApp or other messenger services.
Of course you need to be careful – they aren’t going to be open about the link. They will disguise it to fool you into thinking it is something else just to get you to download it!
Just opening the text message will not harm you, but clicking the link or downloading an app might!
Your phone is more susceptible to text hacking if it is an android phone or device as these can sometimes allow apps to be installed from untrusted sites. Plus Jailbroken iOS devices (iPhone or iPad) and android devices that are rooted are at a greater risk of being hacked by text message.
How Does a Text Hack Work?
Hackers use different tactics to trick people into installing a hidden tracker or hack. Their aim is to get you to click the link they have sent you in the text message content – so they will disguise it!
You might receive a text message from a hacker supposedly from a trusted source such as your bank or telling you you have won a prize. The message will contain a link or download file and tell you to click it.
Once you click the link a program is run on your device installing the hack or spyware enabling the hacker to steal your personal information. These scams can be very sophisticated and target large numbers of people.
Can a Spy App be Installed by Sending a Text Message?
Again this is a claim doing the rounds online. It could technically happen but as before, not as they claim. You could send someone a spying app download link in a text message telling them to click the link – but it is more complicated that this.
In order to install the monitoring app the user would see clearly that it is a monitoring app and they would have to go through the installation process. Although installing spy software is easy enough – it does involve several steps and changing some phone settings.
It will not install itself simply by opening a link!
Can You Get Hacked by Replying to a Text?
No simply replying to a text message will not be able to hack your phone. Remember in most cases you will need to download a spy software program. Usually by them tricking you into it in some way.
The process of replying to any text message will not allow anyone to hack you.
Can Someone Hack My Phone by Calling Me?
This is another myth you might come across on the internet. It claims you will be able to hack into someone’s phone just by calling their number. Seriously? If you fall for this one you are beyond help! Imagine the chaos if this were true.
Your phone cannot be hacked by simply answering a phone call.
There are however various voice call scams out there known as Vishing scams. Here the idea is that a caller will trick you into giving out your personal data by pretending to be from an official company such as your bank.
But as I said earlier your phone or device is at risk of being hacked through other methods such as fake charging stations and an unsecure Wi-Fi network or hacking into your iCloud account.
I have an article looking at this – Can Someone Hack My Phone Using Just the Number – have a read to find out why this doesn’t work.
Can Someone Hack My Phone and Read My Text Messages?
Someone could read your texts by hacking your phone and a lot more than that! If they gain access to your phone everything on your device can be compromised.
Spy apps are extremely powerful and can log all activity on your device. They will report the contents of text messages sent and received, voice call logs, internet browser history – all photos and videos on the phone and much more.
Some spy apps can record voice calls and they can hack your phone and send text messages from your phone – as if you sent them! This feature is called text message spoofing.
They can also gain access to your social media and messaging apps things like WhatsApp, Snapchat and Instagram. See my article on how to see someone’s Snapchats and history or even how to hack someone’s Instagram account – these highlight the dangers out there from hacking.
Other Ways a Hack Can Happen
Spy Apps: There are various spy apps on the market with different capabilities including but not limited to monitoring all messages, photos, calls, emails and web browser history. These need to be downloaded and installed onto the target phone.
Google/iCloud Account Hack. Many people use these accounts to back-up their phone data including photos and texts. If a hacker gets access to the user name and password this back -up data then becomes accessible to the hacker.
Public Charging Station Hacks. Have you ever been in the airport and seen people charging their smartphones at the free stations? Well, this is the perfect opportunity for a hacker to gain access to your phone using Malware.
Be cautious when using free charging stations and free public Wi-Fi networks.
Who Would Want to Hack Your Phone?
There are times when a phone can be hacked and it is perfectly legal to do so. Parents might want to keep their children safe while online and they are within their rights to install monitoring software on the phones and monitor their accounts.
If an employer gives an employee a “work phone” this can be hacked to enable the boss to monitor the phone. The employee does need to be informed that there is monitoring software on the phone though.
This might seem highly unlikely but it can and does happen. Be careful of where you leave your cell phone or who you lend it to. They might not want to just make a call.
Again this might seem far fetched but not everyone you work with necessarily likes you and might want to gain information that they see as damaging to you.
This is not legal at all but does not deter some people from doing it – for obvious reasons.
These people are usually after financial information but can use your phone against you in many ways. They can try to bribe you or steal your information.
How Do you Know If Your Cell Phone is Hacked?
It can be hard to tell for sure if your phone is hacked but there are certain things you can look out for:
Erratic Phone Behavior
And I don’t mean from you! Is your phone behaving suspiciously? Is it shutting down unexpectedly. Is it over heating? Are you hearing strange noises? Are you charging it more often.
These issues can be because the phone is old but there may be a more sinister reason.
Can you see apps installed on your phone that you have not installed?
These might just be a game you don’t remember installing or it could be spy software hiding in plain sight. Check out any files or apps you are not sure of.
Monitoring apps and hacking can put a drain on resources and suck the life out of your battery. If you think your phone needs charged more often it could be hacked. But remember all batteries do not last forever and it might be general wear and tear.
There are many ways to detect if you have been a victim of hacking by text or other means but some are less reliable than others – see my article on how to use a code to check if your phone is hacked. It explains how this isn’t a reliable option.
To sum up, your phone can be hacked by text message – but it is more likely to be hacked using spy software or other methods. Text hacking isn’t your main worry.
Some determined hackers will find a way to gain access to your phone if they think it is valuable to do so.
So, don’t use a rooted or Jailbroken phone and be careful about what apps are installed on your phone. Most importantly be careful handling text messages from unknown sources and if in doubt don’t open them and do not reply!