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Protecting Your Smartphone: Frequently Asked Questions


How can you protect your smartphone from hackers and viruses?

Many resources focus on protecting your computer from hackers and viruses, but phones are susceptible to hacks too. With a few steps, you can reduce the risk of getting your smartphone hacked.

How can hackers get into your phone?

Hackers can get into your phone if you open phishing links, enter fraudulent websites, use unsecure public Wi-Fi, or download fake apps (Motorola).

How can you tell if your phone has been hacked?

  • Your battery drains easily. Check to see if your phone is running any unusual downloads by going to “Settings > Battery > Battery usage and look for an unknown app or anything unusual” (Motorola).
  • You have an app on your phone using over 5GB of data. Check the data usage of your apps by going to “Settings > Network and internet > Mobile network > App data usage” (Motorola). 
  • You have unwanted apps on your phone. If you notice any apps you did not install, delete them from your phone (Motorola).

How can you protect your phone from being hacked?

  • Lock your phone with a passcode, phone recognition, or a fingerprint (McAffee, 2024).
  • Keep your phone updated with the latest Apple and Android updates (FTC, 2022).
  • Use a VPN to keep your connection private when using public Wi-Fi (McAffee, 2024).
  • Back up your smartphone regularly so you are able to recover the data if it is lost or stolen (FTC, 2022).
  • Delete old apps that you no longer use from your smartphone (McAffee, 2024).

What should you do if your phone has been hacked?

If you suspect your phone was hacked, you can restore the phone to its factory settings. Do this by going to “Settings > System,” then “Reset options > Erase all data (factory reset).” Then set up your phone as a new phone (Motorola).

Further Reading

FTC. (2022, July). How To Protect Your Phone From Hackers. Retrieved from Federal Trade Commission Consumer Advice:

McAffee. (2024, March 14). 7 Tips to Protect Your Smartphone from Getting Hacked. Retrieved from McAfee:

Motorola. (n.d.). Hacked, malware or virus attacks. Retrieved from

Webroot. (n.d.). How to Prevent phone Hacking and Protect Your Cell Phone. Retrieved from



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