Six telltale signs that your phone has a virus as cybercriminals target WhatsApp

In the last three months of 2021 alone, almost 45 million people were targeted by scam texts and calls.

Being tech savvy enough to avoid a dodgy message or call is one thing, but smartphone users also have to contend with a deluge of viruses, malware, and even hacker threats through even secure platforms like WhatsApp.

Stats suggest this is a growing concern for smartphone users, with Google search traffic showing more than 20,000 different queries for 'how to know if your phone is hacked'.

Cybercriminals could be using smart software exploits to keep tabs on your every move, from stealing your bank details to snooping on you through your selfie camera.

Luckily there are a few ways to identify whether you're the victim of cybercrime, giving you the opportunity to get to the root of the problem without having to buy a new phone.

Background noise in phone calls is a dead giveaway. If hackers are listening in on your voice conversations, you may hear unusual background noise or crackling from someone accessing your device.

Adverts are everywhere these days but if you get constant dodgy-looking popups on websites or on your phone home screen, it could be a sign that you've been infected with adware.

If your phone has slowed down considerably lately or is running too hot, this could also suggest that malware is overloading your device resources. Likewise, if your phone is quite new but your battery and data are decreasing significantly, a virus might be quietly ticking away in the background and slurping up resources.

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The biggest sign that your phone might have security issues is if you start seeing weird apps, messages or outgoing calls from your device that you don't remember inputting.

As well as this, if your friends have begun to complain about your social media accounts sharing strange posts with them, it's likely that your accounts have been compromised.

If you're concerned that you've been a victim of a cyber attack, your first step should be to install some certified antivirus software on your device. Avast, MalwareBytes and Bitdefender can all keep your data protected. They offer different levels of protection for different threats, so it's worth installing a couple of apps to keep all the bases covered.

You should also change all of your passwords and logins as soon as possible to lock cybercriminals out of your device. Most apps and social media platforms these days offer two-step authentication to provide an additional layer of security, so check your account settings to ensure this is enabled. It could just save your money—and your sanity.

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