How to Remove a Hacker from Your Samsung Phone
By Olivia Roberts
Samsung is the second most popular manufacturer of smartphones in the world, with a market share of 28.19% compared to Apple’s 28.43% as of October 2022.
However, despite its high status, Samsung has been the victim of two cyber attacks in as many years. In March 2020, the Korean electronics firm was targeted by data extortion group Lapsus$. Although they gained access to internal company data and source codes rather than customer information, the breach is still unsettling.
More worryingly, in August 2022 Samsung announced that they had become aware of another cyber attack the previous month. This time the hackers managed to gain access to customers’ sensitive information, including names, contact details, and other personal data.
The company has taken action to secure the affected systems and has reassured customers that the hackers did not have access to their credit card information or Social Security numbers. But the attack remains concerning for Samsung users.
Although these kinds of high-profile attacks are rare, your phone could quite easily be hacked or monitored by someone you know. Spyware can be purchased for around $30 and installed on your phone without your knowledge, compromising your phone’s security.
Read on to learn about how to recognize spyware attacks, as well as how to fix hacked Samsung devices and protect yourself in the future.
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What Is Spyware?
Spyware is a tool used by phone hackers to access and use your information without your permission. It can often be installed on your phone without your knowledge, and it can make your phone behave unusually. We’ll learn about how to remove spyware a little later in the article.
Possible Symptoms of a Hacked Phone
If you’re worried that your phone has been hacked, there are a few warning signs to look out for. Find out more below:
Unusual phone behavior
Spyware makes phones work overtime, since it has to constantly send data to the person or organization hacking it. This can cause a drop in your phone’s performance and battery life, and the battery may drain much faster than usual.
However, it’s important to remember that phone batteries naturally become more inefficient over time. If you have an older phone, poor battery life is not necessarily a sign that spyware is installed on it.
Spyware can also cause your phone to take longer than usual to shut down, or to become too hot.
Use of excessive data is another common sign of phone hacking. Keep track of your data usage, and if you notice anything suspicious you can look into it.
Most people have lots of apps downloaded on their phone. If you think that your phone has been hacked, check your installed apps to see if there are any you don’t recognize.
Unfamiliar apps with access to your location, camera, and/or microphone are a warning sign. If you see any apps that you don’t remember downloading, it’s possible that someone has installed them on your phone without your knowledge.
Make sure you check your full list of apps, rather than just those that show up on your home screen. Some spyware apps may use different, innocent-sounding names, and others could even be hidden in the Settings menu. Be wary of anything that looks suspicious or out of place.
How to Detect and Remove Viruses on Samsung Phones
If you’re suspicious that your phone has been hacked, there are a few things you can do to get to the bottom of it.
Use safe mode
If you think you are a victim of phone hacking, the first thing you should do is to restart your phone in safe mode. This is a setting that temporarily disables all the third-party apps that you have installed on your device.
You’ll still be able to make calls, send messages, and use the internet via the software that was pre-installed on your phone. But you won’t be able to use any apps.
If your phone behaves normally again once you turn on safe mode, it’s very likely that an app is causing the unusual behavior. This is because in safe mode, all apps are disabled.
The challenge is finding out which app is the culprit! Changes will only take effect after you have exited safe mode, so you’ll need to uninstall suspicious apps one at a time to find out which one is to blame.
How to enter safe mode on a Samsung phone:
- Press and hold the power button until the “Power off” screen is displayed.
- Tap and hold Power off until the “Safe mode” option is displayed.
- Tap Safe mode.
- Your device will restart and “Safe mode” will be displayed in the lower-left corner of the screen.
- Once you’ve finished using safe mode, simply restart your phone to return to normal.
Use Samsung’s virus scan
If you can’t fix the issue using safe mode, the next step is to use the antivirus software built into all of Samsung’s devices. This will allow you to scan your device and detect any malware installed on the device.
How to use the Samsung virus scanner:
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap Battery and Device Care.
- Tap Device Protection.
- Tap Scan Phone.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
Use Certo Mobile Security
Although using safe mode and virus scan are a great start, the best way to deal with and prevent phone hacking is by using an anti-spyware app like Certo Mobile Security.
It’s free to download from the Google Play Store, and compatible with all Android devices—including Samsung phones. Our app has been developed from the ground up to detect and destroy viruses and spyware.
As well as performing a deep scan, we’ll identify which apps are tracking you and check for critical system settings that can stop hackers from accessing your phone.
If a threat is found after the app has scanned your device, simply click ‘Remove’ and the spyware will be deleted so that you can remove a hacker from your phone.
How to Keep Your Samsung Phone Secure in the Future
In order to avoid getting a virus in the future, there are a few best practices that you should follow.
Use a security app
Use an app like Certo Mobile Security to protect your phone from hackers. Our app has a feature that allows you to automatically ‘set and forget’ a device scan at regular intervals to ensure protection.
Keep your phone updated
Samsung regularly releases updates for your device that contain fixes for bugs that can cause security vulnerabilities in your system.
Use a strong passcode
For your lock screen, combine a strong passcode with fingerprint or facial recognition, if available on your device.
Only download apps from trusted sources
Only install apps from the Google Play Store or the Galaxy store, and make sure your Google account password is strong.
Block unsafe or annoying ads
Some ads and pop ups can allow viruses access if you click on them. Keep yourself safe by using the built-in ad-blocker on the Samsung internet app.
Use Samsung Pass
This app will allow you to use your fingerprint or facial recognition data to log into accounts instead of passwords.
Use Secure Folder
This feature is available on Samsung phones and will allow you to keep your files and data secure from prying eyes.
Don’t click suspicious links
Some links can look realistic, but will lead you to websites trying to steal your data or install malicious apps on your device. Be careful about what you click when you’re using the internet.
Don’t root your device
You may be tempted to root your device to unlock certain features. Unless you are very experienced, you should not do this as it will seriously weaken the security of your device. If you have the Certo Mobile Security app installed it will be able to detect if a third party has rooted your device without your knowledge.
If you need to remove a hacker from your phone, there are a few things you can do to fix the problem.
Here are our top tips on how to improve your phone security:
- Use safe mode and the Samsung virus scan as a first step.
- Use strong passwords for all of your online accounts.
- Download an anti-spyware app like Certo Mobile Security.
Your mobile privacy is our mission
Think your phone has been hacked? Our trusted apps make it easy for you to scan, detect, and remove threats from your device.
Is a Samsung phone easy to hack?
No phone is designed to be easily hacked—Samsung phones included. However, it is relatively simple for someone to install spyware on your device without your knowledge. Spyware apps can be purchased for around $30 and installed on your phone by anyone who has physical access to it.
To protect yourself against this type of threat, we recommend downloading an anti-spyware app like Certo Mobile Security.
What is the safest phone to have?
Unfortunately there is no definite answer to this question, since it’s technically possible for all phones to be hacked. Whatever phone you have, our best advice is to use smart passwords, be vigilant, and use an anti-spyware app to protect your phone and your personal information.
Who can I contact about my phone being hacked?
If you’re concerned that your phone has been hacked, use a tool like Certo Mobile Security to investigate. If it becomes clear that you are a victim of phone hacking, you should contact any financial services or online stores that have your credit card or bank account information.
It’s also a good idea to contact your bank to find out whether there have been any fraudulent transactions.
Should I do a factory reset?
A factory reset can be an option if you have a hacked Android phone. This will wipe all information from your phone and restore it to its original ‘factory’ state. However, if you choose this option, you’ll need to make sure you back up your device using the Samsung Cloud or an external device, so that you don’t lose your photos, music, and more.