Unfortunately, in the modern-day, your phone camera can be hacked (although still extremely unlikely). This is especially true if you’re connected to public wi-fi, which is much less stable and secure than using the wifi network in your own home.
But how can you know if your phone camera is hacked? Here are a few ways to tell if your phone is hacked and what you can do to stop this from happening.
How To Know If Your Phone Camera Is Hacked
The best way to tell whether your phone camera has been hacked is by using the camera itself. Then, zoom your camera in and out. If your camera is experiencing a lot of lag, this can be one of the telltale signs of being hacked.
Of course, this isn’t the only way to tell whether your phone has been hacked or not. There are some more things that you can do, or signs you might see, which can tell you whether your phone has been hacked.
The primary way your smartphone would be hacked in the modern day is with a trojan horse virus. Let’s look at some problems that this kind of virus might cause for your phone.
How Else Can You Know If Your Phone Is Hacked?
Although your phone camera can be hacked, it’s one of the least likely parts of your phone that could be hacked into. Your data is much more likely to be hacked in other areas, like your Google Drive or into your Apple Cloud Storage.
But if your phone has been directly hacked into, how can you tell that this has happened? Well, here are a few signs to look out for to know whether your phone has been hacked.
Battery Life Gets Dramatically Worse.
One of the main signals that might indicate that your phone has been hacked is a dramatic difference in its battery life. If suddenly your phone can’t even make it through a whole day without the need to be recharged, then you might have a problem.
The thing is that if your phone is hacked, it is likely the hacker will be using a lot of your mobile data. This is what increases the overall battery life usage of your phone. Note that there will be a significant decrease in your phone’s battery life.
Your phone’s battery getting gradually worse over time is expected with any phone. But if it plummets very quickly, then hacking could be a factor.
The Phone Starts Acting Weird.
As well as limited battery life, another indicator that you might have been hacked is that your phone starts doing strange things. The best example of this is that your phone suddenly decides to turn off whilst you’re using it, which is another key indicator that it may have been compromised.
Your phone may also start to become slow and unresponsive. Getting good security software in place is key to fixing this kind of issue, and more importantly, stopping it from happening again in the future.
Random Text Activity
A telltale sign that your phone has been hacked is when your text and call history shows things you have never actually done yourself. Finding random texts sent out or calls made? There’s a chance that you’ve been hacked.
Sometimes, the hacker is trying to gain access to your personal information. But in some cases, they may just be trying to use your phone to go on their website or something similar to try and earn money from your website traffic.
Although data usage is the main reason hackers want to get into your phone, it’s not the only reason. Sending premium text messages can make a lot of money for the hacker, so make sure you haven’t sent a ton of texts that you aren’t aware of.
Something that you’re going to want to check is how much data your phone is using. Another sign of hacking is that your phone starts using more data than it had previously.
Make sure that you’re not using crazy amounts of data, as often a hacker will try and get your phone to be accessing the internet 24/7. If someone has access to your phone, then you’re likely to see the amount of data you use to go up quite dramatically.
Just like with your laptop, pop-ups can be another indicator that you’ve got some privacy problems on your phone. You can fix this by downloading good anti-virus software.
These kinds of pop-ups have always been an easy way to tell if your device is hacked. Fortunately, it is an easy way for you to know that your phone is hacked, and then you can do something about it.
How Likely Is It That My Phone Camera Has Been Hacked?
If you’re wondering whether your phone has been hacked already, then it will depend on the operating system your phone uses. Let’s look at both Apple and Android and what you can do to prevent being hacked in the future.
The truth is that it is very, very unlikely that your phone camera has been hacked. This is especially true if you’re an iPhone user that’s kept their phone up to date, as this can help to stop people from accessing your phone.
There aren’t any exploits of the Apple OS unless you’ve left it in the hands of someone who’s experienced enough to do this physically. For the most part, though, they are generally more secure than Android phones.
Make sure that when you’re downloading Apple apps from the store, that you check the apps and their reviews – this is probably the most likely source of a hack. You can also ensure that these apps don’t have access to your camera within the app's settings.
Whilst Android isn’t as secure as Apple, and it’s still very, very unlikely that you’d be hacked. This is for a few reasons, including the app approval process for Android, which isn’t as strict as Apple’s.
You can help to prevent your Android phone in a few ways, including;
- Don’t root your Android phone, and if you use Apple, don’t get your iPhone Jailbroken. If you don’t do this, then you’re far less likely to get your phone hacked.
- Always make sure that you trust an app when you install it from the App Store. If you don’t, make sure to go into your settings and check what the app has access to.
- For Android, it could be worth getting good antivirus software. This can help to keep you from getting hacked and will ensure that your data isn’t compromised.
Can Someone Spy On Me Through My Phone Camera?
For most people, the idea of your phone camera being hacked is a very worrying prospect. It’s a natural thing, we don’t like the idea of being spied on 24/7, and we especially don’t want someone watching us.
Being worried about the cameras on our devices spying on us is nothing new – people have been covering their laptop webcams with tape for years now. However, most people would be shocked to know that there is commercially available spyware specifically designed to hack a mobile device’s camera without the user being any the wiser.
As well as being widely available, these spyware products are available for as little as $30 per month, and some can even be used for free for a limited time. The availability of these relatively easy-to-use tools also means that the technical ability needed to hack a victim’s phone and use the camera to spy on them has been dramatically reduced. In theory, all someone would need to do is install this spyware onto the target device and follow the instructions provided by the developer.
Of course, this depends on the device and the operating system that it is running. If the machine is running Android, it is potentially much easier to install the spyware and bypass the inbuilt security features. With iOS, it can be more complex and would require a hacker to ‘jailbreak’ the device to get around the built-in security. Whilst these methods can be somewhat technical, it’s not out of the reach of many people, with the correct information.
In most cases, a hacker would require physical access to the device they are looking to infiltrate for a short time. They need the opportunity to install the spyware they want to use to control the device’s camera and any prerequisites such as a Jailbreak.
How Can Spyware Control Your Phone’s Camera?
There are various spyware products available on the market, many of which are competing based on the features they can offer to their users. Hackers sometimes make use of these features to blackmail their victims, or they sell their photos and videos to people on the black market. Some of those features include:
- Photo capture – Many different spyware products can secretly take photos from a phone camera (either front and back – or both at the same time). This is done remotely, and again, the victim is entirely aware. All the photos are automatically uploaded to a cloud server where they can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
- Video recording – Spyware such as FlexiSPY can take a video using the phone’s camera. It’s discreet – recording the footage without the victim knowing anything. The video can then be uploaded directly to an online database.
- Remote camera monitoring – Alongside capturing video and photos, perhaps one of the most worrying features is the ability to watch someone ‘live’ through their phone’s camera. This could allow the hacker to broadcast the video live onto streaming sites or even the dark web.
Scan The Environment Carefully To Detect Suspicious Hidden Video Cameras
One of the easiest ways to detect hidden cameras is by checking around the environment carefully. An inch-by-inch search would be helpful to spot ”obvious” hidden cameras at the first step.
Most Common Places to Find Hidden Cameras Indoors
• Smoke detectors
• Air filter equipment
• Wall décor
• Electrical outlets
• Desk plants
• Tissue boxes
• Stuffed teddy bears
• Couch cushions, tabletops, and shelves
• DVD cases
• Lava lamps
• Digital TV boxes
• Wall sockets
• Hairdryer holders
• Wall or alarm clocks
• Clothes hooks
Most Common Positions to Locate Hidden Cameras & Microphones Outdoors
• House plants
• Holes on the doors
• The roof of the house
• The doorbell outside your home
Some objects may reveal suspicious wires, lights or lenses that are hallmarks of hidden spy cameras. If you find some unusual power outlets or adapters, unplug them immediately.
Listen as you walk through the entire room. Some hidden motion-sensing surveillance cameras would make an almost inaudible buzz when in operation.
Turn Off The Lights In Your Room To Spot Hidden Night Vision Cameras
You can use the night vision security camera working principle to find hidden cameras in your room. Most hidden security cameras have red or green LEDs. The LEDs will blink or shine when in low-light conditions.
When in low-light conditions, the LEDs around the camera lens will turn on automatically to supplement the lighting for the cameras to produce clear night vision images.
You can follow the below steps to find hidden IP cameras when in dark conditions.
- Draw the curtains in your room, and turn off the lights.
- Check whether there are blinking red or green LEDs in your room.
No matter what hidden cameras you want to detect, wired or wireless types, you can use this way to see surveillance CCTV cameras in your car, in stores, in the living room, bedroom, at your home, etc.
Should-Not-Miss Tip: It's also an easy way to check if a security camera is on.
Use Your Mobile Phones To Locate Hidden CCTV Surveillance Cameras
How to detect hidden cameras using iPhone and Android mobile phones?
There are two easy and free ways to find hidden cameras using your iPhone or Android smartphones, even without detectors.
Use a Phone Call to Check for Hidden Cameras & Microphones
- Make a phone call with your friends or family.
- Walk around your room. Hidden surveillance usually would give off a unique radio frequency that would interfere with your phone call signal.
If you notice signal interference in a specific place or position, stop and check this place carefully to find out whether there is a hidden security camera there.
- Use Mobile App to Find Hidden Cameras & Listening Devices
- Install a ”detect hidden cameras” app on your iPhone or Android mobile phones. For example, ”Spy hidden camera detector” app (.apk) software is a good option.
You can check more apps to detect hidden cameras here.
- Launch the app on your mobile phone. The detector software will display a red glow when your smartphone approaches a hidden camera. Please note that it will also glow when near other types of hardware with radiofrequency.
Get A Professional Camera Detector Or Sensor To Spot Hidden CCTV Cameras
Professional RF signal detectors or other hidden camera bug detectors are pretty adequate to locate hidden security cameras.
A lot of news has reported that people keep finding hidden cameras in their rental Airbnb homes. If you go on business or a vacation and rent an Airbnb house, you can find the hidden cameras with the detector quickly.
How To Detect Hidden Cameras Using A Detector
- Buy a professional detector on Amazon or other online shops. The price varies greatly, ranging from several bucks to hundreds of dollars.
- Turn on the device and do a sweep of your room to detect hidden pinhole video cameras.
Typically the detectors will beep when they detect a signal, giving you an audible indication when you near a potential camera.
Please note that the RF hidden camera detector typically only picks up a kind of frequency. If the hidden security cameras and other bugs use multiple frequencies changing rapidly, the sensor might not detect hidden spy cameras.
In conclusion, it’s implausible that your phone has been hacked, as a tiny percentage of phones can end up being hacked nowadays. However, if you have done things that you maybe shouldn’t have – like jailbreaking your phone – this can make it much more likely that your phone has been hacked.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to tell if your phone has been hacked or not. You’ll usually notice pretty quickly if someone else is using your phone without your permission, and if they are, then you can do something about it.
The good news is that bad guys would not install hidden cameras with complex, frequent network signals since this type of hidden spy camera is much more expensive.