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Can a Phone Be Hacked When Turned Off?

While designed for convenience, “switched off” phones can be hacked through features like iPhone’s “Find My” feature, your mobile wallet, and features to unlock a house or car. Hackers have far easier ways to get to your device and data. Don’t get caught off guard. Learn the signs of phone hacking and how to prevent it — or use Clario’s antivirus tool to stop malware threats in their tracks automatically.

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Can turning off your phone stop hackers?

Yes, in some cases, turning off your phone can stop hackers. As phone companies use more sophisticated security systems, hackers are increasingly relying on in-memory payloads that are stored in your phone’s memory. Though this technique can be more subtle than malicious links, in-memory payloads can’t survive a reboot.


The USA’s National Security Agency has issued a best practices guide for mobile security that recommends rebooting a phone every week as a way to stop hacking.

How to know if your phone is hacked?

Just like any other device, your phone can be hacked. While hackers can be subtle, there are always telltale signs to know if your phone is hacked. If you have suspicions, here are common indicators of a hacked phone:

Let’s take a closer look at these hacked phone signs.

You notice apps you don’t recognize on your phone

You probably know your personal phone better than anyone else. If you suddenly see unfamiliar apps or settings, it could be hacker activity. Also, look out for text messages or calls you didn’t send or purchases you didn’t make. All this activity indicates unauthorized access to your phone.

Your phone works slowly

If your phone is suddenly slow, frequently crashing, overheating, or if the battery drains quickly a hacker could be the culprit. Hacking tools and techniques take up a lot of resources and can hobble your phone’s performance. Malicious apps and software installed by hackers can also max out your system and cause performance issues.

Mysterious data usage spikes

Are you suddenly out of mobile data? An abrupt increase in data usage could be due to a compromised device. Malware or spyware running in the background of your phone to track your activity could be using data to transmit information.

Strange behavior

The end goal of many hackers is to get access to your device. If you notice strange device or account behavior, they may have achieved that goal. Be wary of new account activity, changed passwords and account settings, or login attempt notifications.

Spammy pop-ups

Frequent pop-up ads are a sure sign of adware or spyware. Hackers are trying to get you to click them — don’t. These pop-ups link out to malicious websites or downloads that result in malware and unauthorized device access.


Though these are some common signs, you should use your instincts. Hackers are crafty and may use unconventional methods to hack someone’s phone. If you suspect something, take a close look at your phone’s activity.

Is your phone hacked?

You can also dial codes to see if your phone is hacked.

How can you stop someone from hacking your phone?

To stop a hacker, you must cut off their access to your device and personal data. It’s crucial to act quickly. Failure to do so could result in device damage, financial repercussions, and the spread of the attack to your contacts.


Here’s how to stop a phone hack:

Change your passwords immediately

From email to social media to banking, your online accounts are highly valuable targets for hackers. If you’ve been hacked (or even suspect you have been) you should immediately change your account passwords. The data held within those accounts are too valuable not to take this precaution.

Run anti-malware software to detect any malicious applications and processes

Quality anti-malware software can provide comprehensive protection against hacker threats. Clario’s antivirus tool will automatically scan your Android device for malware — plus regularly check your apps and files for any possible hacks and threats.


Here’s how to stop hackers with Clario’s antivirus tool:

  1. Download Clario and get a subscription to set up an account
  2. On the dashboard, click Device
  3. Tap Start scan
  4. Wait for Clario to run an anti-virus scan
  5. If Clario finds malware on your phone, proceed to uninstall it
  6. Don’t forget to reset your phone after you’re done.

Turn off your mobile data and Wi-Fi when not using them

Turning off your mobile data and Wi-Fi may stop a hacker tool that feeds off an internet connection. In general, you should avoid public Wi-Fi — especially without a VPN — it’s an easy way for hackers to get to your device.

Remove the suspicious apps immediately

Suspicious apps may be installed on your device by hackers, who use them to carry out attacks.  Removing these apps could help to reduce damages and stop the threat. Be sure to delete the app you don't recognize completely, and not just disable them.

Inform your friends and contacts

If a hacker gains access to your friends and other contacts, the attack could spill over to them. Inform them about your situation so that they can stay vigilant to any suspicious activity or strange communication from your number. This could prevent the potential spread of the threat.

Stop broadcasting your personal hotspot

Broadcasting a personal hotspot gives others access to the internet using your data — including hackers, if you’re not careful. If you’ve been hacked, chances are the threat is using your hotspot to access your device and data. Turn your personal hotspot off to prevent this possible point of connection.

Restore your phone to its factory settings

If a hacker has gained access to your phone, they may overrun it with hacker tools, pop-ups, and malicious apps. If you don’t properly remove these items, the threat can linger. Restoring your phone to its factory setting will cleanse the device of all the gunk that hackers have left behind.


Though technically your phone can be hacked when it is turned off, it’s rare. Newer iPhones are vulnerable via their Bluetooth chip. But hackers need to first hack and jailbreak the device before they can gain access and exploit the Bluetooth chip.


But whether it’s on or off, your phone is vulnerable to a number of threats. The best weapon against hackers is prevention, and Clario is well-stocked with tools to stop all kinds of attacks. From antivirus protection to a VPN that will fully encrypt your web traffic, keep hackers at bay with our world-class, all-in-one cybersecurity solution.

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