Absolutely! While this isn’t very likely to happen just by browsing the web, it is possible. More commonly, targeted attacks direct you to a malicious website where your phone can be compromised.
Hi, I’m Aaron. I work in cybersecurity and love what I do. I also love sharing the lessons learned from my job so people like you don’t fall for a cyberattack.
I’ll describe how your phone can be hacked by visiting a website and what you can do to protect yourself.
Table of Contents
How Does a Website Hack My Phone?
Your phone can be hacked when you visit a website in a couple of different ways. One method is visiting a website that prompts you to download an app. That app can be malicious itself and compromise your phone directly, or it can steal your data.
An app-based attack requires you to both install the app and provide it with appropriate permissions. It also typically requires that you sideload or otherwise install the app not through the curated Google and iTunes App stores. If you do all that, though, a hacker can have complete access to your phone.
Another method is malicious content delivered directly from the website. If there is a vulnerability that exists for Chrome OS or iOS and is able to be exploited via internet-delivered content, then a website could take advantage of that.
A third method is via delivery of an infected file. In this situation, you’re prompted to download a file that is infected. By opening that file, malicious content can compromise your phone locally.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Don’t visit sites you don’t trust. This isn’t foolproof, but if someone tries to send you to a suspicious website, then don’t visit it. Chances are you won’t encounter malicious websites during routine browsing.
This advice becomes murkier when chatting with someone you ostensibly know and trust. That could be a business from which you’re buying a product or trying to get help or an acquaintance whose number you didn’t previously have.
Even if you visit a site, don’t download apps or other content from the site unless you expect to do so. Be judicious with opening that content or apps. Understand the risks of doing so and proceed with caution.
Here are some answers to questions associated with your phone being hacked when you visit a website.
What are the Signs that Your Phone is Hacked?
Very atypical behavior. If your phone is running very sluggishly, you see apps you don’t remember installing, you experience a lot of popups, or your phone seems to be behaving oddly, then your phone may be compromised.
Can Hackers See Your Screen?
Yes, if you’ve given them permission to do so. Typically this happens if you install a malicious app.
Can You Remove a Hacker From Your Phone?
If you believe your phone was compromised, perform a factory reset. It’s unlikely that your device’s operating system was altered, so any connection into your phone will be ended once you perform a factory reset.
Your phone can be hacked by visiting a website. It’s not common and is especially uncommon with typical browsing behavior. Be judicious about what you click on and what you open.
Have you encountered a malicious website? Share your experience in the comments below!