No. But your phone can be hacked by clicking a link in a text message. Additionally, you can be hacked by replying to a text message.
I’m Aaron, a cybersecurity professional with two decades of experience. I worry about cybersecurity every day so you don’t have to.
Let’s give into why your phone can’t be hacked by replying to a text message and what you should avoid not to get hacked.
Table of Contents
Why Your Phone Can’t Be Hacked By Replying to a Text Message
When you reply to a text message, you type letters and hit the send button. Your phone then sends that data to your intended recipient. There’s no additional interaction with that information.
For your phone to be hacked, there needs to be some interaction with the underlying operating system. Access is typically provided by leveraging your phone’s permissions for nefarious purposes. That happens when you do something to interact with the phone, either by launching an app or visiting a nefarious website.
Unless that interaction occurs, your phone can’t be hacked. Since that interaction doesn’t occur when you respond to a text, your phone can’t be hacked by your replying to a text message.
Why You Can Be Hacked By Replying to a Text Message
Unlike your phone, you can be hacked by responding to a text message. Social engineering tactics like phishing are hugely successful and very popular among cybercriminals.
Phishing typically occurs when you are presented with a written request for information or money. Phishing is so successful because it leverages a trust relationship: that request can purportedly come from someone you know or from an authority figure. Phishing also relies on manufactured urgency to compel you to pay or provide information.
How Can You Avoid Getting Hacked
Here are some tips to avoid getting hacked:
- Don’t click links provided by people you don’t know, from websites you don’t know, or install apps you aren’t familiar with.
- Don’t provide information or money unless you know the person and would expect to do so.
- Never buy gift cards when a request comes out of the blue over text or a phone call.
- Always confirm to whom you’re providing money and information. Even in an urgent situation, you’ll be able to contact the person who supposedly needs that in order to confirm the legitimacy of the request.
- Never provide financial or account information unless you are in a transaction where that’s expected.
Here are some answers to questions commonly asked when discussing hacking over texts.
Can a Scammer Get Your Info If You Reply to a Text?
Yes! This is how a social engineering attack works. You’ll be asked for information, which can result in you providing that information. Follow some of the tips above to avoid losing personal information.
Is It Safe to Reply to an Unknown Text?
Maybe! I, personally, wouldn’t risk it, but you can! I recommend never responding to unknown and unsolicited texts.
Can Someone Hack My iPhone Through Text Messages?
It’s possible but unlikely. iPhones aren’t particularly flexible when it comes to unapproved content, which is a boon for security. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to hack an iPhone using malicious apps or links. You’re far more likely to be compromised by social engineering attacks, though.
Your phone is very unlikely to be compromised by responding to a text. Depending on what responsive information you provide, however, you can be compromised by responding to a text. Social engineering attacks rely on that and are incredibly effective.
Has your phone been hacked? Let me know about it in the comments below!