This is why your phone is sending texts on its own.
Malware is the main cause.
So if you want to learn all about why your phone is sending texts on itself and how to prevent it, then you’re in the right place.
Why Is Your Phone Sending Text Messages on Its Own?
Have you ever had one of your friends ask about that weird text they got from you at 2 in the morning? Maybe it was a link to a spam site or even a weird request to download a file.
The weird thing is, you never sent a text and were fast asleep at that time. You never even touched your phone and can’t even see those texts sent on your behalf. What gives?
How Often Do Phones Text on Their Own
Everything from malware, water damage, ghosts to problems with your messaging app can all be to blame for your phone sending out texts on its own. Personally, I think it’s more likely ghosts, but I could be wrong!
In all seriousness, what does it mean for your phone to send messages on its own? Is it serious? And what are malware and apps? Will my phone ever go back to normal?
You might be wondering what the answer to all those questions is, and we’re here to help. But first, the most important question:
Are You Doing Something Wrong?
The short answer is yes. As humans, none of us are perfect (except for Brad Pitt). As such, sometimes owning a mobile phone for the first time-especially teenagers, older adults, and children-can put you at risk of contracting dangerous software known as malware onto your phone. Malware taking over your phone is one of the most common reasons why your phone might now be texting on its own.
Constantly downloading games or apps and even switching to a new Apple device or android device can all play a part in increasing your risk of contracting malware.
It’s important to understand the basics of apps, malware, SMS, your phone’s settings app, and how these all can play a role in helping to prevent or even fix your phone from sending text messages on its own.
Is Malware Serious?
Malware, as we mentioned earlier, is the name for any software that infiltrates your electronic or mobile device and causes damage to it and to you. Laptops, your new iPad, iPhone, or Android device are all susceptible to malware.
Malware affects up to 560,000 new devices every single day, and the effects of it can be devastating. Not only can malware cause your phone to send out texts and spam messages on its own, but it can also take over social media accounts, lead to identity theft, and wipe out data from your phone.
With the advent of new social media messaging apps, such as the Facebook messaging app, it’s getting easier and easier for hackers to use your accounts to send spam messages to your friends, their friends, and their friends until soon the malware spreads EVERYWHERE.
Letting Malware in Accidentally
Apps usually need permission to access your phone’s settings to work properly. For instance, to use Google Maps or iPhone navigation, you’ll need to give your phone permission to use your location settings.
However, if you love to use your phone to play games, stream sketchy shows, or download an app through a smishing scam (more on this later), it can cause you to unwittingly give permission to these apps to use your phone to access photos, texts, and more.
The easiest way to prevent this is to be careful of what apps you choose to download and stream on your phone. Not all apps need permission from your device to access your information, but those that do should be heavily screened before you agree to their terms.
What the Heck Is Smishing? Are You in Danger?
In the olden times of the internet, age-we mean the 1990s and early 2000’s-phishing scams were a popular way to get unsuspecting, bushy-eyed new internet users to divulge information through e-mails made to look like legitimate attempts to reach them.
Nowadays, phishing is still the most common way cyber-criminals hijack information and get to your device. So, if you hardly check your e-mails and spend most of your time on your cell phone, are you still in danger? Absolutely.
Phishing has now developed and is so sophisticated, its new form, known as smishing, only needs to send you a simple SMS (or text message) to have you click on it and hijack your device.
What if You Have the New iPhone or Have Malware Protection on Your Android Phone?
No phone is safe from smishing attempts. This is especially true today. At a recent conference, “Interaction-Less Bugs” were shown to be able to infiltrate an iPhone through a traditional iMessage without the need for you to click on the message in the first place!
If you’re an Android user, you’re also at risk of smishing scams that can not only send out texts on your behalf but also ask for cryptocurrency in return for getting control of your phone back, known as ransomware.
If your phone is now suddenly sending out spam texts or messaging others on your behalf, chances are you’ve let in malware! Before we talk about how to get rid of it, it would be really cool if you didn’t get malware in the first place.
Here are some things that can help:
- DON’T download unverified apps or from unofficial app stores or vendors
- DON’T jailbreak your device (no matter how cool your phone can look because of it), as this makes you susceptible to malware since you’re getting rid of built-in security on your phone
- DON’T put off updating your iPhone or Android, as these updates have valuable security protection
In addition, you should also try and protect your e-mails and data as much as possible through encrypting e-mails or using a virtual private network or VPN.
Although encrypting your data and using a VPN don’t themselves protect against malware, both can help keep your data from being reached by hackers and leading to ransomware.
If you love to check your bank account using your phone and do so on a public Wi-Fi network (such as a coffee shop), hackers on the same network can easily take your passwords and other information, leading to ransomware attacks. A VPN keeps your connection private and protected.
Finally, practice common sense. That text you got from your high-school buddy you haven’t spoken to in years saying there’s a video of you online twerking? DON’T CLICK THE LINK!
How to Get Rid of Malware or Pesky Apps and Fix Your Phone
If you don’t already have malware protection installed on your phone, installing an anti-malware program can detect and automatically remove the malware or app that’s causing your phone to send texts on its own.
For apps that are sending texts by being given permission, navigating to your iPhone settings or settings app on your android device and removing permission for that app to use your contacts can help.
In other cases, doing a factory reset after backing up your phone can restore your device to a time before the malware was introduced, effectively getting rid of it.
What if It’s Something Else, and It’s NOT Your Fault?
If you’re sure you’ve only downloaded apps using the iPhone app store, haven’t clicked on sketchy messages, and have done all you can to protect your precious phone, it could be a problem that has nothing to do with your actions.
More recently, the creation of new texting systems, known as RCS messaging, and updates to operating systems such as ios on the iPhone or Samsung has caused users to have issues with delayed, duplicate, or random text messages sent from their phone due to internal tests made by providers.
Delayed or duplicate text messages are common issues and can usually be fixed by using your carrier’s troubleshooting system, changing your SMS settings, or contacting your cell phone provider if all else fails.
In other words: it’s not your fault. No, really. When this is the case, it’s best to just sit back, relax, and trust when the powers that be say they’re working on it.