Concerns about mobile phone spying activities have risen as the use of smartphones has increased. A type of software called spyware can be installed on a mobile device without the user’s awareness or consent, enabling remote access to the device and activity monitoring. This could be a serious invasion of privacy and result in identity theft, financial ruin, or even physical danger.
This blog will offer insightful information on how to know if someone is spying on your phone and helpful tips to help you safeguard your mobile device and preserve your privacy, whether you believe someone is spying on your phone or you simply want to take precautions to avoid it.
You can safeguard your confidential information and lessen the chance of being spied on by learning the telltale signs of spying and taking precautions to protect your privacy. We will also discuss methods to find a spy app on your phone and what to do if someone is spying on you.
Table Of Contents:
What Could be the Reasons for Someone to Spy on Your Phone?
There are various justifications for monitoring your cell phone, some of which are lawful, whereas others are unlawful and unprincipled. Here are a few possible explanations:
- Doubts of infidelity: A spouse may surveil your cell phone to confirm if you are being unfaithful to them.
- Concerns regarding your safety: Parents may monitor their children’s phones to ensure their safety, while employers may track their employees’ phones to ensure they are not engaging in unsafe conduct.
- Identity theft: Cybercriminals may spy on your phone to acquire personal information, such as credit card numbers, passwords, and other sensitive data, that they can use to steal your identity.
- Corporate espionage: Rivals may eavesdrop on a company’s phones to acquire confidential information about the company’s products or strategies.
- Cyberstalking: An individual may spy on your phone for personal or malicious purposes, such as stalking or harassment.
It is crucial to recognize that spying on someone’s phone without their approval is against the law and unethical, regardless of the motive behind it. If you suspect that someone is monitoring your phone, it is essential to take prompt measures to safeguard your privacy and personal information.
Read more: Benefits of Spying Apps for Phones
How to Tell If Someone is Spying on Your Phone?
There are many advanced spyware apps for Android and iOS in the market. The most important question here is how to tell if your cell phone is being tracked, tapped, or monitored by the spy software. Fortunately, you can recognize the warning indications that could mean spyware is infecting your device and tracking your activities.
While some symptoms are more difficult to recognize than others if you pay attention to how your device normally functions, you should be able to tell if something is wrong. Here are 10 indicators that someone is watching you through your phone.
1. Unusual Applications
The most advanced spyware is concealed, but occasionally people abuse apps like parental control apps to eavesdrop on others. If someone is using one of these applications to spy on your phone, the spyware will be concealed.
Look through your phone for any new apps you don’t recall installing. Net Nanny, Kaspersky Safe Kids, Norton Family, and Qustodio are a few common ones to watch out for.
2. Exceptionally High Data Use
Sometimes, a sudden increase in the amount of data your phone is using is an indication that spyware is active. A spike in data usage could be a sign of mischief because the spy app requires data to send information back to the offender.
On an iPhone, select Settings and then Mobile Data to verify your mobile data. You can scroll down to see how much mobile data-specific applications are using, or you can view your overall data usage.
On Android, navigate to Settings > Network & Internet > Data consumption to view your mobile data consumption. The total quantity of cellular data used by your phone is displayed under Mobile. To see how your data use has evolved over time, tap Mobile Data Usage. Any new spikes can be found from this point.
Keep in mind that these metrics only keep tabs on cellular internet usage. This won’t be very helpful in locating malware if your phone is constantly logged into a WiFi network. Nevertheless, “Show Wi-Fi Data Usage” is an additional choice that some Android phones provide. Observe how much data your phone is using when it is linked to WiFi by using.
Once more, spyware is not always the cause of high data consumption. By examining each app’s data usage and usage patterns, you must first rule out genuine apps.
3. Your Device Has Been “Jailbroken” or “Rooted”
‘Rooting’ an Android device or ‘jailbreaking’ an iOS device enables users to load unauthorized apps without using the official app stores. If you didn’t root or jailbreak your device, that’s a very powerful indicator that something fishy is happening.
Download the Root Checker software to determine if an Android device has been rooted. Look for the “Cydia” software to see if an iOS device has been jailbroken. The app used to load software on jailbroken phones is called Cydia. It’s almost certain that your phone has been jailbroken if you discover it there.
4. Unusual Activity While in Standby Mode
When your phone is on standby (or sleep mode), it can still receive texts and calls, but it shouldn’t be producing any other sounds or lights. If so, malware might be the cause. The screen on your phone should be completely off when it is in sleep mode, not just dimmed.
5. Problems With Turning Off the Phone
Sometimes spyware apps can obstruct a phone’s shutdown procedure, causing the device to malfunction or take an abnormally long time to shut down.
Edward Snowden revealed NSA technology in 2014 that stops phones from completely shutting down so that they can be used for eavesdropping. Even though this is the outcome of a very sophisticated and carefully targeted assault, it shows that this kind of spying is feasible.
6. Your Phone is Heating Up
If your device is running hot, this could be an indication that spyware is being used to spy on you. This is particularly important if your phone continues to heat up even when you aren’t using it or using it sparingly.
In a similar vein, if the processing performance of your phone suddenly drops, spying may be to blame. Your phone may begin to operate noticeably slower as more of its resources are allocated to the spyware program.
7. The battery is rapidly depleting
Your battery may discharge more quickly than normal if spyware is operating continuously. But since all batteries eventually deteriorate, watch for a significant and abrupt change rather than a decline over time.
Before concluding you have a problem, see if any newly installed or updated apps are to blame if you do observe a sudden change.
8. Autocorrect Not Working
Keyloggers are a type of spyware that logs each key you hit. Your communications and login information could be recorded using a keylogger by someone monitoring your phone.
A malfunctioning autocorrect system is one indication that someone might be using a keylogger to eavesdrop on your phone. The autocorrect feature is affected by the keylogger, so if you observe it acting strangely or operating much more slowly than usual, someone may be monitoring your phone.
9. Strange SMS Messages
Malware and spyware can transmit and receive data through text messages. It’s probably a sign that something is wrong if you see texts sent by your account that you did not send.
Watch out for strange incoming communications as well. SMS messaging is occasionally used by primitive malware applications to connect to their server. If the message is connected to a spyware application, it will usually be coded in some way.
Additionally, there are services like Cerberus that send covert SMS commands that can cause your phone to capture a screenshot, wipe your SD card, email the offender a picture, and perform a number of other intrusive actions.
10. Unusual Sounds on Calls
Strange background noises and unstable connections were common in the era of analog mobile phone networks. The all-digital mobile networks of today, however, typically offer connections that are reliable and largely noise-free.
There is a chance that someone is listening in on or recording your discussion if you hear odd noises in the background or, worse yet, if you hear the voice of someone that does not belong to the person you called.
Note: Spyware is not the only cause of these symptoms. They may also be brought on by different kinds of viruses. For instance, the adware can make your phone sluggish and consume data. Similar to this, some websites can drain more than 5% of your battery power in ten minutes by covertly mining your “spare” CPU resources.
These situations involve your gadget being misused but not necessarily being spied on.
How to Remove Spyware from Your Smartphone?
You need to act right away to get rid of any spyware you think is present. Learn what to do if someone is spying on you.
Perform a Malware Scan
Given that spyware is a type of malware, an effective antivirus program should be able to detect and block it.
Some more advanced spyware poses as genuine applications to avoid detection. Due to the comparable permissions that parental control and nanny cam apps require, these are the apps that are most frequently imitated. It doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods if your phone behaves strangely but your antivirus doesn’t flag any possible threats.
Make a New Password
Change your credentials right away from another device whenever you have grounds to suspect spyware is jeopardizing your privacy. Otherwise, hackers can simply use spyware to obtain your new credentials. Choose safe passwords, and think about enhancing security by using two-factor authentication.
Update Your Apps and Operating System
Spyware uses antiquated and ineffectual security measures, like many malware variants, to infect your device. You should therefore upgrade your operating system and applications frequently.
Updates contain vital security fixes that prevent malware from abusing flaws. An updated system can stop spyware from operating correctly, and an updated antivirus can identify the most recent cyber threats.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Your accounts’ access protection is strengthened by 2FA. 2FA mandates that you use a different means to verify your identity in addition to your password. It’s a number typically sent via text message or email.
Every time you log in, a new 2FA number is generated and is only valid for a brief time. Since most people never update their passwords, this makes them more secure than a single password. By using 2FA to secure your account, you can stop hackers from using your credentials to access your accounts.
Restore Factory Settings on Your Phone
Resetting your phone to factory settings is your last resort if you find yourself up against an especially resilient spyware. All of your files, accounts, and data are deleted from your device during that procedure. Furthermore, it will remove all spyware applications.
Normally, I’d advise making a backup before performing a complete factory restart, but you might unintentionally back up spyware remnants. Before deciding whether a factory reset is the best course of action for you, carefully consider your choices.
How to Prevent Spyware from Infecting Your Phone?
The greatest offense is defense! Spyware poses a covert danger. People are slow to recognize that they have a small spy on their phones. You should therefore discover how to safeguard your phone against spyware.
- Safeguard your phone: By ensuring that only individuals you trust touch your phone, you can significantly lower your risk. While spying on a phone without touching it is still feasible, installing spyware without physical access is much more difficult.
- Protect your phone: Turn on authentication for app downloads and lock your device with a strong password, PIN, or fingerprint.
- Install only reliable applications: Look for trustworthy apps with a sizable user group when selecting them from the App Store. Simple apps like calculators, which could have been rapidly created as a trojan horse to conceal spyware, should be used with extra caution. Numerous downloads and positive user reviews are not always the most reliable indicators of confidence, as we’ve seen with Free VPN apps.
- Be cautious of inbound links: Persuading the owner of the phone to install spyware is the simplest method to do it remotely. In one instance, links to compromised apps in the Google Play Store were sent to individuals in Vietnam and they were coerced into downloading them. Many users believed the apps because they were in the official store. Be cautious when receiving unexpected SMS communications as well; in the past, they have been used to hack Android phones and crash iPhones.
- Keep your info safe: Make sure all of your internet accounts have secure passwords. Using a program like Cocospy, someone who knows your iCloud password could directly access data from your phone.
- Avoid jailbreaking or rooting the device: If your smartphone only uses the security features of the Android and iOS operating systems, you’re safer. Your device may be more vulnerable to adware if it has been jailbroken or rooted, which makes spy software installation easier.
- Update your phone frequently: Operating system updates for your mobile device can increase security by removing vulnerabilities that have been found since the previous upgrade. If the phone has been jailbroken in the past, an iOS upgrade will also restore it to Apple’s protection.
- Be careful with Permissions: Don’t allow apps to access your photos or use your location without a valid cause. Also use official applications with caution. Locating individuals and objects is possible with the Find My Friends app for the iPhone and the Family Link and Find My Device apps for Android from Google.
Best Anti-spyware Apps to Protect Your Mobile Device
Here are some of the best anti-spyware apps that you can use to protect your mobile device:
Malwarebytes Security: Malwarebytes is a popular anti-spyware and anti-malware app that can help protect your phone from a wide range of threats, including spyware.
Avast Mobile Security: Avast is a comprehensive security app that includes anti-spyware, antivirus, and anti-malware features to help protect your phone from various threats.
Lookout Security: Lookout Security is a well-known security app that can help protect your phone from spyware, malware, and other threats. It offers real-time protection and can scan your phone for threats regularly.
Norton Mobile Security: Norton is a trusted name in the security industry and offers a comprehensive security app for mobile devices. It includes anti-spyware, antivirus, and anti-malware features to help protect your phone from various threats.
Kaspersky Mobile Antivirus: Kaspersky is a popular antivirus and anti-malware app that also includes anti-spyware features to help protect your phone from threats.
These apps can help protect your mobile device from spyware and other threats. It’s essential to keep your phone’s software up-to-date and to avoid downloading suspicious apps or clicking on suspicious links to reduce the risk of spyware infecting your phone.
In conclusion, cell phone spying is a serious threat to your privacy and security. If you suspect that someone is spying on your cell phone, look out for the warning signs mentioned above and take steps to secure your phone and protect your privacy. Follow the tips mentioned above to stop someone from spying on your cell phone and safeguard your personal information.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Ans: It is possible for someone to spy on your phone remotely if they have access to your iCloud or Google account. They can use these accounts to access your phone’s location, text messages, call logs, and other data.
Ans: It is illegal for someone to spy on your phone without your consent, and it is considered a violation of your privacy. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as law enforcement agencies obtaining a warrant to conduct surveillance.
Ans: Unfortunately, yes. On Android devices, apps may intercept your WhatsApp communications, whereas it is not that easy on iOS devices due to the sandboxing security of the operating system. If you believe this to be the case, locate and remove the applications by using the steps covered in this article’s earlier sections.
Ans: If a person has the technological know-how and tools necessary to intercept your phone’s data, they may be able to spy on you through a public Wi-Fi network. It is advised that you use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your internet connection and stay away from sensitive online activities like online banking or shopping in order to safeguard yourself.
Ans: Your smartphone can be monitored by stalkerware (spyware), which can log your location, and the websites and applications you use. Stalkerware can also capture all keystrokes you make on your phone, which enables it to capture all text you type, including emails, login credentials, and text messages.