Smartphones are great devices for storing quite a lot of personal data. Most users use their phones for text messages, emails, keeping voicemail, and taking pictures to upload to social media or keep as part of your collection of snaps. Many users even use them for online banking and shopping.
Smartphones are the future of computing devices, and the more powerful they get, the more data we will keep on them.
The issues arise if someone gains access to all your data. You may wonder why someone may spy on you. Unfortunately, there are countless reasons someone would spy on your phone.
Business data, partners checking your activity, and as we saw, your online banking details are a few of the reasons someone may want access.
Once you understand the risks and the signs, someone is tracking your phone. The question is what you can do about it.
Passwords can stop physical access, yet most threats come from you being online. What makes things worse, are the spying apps that are easily accessible online and can track your smartphone activity while you are unaware of it happening.
If you are looking at how to detect spyware on iPhone, you may not find the risk as high as these devices often need jailbreaking, and the operating system doesn’t like apps that don’t come from the app store.
Here you can find out how individuals can install spyware on the phone and what you can do to prevent them from doing this. (Read Does My Internet Provider Know What Websites I Visit)
How Do I Know if Someone is Tracking My Phone?
Some signs ought to raise alarms; your phone is potentially being tracked and infected with a spy app.
Some signs are easier to spot than others are, and it is good to understand as many as possible so you can keep your eyes open for them.
High Data Usage: If you pay for data, you may see your data use has risen. Low-quality spyware apps use high amounts of data, where new spy apps hide by using less.
Activity in Standby: If your screen comes on by itself, or you hear noises from your phone in standby, there may be something wrong.
Self Reboot: If someone has access to your phone, they can reboot the device. If you see this, it could be a sign your device has been jailbroken with spyware.
Noisy Calls: Networks today are better than they used to be, and in many occasions, they are clear. If you hear clicking or faint voices, then it may be someone who is listening to your call.
Strange Text Messages: Most users can get spam texts offering something, yet if you see a text full of strange symbols or sequences of numbers and characters that are random. These point toward potential spyware tools on your phone.
Such texts are a sign of old or poor quality software as it is failing to communicate correctly
Sudden Drop of Battery Life: Batteries go flatter faster the more things running in the background. If your battery life keeps dropping rapidly, it can be a sign something is running in the background you are unaware of. Camera and speaker action will kill batteries faster than most other things can. You can add to this the temperature increase, even when in standby mode.
Long Shutdowns: Many users never turn their phones off. However, if you do and it takes much longer, this can show something may be recording recent activity.
How to Find Hidden Spy Apps on Android
Some examples of the spyware apps or phone spies you can find on the market are as follows:
- FlexiSPY – Takes complete control of devices even with remote access
- Spyera – Powerful and undetectable monitoring software
- PhoneSpector – Receive texts, location and more without having a phone in your possession
- mSpy – Access Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat. View all in and out messages from a spying phone
All these apps monitor and record text messages, phone calls, and some can see inside social media.
With such apps, spies can control your phone’s microphone to listen to all that is said or happens in the phones surrounding area.
Besides this, in the hands of the right people, they can be used to steal passwords with a tracked app and use cameras for physical spying.
In the same ways as ransomware works, someone else can stop you using your phone altogether.
Now you need to know how to find a tracker on my phone, and if you have such software secretly installed on your smartphone. (Read our Ultimate Privacy Guide)
How to Stop Someone from Spying on My Cell Phone
Android users can follow these steps to check if they have such software installed on their phones.
- Head to settings
- Locate additional settings
- Select application management
- Inside this folder, there is a list of file names. Go through these carefully and check for ones you don’t recognize or they have names such as Trojan, track, stealth, spy, and monitor
- Delete any suspicious apps.
Besides this, you can block any apps that want to install that are not from verified sources. Such an app that won’t come from the Google Play Store, and this is often used when Jailbreaking your device from another device.
- Navigate to settings
- Select Additional settings
- Locate Safety and Privacy
- Toggle “Unknown Sources” to ‘Off’
iPhone: Can Someone Spy On My Phone Without Touching It?
iPhone’s are a bit more stringent for what you can and can’t install. If you think, is someone spying on my phone?
In most cases, it isn’t possible to install something outside the app store, yet mSpy can be installed on an iPhone, and this can be installed on phones that are not jailbroken.
It does need the password for a user’s iCloud account.
It may appear drastic, yet a factory reset can be the best way to stop anyone spying on your phone in one go. It works for both Android and iOS, and it will delete anything installed intentionally or unknowingly.
Be sure to back up all your data and then follow these instructions:
- Head to settings
- Locate Additional settings
- Locate Backup and Reset
- Locate Factory Data Reset
- Select ‘Erase all app data and apps’
Do this to wipe your Android device and install ‘AppNotifier,’ which will inform you if any apps are installed that you don’t know of.
- Head to settings
- Search for General
- Locate Reset
- Click on ‘Reset All Settings’
Through iTunes, you can do the following:
- Connect to your computer
- Open the iTunes App
- Select ‘Restore iPhone.’
Using the above, you ought to know if you are being watched or not and protect your online privacy. Either way, it is better to be safe, and it doesn’t hurt to reset your phone now and again. Just make sure you back up your data before you blitz a spay app.
Enhance your privacy even further with a fast and secure VPN for your phone (Read our extensive reviews)