“I think someone has installed one of those spyware apps on my phone. Can someone teach me how to tell if your cell phone is being tracked, tapped or monitored by spy software?”
As I read this query posted by a concerned smartphone user, I realized that a lot of people are still the unwilling victims of spyware apps. While there are cell phone tracking apps that are used for a noble cause, some people can take advantage of it. Therefore, you should be aware of cell phone spyware detection and removal – particularly if you are already having doubts about it. Read on and learn how to tell if your phone is being tapped and what can you do to fix it.
How to Tell if Your Phone is Tapped
In today’s world, our privacy is one of the most important things with our smartphones being a literal extension of ourselves. If someone wants to know about you, the first thing they would do is install a cell phone tracking app on your phone. To teach you how to catch someone spying on you, I have listed some smart tips and even spyware app’s information.
10 Signs to Help you Analyze if your Phone is being Monitored
To learn how to tell if your phone is being tapped or not, I would recommend looking for the following telltale signs.
- Suspicious device activity
One of the major signs for the presence of a spyware on your device is its suspicious activity. For instance, the phone might start unexpectedly, apps can get closed, calls might get dropped a lot, and so on.
- High battery drainage
Since a spyware would keep running in the background and would update the device details to its servers, it will spike up its battery usage. You can go to your phone’s battery settings to view this.
- Background sound
If while speaking to someone over calls, you would hear a hissing sound in the background, then chances are that your calls are getting tapped.
- Receiving encrypted texts
Some of the spying apps can also send encrypted texts to the device for their processing. If your inbox has some of these suspicious texts recently, then it can depict the presence of a device tracker.
- Spike in data usage
A spying app would upload the device’s details to its servers, which will consume a substantial amount of data. You can go to the network and data settings on your phone and check if there is a suspicious change in its data consumption.
- Unidentified browsing history
To install a spyware, most of the hackers need to install certain tracking apps on the phone. If you see unexpected websites in your browsing history, then it can be a track of a spyware installation.
- High temperature
The rise in the battery and data usage might end up making your phone overheat. If you get the overheat prompt every now and then, you should get your device checked.
- Unexpected shutdown
In some cases, the spyware apps can make your device malfunction as well. This would lead to its unexpected shutdown or restarting frequently.
- Presence of unauthorized apps
If you have recently seen some new apps on your device that you have not installed, then it can be a cell phone tracking app disguising to be something else.
- Unexplained jailbreak or root access
Most importantly, if your iPhone has been jailbroken or the Android device is rooted without any explanation, then it can be due to of a spyware. This is because most of the spying apps would need a jailbreak/root access. The presence of an app like Cydia on your iPhone would be its most prominent piece of evidence.
Some Popular Spyware Apps You Should Know About
After getting to know about the common signs on how to tell if your phone is tapped, let’s learn about some popular spyware apps. After all, chances are that your device could have any of these cell phone tracking apps installed as well.
This is one of the most popular spyware apps out there that can track leading Android and iOS devices. Once the app is installed, it can let you track the device’s live location, saved photos, call logs, social media activity, and so much more. Since its premium features need jailbreak access, detecting it is comparatively easier.
Hoverwatch is mostly used by parents to keep an eye on their kids. You can install it on Android phones, Mac, and Windows PC. The most vital feature of Hoverwatch is its social media tracking. Using it, the other person can read your chats and other details of apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, Telegram, Messenger, Instagram, etc.
This is another popular spyware app that is used by people the world over. The basic version is available for free while the paid version has most of the premium features. It also has an inbuilt keylogger that will give someone else the access to your deleted chats, browser history, and even account details.
FlexiSpy is one of the most powerful spyware apps that offer a wide range of features. From live location to keylogger and ambient listening to remote screenshots, there are tons and tons of features that FlexiSpy offers. It is available for iOS and Android, but at a higher price than most of the other tools.
Highster Mobile is often used by parents to keep an eye on their kids or people in a relationship to track their partners. Using it, you can track the real-time location of someone, set geofences, and spy on the popular social media apps as well. After a one-time payment, you can install it on iPhone, Android, Mac, and Windows systems.
How to Know if Your Phone is Being Tracked by Police
Apart from individuals tracking a device, sometimes the police or the special force can also track your phone. For instance, if you are a lead or involved in a legal matter, then the chances of getting your device tapped are more. Though, in most of the countries and states, the police are obliged to tell you that your phone is being tapped beforehand. If you want, you can just file a request to know if any active tracker is associated with your device.
Furthermore, you can also enter the following USSD codes to learn how to know if your phone is being tracked by the police or not.
*#21#: This will check if your calls or messages are being diverted somewhere or not.
##002#: This will deactivate any call or message diversion.
*#62#: This will further let you know the details of your calls or message diversion.
How to Do Cell Phone Spyware Detection and Removal
After learning how to check if your phone is tapped, you can know the presence of spyware apps on the device. If you think that your phone is being tracked, then you can take the following cell phone spyware detection and removal steps:
- Remove the spyware from your phone
While most of the spyware would run in a stealth mode, sometimes we can detect them as well. You can check your phone’s Settings > Apps and monitor the apps installed on it. If you view any suspicious app with numerous permissions, then chances are that it can be a spyware. You can now manually remove it from the device.
- Install an anti-spyware application
There are several anti-spyware and malware applications out there that you can install on your phone. These apps will scan your device and would not only let you know the presence of a spyware, but can also remove it as well. Some popular security apps from Norton, McAfee, Avira, Avast, AVG, QuickHeal, etc. can help you do it.
- Update your phone
If your Android or iOS phone is running on an outdated firmware, then it can make your device vulnerable to security threats. Simply go to its Settings > General > Software Update (for iPhone) and Settings > System/About Phone > Software Update (for Android) to upgrade its firmware.
- Factory reset your device
If nothing else seems to work, then you can just factory reset your phone as well. This will remove all the installed apps including any cell phone tracking app from it. Though, it is recommended to take a backup of your files in advance. You can just go to your phone’s settings and choose to factory reset it to remove all the saved data, apps, and settings.
How to Stop Someone from Spying on My Cell Phone
Last, but not the least, if you are concerned about your safety, then follow these suggestions to learn how to stop someone from spying on my cell phone.
- Keep your device secure
Be vigilant and follow some basic security measures to keep your device safe. For instance, you should not leave your phone unattended, keep changing your passwords, and always have a secure lock on the screen.
- Avoid jailbreaking or rooting
While the jailbreak or root access might unlock several features on your phone, it can also make your device vulnerable to security threats. That is why it is recommended not to jailbreak or root the device you own.
- Keep your phones updated
Avoid running old or outdated apps and firmware on your phone. Try to keep your apps as well as the device’s system up to date.
- Disable app installation from unknown sources
On Android devices, there is a feature that can enable the app installation from unknown sources. To avoid the installation of spying apps, you can go to your device’s security settings and disable this feature.
- Install an anti-malware app
Consider installing a reliable anti-virus and malware app on your device and keep it active. In this way, it will keep scanning your phone and would prevent the presence of spyware apps.
- Monitor the device permissions
Lastly, go to your phone’s Apps > Apps permissions to make sure that you have not granted the crucial device access to so many apps. You should only grant selected apps permissions regarding location services, camera, microphone, etc.
This brings us to the end of this extensive guide on cell phone spyware detection and removal. Now when you know how to tell if your cell phone is being tracked, tapped or monitored by spy software, you can easily protect your privacy. You can consider following the above-listed methods to remove any cell phone tracking app from your phone and can even seek the assistance of an expert as well. Be safe and make sure that no one gets access to track your device without your permission.