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Your smartphone stores a lot of personal information. Face it, your whole life depends on it.
How To Check If Your Phone Has Been Hacked
You use your mobile phone for e-mail every day. send emails and text messages, make calls, listen to voicemail messages, record and share videos and photos, use social media, and more.
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But why would anyone spy on you? What do they care about your cell phone information? There are several reasons why someone might want to monitor your smartphone activity.
Your significant other (or ex-significant other) may wonder what you’re up to when they’re not around. Your device may store important business information. If you have any money at all in your bank account or anything left on your credit line, someone will be more than happy to steal it.
So, is someone spying on your phone? Do they use cell phone tracking software? How to understand that someone is watching you on your mobile phone? What can you do if they are? These are great questions, which is why I wrote this article.
Even if you protect your smartphone with a strong password, it can still be hacked. Seemingly innocent Android apps have been found to contain spyware, and if you jailbreak your iPhone, someone can install spyware on your device.
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In this guide, I will tell you 10 ways to know if someone is spying on your smartphone and what you can do to stop it.
Fortunately, there are warning signs you can look out for that will alert you that your device may be infected with spyware and monitoring your activities.
While some symptoms are harder to spot than others, observing how your device is performing normally can help you understand if something is wrong with your device.
Has your monthly data usage increased recently? Is your device using more data than usual, but you haven’t changed your internet habits? This could mean that someone has installed spyware on your device.
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Sensible spy tools will try to send as much data as possible about your device to their home base (and the bad guys). This can involve large amounts of data.
On the other hand, some spyware makers are quite skilled, and their stealth programs are much more selective about what information they look for and send home. This makes detection a bit more difficult.
It all comes down to monitoring your monthly data usage and paying close attention to sudden usage spikes you may notice.
While you can contact your wireless carrier to check how much data you’ve used, you can also check your device. This means you can quickly check your data usage without looking for data usage information on your provider’s website or app.
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Follow these steps to check your cellular data usage on your Android 9 device. (The process is the same on Android 10 and should be similar on other Android versions.):
To check your cellular data usage on an iPhone running iOS 14, follow these steps. (This process should be similar for other versions of iOS and for iPads with iPadOS.):
You should expect your iPhone or Android phone screen to light up when you receive an incoming call, text, or most other notifications, your smartphone screen shouldn’t light up for no reason when it’s in standby mode.
If you see your device’s screen light up, hear unexpected sounds, and then see no new notifications, something might be wrong.
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Does your smartphone keep restarting for no apparent reason or without rebooting manually? Someone may have unauthorized remote access to your smartphone.
An unexpected reboot could mean that someone has remote admin access and can reboot the device at will. It also means they have any other access to your device and the personal data stored on it.
Or it could mean there’s a bug in the latest app or operating system you recently downloaded. Check for OS or app updates. See if you can copy the device restart using the app that was open when it happened.
On your Android device, you can install and run antivirus or anti-malware software to scan your device. iOS users will notice that there are no antivirus scanners and the sandboxing of the iOS operating system makes it more likely that there is a bug in the app or OS that is causing the reboot.
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In the days of analog cellular networks, strange background noise and unstable connections were to be expected. However, today’s all-digital cellular networks generally provide a stable connection and are mostly silent.
So if you hear strange noises in the background, or (even worse) hear a voice that doesn’t belong to the person you’re calling, there’s a good chance someone is monitoring or recording your conversation.
Have you received unexpected messages with strange characters, or have friends or others reported receiving strange or offensive messages from your phone?
This could be a sign that your smartphone is infected with spyware or malware. SMS worms spread online by sending text messages with embedded links. If the victim clicks on the link, the worm can infect their smartphone.
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On your Android device, you can install and run security software, such as antivirus or anti-malware software, to scan your device. iOS users probably don’t have to worry about these types of worms as they mostly target Android devices.
If you notice that your device’s battery life begins to deteriorate rapidly and unexpectedly, it may indicate that your battery is old and needs to be replaced. Or it could mean that your device is infected with spyware and the extra load it puts on your smartphone is draining your battery faster than usual.
Spyware monitors all your activity on the device and sends information about this activity to the attackers who infected your device. Reduced battery life often goes hand in hand with increased data usage due to spyware.
Taking screenshots, copying and pasting text, recording conversations, and perhaps taking photos or videos can drain your battery at an alarming rate. This is especially noticeable when your smartphone doesn’t seem to work.
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If you’re not sure if it’s just an old battery or real spyware, try a different set of batteries or the device’s battery in a different device. Then monitor your battery usage.
Sorry iPhone users, your device’s batteries are non-removable. But you can make an appointment with Genius Bar and they will check your battery. iOS 14 users can take advantage of a new privacy feature that notifies you when an app on your device is using the camera or microphone.
If the app is using your iPhone’s camera, an indicator will light up at the top of the device’s screen, as shown here:
If the app is using your iPhone’s built-in microphone, an indicator will light up at the top of the device’s screen, as shown here:
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While it’s perfectly normal for any of these lights to light up when apps are using the camera or microphone, seeing them light up when you’re not actively recording video or audio should be a warning sign that something might be amiss.
It’s easy to check your device to see which apps currently have access to your device’s microphone or camera.
While an elevated battery temperature can be a sign of a number of technical issues, it can also indicate illegal activity such as spyware running in the background.
If you haven’t used your smartphone recently and it’s just sitting on the table, it shouldn’t feel warm or hot to the touch. If it’s too warm, perhaps spyware is running behind the scenes, collecting information and sending it back to the bad actors’ base.
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Your smartphone, like a Mac or Windows computer, tries to stop all active processes before shutting down or restarting.
And just like your computer, from time to time these processes can hang and prevent or significantly slow down the process of completing work. While this can happen to any device, you may find it happens more than usual if your device is infected with spyware.
You may notice that your smartphone takes longer than usual to turn off immediately after the active period of your mobile phone has ended. This could mean that spyware is running in the background, storing illegally obtained information and sending it back to home base.
In addition to slowing down the smartphone shutdown process, spyware can also prevent the device from completely shutting down or restarting.
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Again, this could be due to a program malfunctioning, but if it started recently or
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