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Your smartphone stores a lot of personal data. Let’s face it, your whole life depends on it. You use your cell phone every day, sending emails and texts, making calls, listening to voicemails, recording and sharing videos and photos, using social media, and more.
How To Tell If Your Cell Phone Is Tapped
But why would someone spy on you? Who cares about the data on your mobile phone? There are several reasons why someone might want to track your smartphone activity.
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Your significant other (or ex-significant other) may wonder what you do when they’re not around. You may have important business information stored on your device. If you have any money in your bank account or any money left on your line of credit, someone would love to steal it.
So, is someone spying on your phone? Do they use cell phone spyware? How to recognize someone is watching you through mobile phone? What can you do if they are? These are great questions and that’s why I wrote this article.
Even if you protect your smartphone with a strong password, it is still possible to get hacked. Seemingly innocent Android apps have been found to contain spyware, and if you’ve jailbroken your iPhone, someone can install spyware on your device.
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 them.
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Fortunately, there are warning signs you can spot that will alert you that spyware is infecting your device and tracking your activities.
While some signs are harder to spot than others, if you are aware of how your device normally works, you can tell if something is going on with your device.
Has your monthly data usage skyrocketed recently? Is your device suddenly using more data than usual, bumping into your monthly data allowance, but you haven’t changed your internet habits? This could mean that someone has installed spyware on your device.
Lower quality spyware will try to send as much data about your device back to their home base (aka the bad guys) as they can. This can use a large amount of data.
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On the other end of the spectrum, some of the spyware developers are quite adept at this, and their stealth programs are much more specific about the information they seek out and send home. This makes detection a little more difficult.
It all comes down to being aware of your monthly data usage and keeping track of any sudden spikes in usage 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 having to search for data usage information on your service provider’s website or app.
To check your mobile data usage on your Android 10 device, do the following. (The process should be similar on other versions of Android.):
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To check your cellular data usage on an iPhone running iOS 16, do the following. (The process should be similar on other versions of iOS and on iPads running iPadOS.):
While you should expect your iPhone or Android phone’s screen to light up when you receive a call, message, or most other types of notifications, your smartphone’s screen shouldn’t light up for no reason while it’s in standby mode.
If you see your device’s screen light up, hear an unexpected beep or sound, and then see no new notifications on the screen, something might be going on.
Is your smartphone restarting for no apparent reason or without you manually restarting it? Someone may have unauthorized remote access to your smartphone.
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Unexpected reboots could mean that someone has remote administrator access and can reboot your device at will. It would also mean that they have various other types of access to your device and the personal data stored on it.
It could also mean that the latest app or operating system you recently downloaded has a bug. Check for new device operating systems or app updates. See if you can restart the device using the app that was open when it happened.
On your Android device, you can install and run an anti-virus or anti-malware program to scan your device. iOS users will find that antivirus scanners aren’t available, and in sandboxed iOS, it’s more likely to be an app or operating system bug that’s causing the reboot.
In the days of analog cell phone systems, strange background noises and unstable connections were to be expected. However, today’s all-digital mobile networks typically provide connections that are stable and largely free of interference.
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So if you hear strange noises in the background or (even worse) hear a voice that doesn’t belong to the person you called, there’s a chance someone is monitoring or recording your conversation.
Have you either received unexpected messages with strange characters in them, or have your friends or others reported receiving strange or offensive messages from your phone?
This could be a sign that you have spyware or malware installed on your smartphone. SMS worms spread across the Internet by sending text messages with links embedded in them. If the victim clicks on the link, the worm can infect their smartphone.
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 need to worry about these types of worms, as they mainly target Android devices.
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Also, be careful about clicking on links in these text messages, as such links can also be used to trick you through phishing to steal your personal and/or business information. This applies to both Android and iOS devices.
If you see your device’s battery life start to deteriorate rapidly and unexpectedly, it may mean that the 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 that activity back to the attackers who infected your device. Reduced battery life often goes hand in hand with increased data usage due to spyware activity.
Taking screenshots, copying and pasting text, recording your conversations and possibly taking photos or videos can drain your battery terribly. This is especially noticeable when your smartphone is considered to be in sleep mode.
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If you’re not sure if it’s just an old battery or real spyware, test this by trying another set of batteries or checking your device’s battery on another device. Then monitor battery usage.
Unfortunately, iPhone users, your device’s batteries cannot be removed. However, you can make an appointment at the Genius Bar and they can check your battery for you. Users using iOS 14 and later can take advantage of a privacy feature that notifies you when an app on your device uses the camera or microphone.
If the app uses your iPhone’s camera, you’ll see an indicator light up at the top of your device’s screen, as shown here:
If the app uses your iPhone’s built-in microphone, you’ll see an indicator light up at the top of your device’s screen, as shown here:
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While it’s perfectly normal to see any of these indicators light up when apps are using the camera or microphone, seeing them light up when you’re not recording video or audio should be a warning sign that something’s up.
It’s easy to check your device to see which apps have access to your device’s microphone or camera.
These instructions are for stock Android 10. The steps will be similar for custom versions of Android 10 or for other versions of Android. Contact the device manufacturer for more information.
While an elevated battery temperature can be a sign of a number of technical issues, it can also indicate that unauthorized activity is running in the background, such as spyware activity.
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If you haven’t used your smartphone recently and it’s just been sitting idle on your desk, it shouldn’t feel hot or warm to the touch. If it’s too hot, spyware could be working behind the scenes, gathering information and sending it back to the bad actors’ home base.
Your smartphone, like a Mac or Windows PC, tries to close all active processes before it shuts down or when it restarts.
And, just like your computer, these processes can sometimes disconnect and prevent or significantly slow down the shutdown process. While this can happen to any device, you may notice that it happens more often than usual if your device is infected with spyware.
You may notice that your smartphone
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