‘I am just an ordinary person. Why would someone tap my calls, track my location or monitor my activities?’ ‘Who would bother to keep an eye on me?’
These days, cell phone surveillance software has become quite popular. Some of these spy tools are powerful enough and need not be a real tech to use them. The user-friendly interface and easy installation process have made them popular among the masses.
Continue to read how to know if your cell phone is tapped, tracked or monitored. Later, if the fears of being tapped are materialized, we will discuss what the action plan should be.
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Part 1: How can I know if my Cell Phone is Tapped, Tracked or Monitored?
Here’s a list of a few signs that can indicate if any spy app is tapping or tracking your cell phone. Be aware that you may not see all but a few of these signs. The reason for this is that spy software has different capabilities.
Let’s look at the signs:
Sign #1: Hearing noise and interference during calls.
Have you heard background noise while making a call-beeping or clicking sounds? It may be the result of interference as someone attempts to eavesdrop your live calls.
Sometimes this background noise can be a result of a bad connection or electromagnetic interference. In the other case, it happens when a spy software attempts to add eavesdropper to a call as a silent listener.
If you continue to hear strange sounds during your calls, the calls on your cell phone are likely to be tapped and recorded.
Sign #2: Cell phone’s performance is affected.
Spy applications affect the cell phone’s performance. While using your phone, you may experience lag.
In addition, your device may start behaving abnormally. Your mobile phone could be shut down automatically and suddenly. Some applications may show abrupt behavior and crash.
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Sign #3: The battery is discharged quickly.
The battery of your phone can give you an indication of spyware running in stealth mode. Pay attention if your phone’s battery charging requirements change and become frequent.
Notice how fast your battery drains because the device might be discreetly transmitting data to the spy server, periodically. Verify the background programs and kill unnecessary programs. Notice whether the battery drains even if you don’t use the phone.
It’s not a tell-tale sign because battery life decreases over time, so maybe it’s just that. Try replacing a new battery. If the same battery problems persist, check the apps installed on your phone and dig out the malware.
Note that this is not the absolute cell phone monitoring indication, as best spy applications consume far less battery power, making them undetectable.
Sign #4: Receiving bizarre text messages.
Strange and weird text messages are a clear indication that an intruder is attempting to gain control of your cell phone.
Don’t ignore the sign.
Anyone who snoops on your phone would not deliberately send you strange messages. However, if the installation of the spyware is not done correctly or if the spyware is buggy, abrupt text messages may be received. There may be characters, symbols or randoms in these text messages.
Note that some tracking apps give remote access of your device to spy. Therefore, your phone is likely to receive the remote command sent as an encoded message from the spy application.
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Sign #5: Unfamiliar screenshots, photos, and voices are present in the phone.
Go through your Photos, Gallery and Voices. If you see screenshots or pictures you haven’t taken, it means that someone else took them from your phone. You may also find some audio recordings that contain noise data and have not been recorded by you.
This unrecognized content suggests access to your mobile phone by an intruder. Keep in mind that many spy apps offer the ability to take pictures and record voices to get an idea of the telephone environment.
Lanny Tuchmayer, Founder at Bergellaw
Sign #6: Last Activity Details don’t match with your last action.
Another useful piece of information to help you know whether your phone is being tracked or monitored is the ‘Last Activity’ details.
When you are inactive, the snooper may visit your social media or email accounts. Last activity details in such a scenario allow you to identify if an impersonator is trying to access your records.
By default, some applications display this information. You can also check when you last opened an application through your phone’s event logger.
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Sign #7: Internet data usage is increased.
The increased use of internet data is an obvious indication of the cell phone being tracked, tapped or monitored.
All spy apps use the internet to communicate with your device and receive data from it via Wi-Fi or GPS. If you see a noticeable increase in data usage compared to your usual pattern, check what triggered the increase.
Part 2: I know my Cell Phone is Tapped, Tracked or Monitored! What should I do?
It is disappointing to know that someone has been monitoring all your activities. Here is your action plan. Take the following measures to get protected.
Step # 1: Instantly clean up your device.
Step # 2: Reset passwords for all accounts.
This is the second step that you must take. Phone tracking applications are powerful enough to extract all passwords from your device. Therefore, resetting passwords and security information for your social media and email accounts is essential.
Step # 3: Check your bank account activity.
Hacking a device is commonly used to steal personal data and extract bank account details. Particularly, if you had made an online payment. Also, you may have stored your credit card details, passwords or pin codes in the phone notes.
Since a keylogger comes with multiple spy applications, it is important to check your bank account for the recent transactions. If you find any transaction not initiated by you, take appropriate action.
Step # 4: Thoroughly check phone’s activity.
The impersonator may have carried out some activity on your accounts. Check your calls, messages, and activity on social media. Check your mailboxes for emails that have been sent and received.
Step # 5: Use device security features.
An important lesson learned is not to trust anyone with your device.
Most spy applications require that the user access the target device and complete spy software setup. This means that even if you are not around, your cell phone should be protected from unauthorized access.
Your smartphone comes with several handy features to prevent unauthorized access to your device and keep it safe. Use device security features. Set a passcode or identity recognition on your device so that no one can unlock your device without your permission.
Part 3: How to Find out If Your Phone is Being Spied on And What to Do?
Have you noticed that your phone is getting slower? Significantly, your phone battery gets depleted way faster than usual? Or that your phone abnormally reboots itself alone? These are indications that your phone’s security is compromised. You may have gotten malware or spyware. These are similar to the ones implanted in laptops or desktops.
Another indication would be your phone would sometimes act in itself, randomly pop up applications which you are really not trying to access or open, or that you would unexpectedly hear abnormal noises coming from your phone, these all mean that you need to secure your phone.
You can remedy this situation by removing untrustworthy applications or suspicious ones. Limit your phone usage to verified and trusted websites only. If you will secure your phone, turn off your Wi-Fi or mobile data connection. This will automatically cut-off the hackers from accessing your phone. Note, however, that, as long as you have yet to remove the hostile applications or suspicious files, when you turn on your access to the internet, your hackers will again have access to your mobile handset.
Matt Post, Co-founder, Attorney Marketing Solutions
Smartphones store a great deal of personal information and it could be a disaster once it’s hacked. One of the ways to know if someone is having your phone is through data storage. If you didn’t change your online habits and monthly data usage spiked, then a person may have installed spyware on your device. Make sure to check your data usage regularly and report it once you notice unusual activities. Look out for odd text messages, there are spyware apps that use SMS to communicate with their base. Android users can install a security software, while iOS users won’t need one because they target Android devices for most part. When the battery is draining fast, then spyware may be working continuously. Check your battery if it needs replacement or if any recently installed apps are responsible for the deterioration of battery life. To avoid problems with spyware, always make sure to secure your phone using a password, only install trusted apps, be careful with odd SMS and manage permissions tightly.
Masha Mahdavi, Co-founder, SEM Dynamics
There are a few signs that someone may be spying on your phone.
One sign is when they have access to your account and can see recent activity. This could be because they have already hacked into your account and are now watching you. Another sign is when your phone vibrates when it receives a text message, email, or other notification that isn’t from you or you get a notification from an app you don’t have installed on the phone. Another sign includes when your lock screen or home screen shows a notification that looks like it’s from someone else.
Jamie Knight, CEO, Data Source Hub
Spy tools with substandard quality will aim to relay as much crucial data from your phone back to their devices. On the flip side, spy tools with exemplary quality are a bit tougher to diminish. In cases like this, it’s imperative to note that both occupy massive data. Due to the operations of the malware, decreased battery life also frequently accompanies increased data use. Keep your monthly data usage monitored, and if you witness a dramatic spike, then chances are, your phone is being spied on. Meanwhile, impulsive and unsolicited reboots might be an indication that someone bags general administrative access to your device, granting them the authority to restart it anytime they like. This would also imply that they have a variety of other access to your device and the private data stored on it; hence, when your phone exhibits unusual behavior, your phone likewise has a tendency that it’s being spied on.
Brian Hong, Founder, Infintech Designs
A few telltale signs that your phone is being monitored include strange or unexplained appearance, such as sudden changes in battery life, unexpected app activity, and unusual background noise. You can also check for physical signs of tampering, such as a loose battery cover or new scratches or pinholes in the phone. If you suspect your phone is being spied on, the best thing to do is perform a factory reset and change all your passwords. It will remove any malicious software that might be installed on your device and help to protect your privacy.
Michael Barr, COO, Teleleaf
One of the things to know if your phone is being spied on is if it is getting so hot. It is not even more usual if your phone is heating up even if you are not using it because there might be someone already trying to run spyware in the background. Another thing is if your phone is running a huge amount of data even if you know you haven’t consumed that much. It was also because someone might be spying on you because the spy needs data to pass it to the host, so
Daniel Cook, Director HR, Mullen and Mullen
A malfunctioning autocorrect system could reveal that your phone is being monitored. Using a keylogger spyware, hackers can easily record every keystroke you make that can collect data from your messages, activity, and log-in credentials. When your autocorrect function is compromised, you’ll notice a difference in the overall performance of your phone, which can result in lagging and slower applications. In particular, mSpy is an application with a keylogger used to actively spy on your GPS locations and access messaging apps for every transaction to access your data.
Chris M. Walker, CEO, Superstar SEO
If you find unsolicited downloaded applications on your phone without your permission, remove them right away. Such an app has a high probability of being the device used by a hacker to spy on your phone. If someone is watching you on your phone, your battery will deplete faster than usual since the program is operating in the background to keep the complacent motive of the hacker continuous. Another determining factor is when your data use has increased in tandem with an unusual browser search history. Simply put, if you see any action on your phone that you did not initiate, your phone is most likely being spied on.
Sam Browne, Co-founder, HARO SEO
There are few signs that someone is spying on your phone. If you detect any unusual behavior or unexpected battery drain and data usage, it’s worth looking into whether spyware has been placed on your device. If your battery begins to drain unusually quickly, it could indicate that spyware is being used to track your location or monitor your activity. If you also notice that your data usage is suddenly higher than usual, it could be because someone is using your phone to send information about you back to their own device. Random reboots or shutdowns are another thing to consider. It’s possible that spyware is causing problems with your phone’s operation if it keeps shutting down or resuming for no apparent reason.
Loran Marmes, Owner, Medicare Solutions Team
There are a few ways to find out if your phone is being spied on. First, check for any unusual applications installed on the device. It’s important to remove any applications and programs that appear suspicious and do not appear to be related to personal information management. Another one is to check for any unfamiliar network traffic between your computer and phone. It’s important to watch for these types of communications since they could indicate that someone else has hijacked your phone’s connection with its carrier even if they’re not present on your account at all times.
If you suspect that your phone is being spied on, here are some things you can do:
- Reset your phone’s settings and security settings. This will remove all traces of spyware from your device and prevent it from being able to be installed again.
- Change your password and PIN code right away! A strong password helps protect against hackers who try to access your data remotely through computer viruses or malware.
- Consider using a mobile security app like Mobile Spyor Lookout which can monitor your phone remotely while you’re away from home or even when it’s turned off.
Bob Scott, Owner, selling land for cash