Cell Phones have become so integrated in our lives that they’re an extension of yourself. In your pocket, you have memories, personal photos, work-related material, bank info, and anything else vital to an adult life. If someone believes a phone should just be used to call a person, they’re behind the times.
For better or worse, phones are necessary, and many take them for granted. Most people don’t realize how easy it is for someone to spy on your phone and read your messages, know where you are, or worse, steal your identity.
Now, you would think that the developers of these phones, knowing how much personal data people put into them, would make it impossible for spies to infiltrate. However, even though security is improving, it’s still easy for anyone with the knowledge and the ambition to hack your phone.
Is it Legal?
Is spying on another person’s phone without them knowing legal? Nope. But making something illegal doesn’t stop people from doing it, as you should well know. With so many having phones, cyber spying is on the rise.
“But I’m a nobody!” you may be thinking. You may believe that spies are only interested in what a CEO or a government official is doing. But that’s not the case. Phone spies will target anyone, regardless of income or position in life. In fact, they may go after the ordinary man because they don’t have any precautions against cyber spying.
First, you should figure out of your phone or other mobile device has been spied on, or has spy software installed on it. This article will help you figure that out, and tell you what you can do with it.
This is Just Paranoia. My Phone Wouldn’t Be Hacked!
While the chances of your phone having spy software on it is low, and you shouldn’t be too paranoid about it, it’s not as unlikely as you may think. It’s not just a cyber criminal who would want your data; here are some likely culprits:
- A jealous partner or ex. They may have tapped into your phone, thinking you may have been cheating. Even if you have nothing to hide, tapping your phone is still an offense, and a sign you may want to reconsider your relationship.
- Your boss. If your phone is a work phone given to you by your boss, they have full consent to watch what you’re doing on it, and this isn’t a big deal. However, a boss may tap into your personal phone in hopes to find something that will give them a reason to fire you. This is illegal, and if you can prove your boss is spying on you, they could be hit with a hefty lawsuit!
- The paparazzi. Okay, you may not be a celebrity, but in the unlikely event that you are, the paparazzi could be tapping your phone, looking for the juiciest gossip.
What we’re trying to say is that anyone can have a reason to spy on you. They can track your every message, watch your every move, and see what you’re surfing online. And they can do it from real time. It can be a bit scary when you think about it, but we’re here to help.
If you look at the other pages, you will see our reviews on some of the biggest spyware, all free to download. You can see what these programs do to your phone, tablet, computer, and more. These applications are available to download for free or cheap, and the software is legal to download. So with that out of the way, let’s discuss how you can detect spyware.
Spy Software Can Be Hard to Detect
Obviously, the developers of spy software want to make sure their programs are hard to detect. If they had software that was easy to discover on the victim’s phone, they’d be out of business.
Used to, it was a bit easier to find out if your phone has spyware on it. If your data use seemed a little too high, and your battery seemed too hot, that was a good sign your phone had spyware on it. But programs are getting more and more efficient. They can use little to no data on your phone, making it not so obvious.
But there are some signs if you know what you’re looking for, and we’re here to explain those signs. If you see any of these signs on your phone, get your phone checked out right away. Even if you find nothing, you may want to make sure your phone isn’t being spied on if you have any reason to believe it is.
On the other hand, don’t get too paranoid. Just because your phone has these signs doesn’t mean your phone is necessarily tapped. Just consult a professional and they can tell you what’s wrong.
Without further ado, let’s look at these signs.
Has your phone been experiencing any strange quirks as of late? Everyone is attached to their phones, so they can usually tell when something is up. Has your phone been making strange sounds? Has it been turning off and on for no good reason? Does the signal go bad for no reason?
These are all common hiccups your phone can do, so if it happens occasionally, don’t think anything of it. But if it’s happening all the time, it may be something to look into.
A Hot Battery
As we mentioned earlier, a hot battery could mean that there’s spyware, and modern spyware programs try to make sure they don’t affect your battery. However, a battery running at an unusually high temperature does happen still, especially if your phone is prone to getting warm easily. If it’s warm, and it’s not in use, this could be a sign of spyware.
If you’ve been using your phone a lot, hot batteries are common, but they should cool down if it’s not in use.
Poor Battery Life
As anyone should know by now, it’s common for your phone’s battery life to diminish over time. While batteries have improved over the years, you can expect to see the charge going downhill as little as a year of ownership.
However, if your battery life has suddenly gotten poor, and your phone is still newer, this could be a sign of spyware. The spyware runs constantly, so it can drain the battery faster than usual. While spyware has become more energy conscious, they can still cause unusual changes to your battery life.
Of course, there could be a multitude of reasons as to why your battery is going bad besides spyware. Maybe it’s just a bad battery, or another piece of software runs in the background. Use a battery-monitoring app such as BatteryLife LX to figure out what’s causing your battery to run sluggishly.
Phone Not Shutting Down Properly
Shutting down is a quick and painless operation. Usually. Sometimes, you may see your phone having a hard time powering off, even though you hit the command. It may outright refuse to turn off, take its sweet time shutting down, or keep the backlight on even though the screen is black.
While this is the more eerie of the signs so far, it’s still nothing to get too paranoid about if it happens on occasionally. Odds are, it’s probably a glitch. But if it keeps happening, it’s definitely work checking out.
We aren’t talking about getting a new phone number and receiving texts from people who think you’re the previous number’s owner. We’re talking about messages with weird characters, symbols, and other unreadable font.
These are coded messages that are common with spyware, which helps to control your phone. These messages are SMS, but they are usually hidden from the phone owner. But sometimes, the software messes up and you can see those strange coded messages.
If you’re receiving strange messages and you know it’s not your friend drunk texting you, get your phone checked out right away!
Weird Background Noises
If you’re calling someone, listen to the background noise. If you hear static, clicking, echoing, or other strange sounds, watch out. This could be a sign that your conversation is being tapped.
Strange background noises aren’t uncommon occasionally. Maybe the signal is bad. Like most of these problems, you should be concerned if it keeps happening.
Phone Distorts Other Electronic Devices
A bugged phone can affect other electronic devices that are close by. If you’re on the phone, and you’re close to the TV, and the TV distorts, this could be a sign that your phone is tapped. The occasional distorting device can happen without any spyware, but if it happens all the time, well, you know what to do.
Is My Phone Bugged or Hacked?
By now, you may be wondering if there’s a straight answer to this. However, we don’t know. The problem with these signs is that they’re common phone behavior without spyware. What you have to look out for is how often these signs happen. If all the above is frequently happening, you have a good reason to believe your phone is tapped.
Also, follow your nose a bit. Do you have anyone who could have a reason to spy on you? While a random criminal could be a culprit, signaling out people you know personally is a good way to start. Like we said before, healthy paranoia is fine.
What About Antivirus Software?
Antivirus software is known to help detect and eliminate malicious programs, so would it work for spy apps?
Maybe, but not always. The developers of these spyware apps know that someone may use an antivirus to find them, so they’ve tailored the app to avoid detection. The best antivirus app, as a matter of fact, is said to be only 60 percent accurate. That’s not a very good majority!
This is because the spyware is constantly changing. They change the names and locations of their hidden file names, thus confusing the antivirus.
So to summarize, an antivirus is a good start, but if you have a reason to believe you’re spied on, and the antivirus finds nothing, don’t let your guard down just yet. Antiviruses are far from perfect.
How Can I Stop This?
With spyware, the best way to stop it is to make sure it doesn’t get installed in the first place.
Almost all spyware has to be manually installed. In other words, someone has to have access to your phone and install the spyware on the device. That’s why we say to look out for people you know. Who can access your phone? Who may know your password?
Speaking of a password, you want to make sure that your phone is password protected, and you can download more apps to get extra protection. Encryption apps can add an extra boost to your protection.
So don’t leave your phone in a vulnerable spot. In an age where everyone is glued to their phones, this may not be that difficult. However, all it takes is for you to put your phone down just once.
Is Spyware Removable?
Of course, prevention means nothing if you already have it. If you have spyware on your device, do you have to take it to a professional and pay a fortune to fix it?
Not really. Spyware is actually easy to remove, but you may not like the solution. All you have to do is to have a factory reset on your phone, and your device is a clean slate once again.
But a factory reset, as you should know, deletes everything off your phone. If you haven’t done so already, constantly back up your phone, and see if you have a backup before the point you think the phone was sabotaged.
Sadly, there’s no easy answer as to whether or not your phone has spyware. The point of spyware is for it to not be seen, and they do a good job doing it. So if you think someone bugged your phone, and there are signs of something fishy going on, give your phone a factory reset and take precautions so it never happens again.