The Lure Of Your Personal DataSo why should someone be interested in spying on you? Well, there are different reasons. Perhaps the position you hold in your business makes you a target for people interested in data about the company operations. It can be a private matter, such as a spouse looking to unravel a potential affair. Alternatively, your wealth may draw unscrupulous individuals who want to hack their way into your checking account. There are those whose jobs increase their risks of being targets of spyware – like journalists, government workers, activists, judges and even scientists. When it comes to phone spying, having a strong password is not enough to protect you. There are lots of apps that can be monitoring your phone activity without you noticing. Let’s delve into the different ways that you can tell if there is someone spying on your phone.
Signs To Watch Out For
Spike in data usageHave you noticed a sudden surge in the amount of data that your device is using – and yet you know that your own phone habits have not changed? Then there is a likelihood that additional software has been installed on the device, which can be spyware. This is typically seen with the spyware apps that are of a low quality, which tend to used loads of data to send the information that they have picked up form your phone. The high quality software apps on the other hand have been developed to used less data, so this step won’t be of much use here. So read on to other signs that you will notice.
Sudden decrease in battery lifeSure, batteries gradually weaken over time. This, coupled with the numerous apps you’re constantly using, means that the rate of the battery getting depleted will slowly increase. However, when you notice sudden drops in battery life, then this is a red flag. Either the device is actually faulty, or there is unwanted software running in the phone that’s consuming loads of resources while it works in the background.
Phone is acting up while in standby mode.When the phone is in standby mode, common actions that trigger activity include incoming calls and messages, plus the standard notifications. If you notice that the phone screen is randomly lighting up, or there are sudden unexplained noises, then it means that something is not quite right under the hood.
Random rebootsIf the phone keeps rebooting without any clear reason, then it could point to someone else having remote access to the device. This is particularly disconcerting because if one has such access and control such that they can remotely reboot your phone, then getting to the data itself will be far much easier. Don’t lose your wits over this one though. It’s a common feature with buggy phones. However, coupled with the other signs on this list, then you should be more cautious.
Unexplained surge in battery temperatureActivities like playing games or heavy usage will definitely increase temperature. This also happens when the phone is charging, and is expected. However, if you notice that the phone gets hotter when lightly using it, or even when it is idle, then could point to tracking software sending data to another location.
Weird noise when callingOccasionally, you may find yourself in a location with bad reception, in which case you don’t have to worry about this. However, if you keep hearing a beeping sound, white noise, or echoes when calling, it could indicate the presence of spyware on the app.
Delays or difficulty in shutting down the deviceWhen shutting down the phone, it first closes the active applications before going completely off. This also means cancelling any data transmission from the device. If the phone is taking longer than usual for the shutdown especially after you’ve only been using it for light tasks like calling and texting, then there could be an active app that’s simultaneously running in the background, recording and transmitting data. There are cases where the phone actually doesn’t seem to completely shut down to the black screen. This indicates that the device has been compromised. Here, the backlight doesn’t switch off due to the spy software that’s in the background, which is stopping the device from shutting down.
Dealing With Spy Software On PhonesSo, what can you do if you suspect there to be spyware in your phone? Let’s break this down into two:
Android UsersFirst, try and locate the app manually. Navigate to the “Application Management” options in the settings:
- Open Settings
- Go to “Additional Settings”
- Tap “Application Management”
- Blocking unverified apps
- Open settings
- Go to “Additional Settings”
- Select “Safety and Privacy”
- Uncheck “Unknown sources” option.
- Check which apps have access to the camera and microphone
- Open settings
- Go to “Apps and Notifications”
- Select “Advanced”
- Click “Permission Manager”
- Install antivirus software
iPhone UsersMonitoring the iPhone is pretty hard unless one jailbreaks the phone. Jailbreaking removes the manufacturer restrictions, allowing spyware apps to be installed. Is my iPhone Jailbroken? Are you concerned that someone has bypassed the iOS device security and is installing unwanted apps? One of the ways that you can check this out is looking for the “Cydia” app. It enables one to install software into the jailbroken devices. If you find the app in your iPhone, then that’s a pointer to it already having unwanted software. mSpy – A useful tool that can also be used wrongly This is one of the legal applications in App Store, and it will work on non-jailbroken iPhones. It’s marketed to parents monitoring their kids. However, this does not mean that a business rival, suspicious spouse, or employer cannot install it on your device. They simply need to get access to your iCloud account’s password. Simply changing the password will stop this. Tracking camera and microphone usage The latest privacy features with iPhones operating system monitor the usage of the camera and microphone. For instance, the “recording indicator” feature with the iOS 14 update lets you know whenever any of the apps, including those in the background, are using the camera or microphone. A little orange dot will show up next to the Wi-Fi and cellular data icons. Don’t worry. You don’t have to keep your eyes peeled onto the top right corner of the phone to check if there’s that glowing orange dot. From the Control Centre, you will be able to see which apps in the phone have recently used the microphone or camera. Changing camera and microphone permission settings To do this:
- Open “Settings”
- Select “Privacy”
- Click Camera or Microphone as needed.