From time to time, some of our visitors contact us concerned that someone may have install monitoring programs on their device without their consent or knowledge, and had been unsuccessful and finding useful information online. The reason for this, is because these programs are made to run in complete stealth, this protects the user in case the device is stolen or in the wrong hands. Sometimes, however, the concern is that someone might have installed spy software on a device you own, without your consent. This is often the case with marriage infidelity suspicions, causing one of the partners to secretly monitor the other’s cellphone or computer.
Most people have no idea these services even exist, how powerful they are, but more importantly how accessible it is for anyone to utilize them. It sounds like a James Bond movie, but these tools are no longer reserved for secret government espionage organizations, everyone at home can use them too. The various functions spy programs offer are enough to be extremely invasive on your privacy and should not be taken lightly. Understanding and knowing what monitoring services can do, is a good first step to being better capable of detecting them on your phone. Although the software is mostly undetectable, there are a few telltale signs to help us determine if there is probable cause to look further.
- How to Remove Spying Programs
- How to Secure Your Cell Phone From Spying
The hard question to answer remains whether or not your device is being tracked or hacked in any way, simply because of how they are designed to be completely invisible, undetectable and very stealthy while in operation. You won’t see an App icon for it and the better the service, the harder it is to detect. So, how do you do it? As we suggested, first take a look around at what features and capabilities these apps offer, once you have a basic understanding, you have to come to the realization that some of the best services out there would require an expert mobile technician or security advisor in order to really detect these using advanced forensic tools. But, not all is lost, as there are a few ways to try and at least get some kind of idea.
Battery Drains Way Faster: If you start noticing that your battery charge is going down much faster on standby mode than ever before, that is a possible strong factor to keep an eye out for. Don’t forget that batteries slowly diminish with time and after a year, it certainly will not have the same capacity and performance, but if it changes from one day to another, especially when you are never utilizing it or turning on the screen, something is wrong. It could just be the battery or the fact that you installed too many apps! But, since spy apps can utilize the camera, microphone and have to often send data back, it could cause for fast battery draining.
Unusual Signs: Depending on the service used by the perpetrator, it can be less effective at being stealthy. Some buggy apps can cause the phone to crash and stop responding, or shutting off even on full charge. Really bad ones will fail to conceal the flash or record light when using the camera, while in-use lights might come on if the microphone is activated. Anything out of the ordinary that becomes regular is enough to consider and look further, but don’t freak out, all of these fit the bill as being strictly technical problems with the device. These little things can vary but some of the main ones are:
Cryptic Text Messages: Certain spy software allows the user to remote control the cellphone or tablet by sending in special text messages. Top quality software manages to effectively hide these messages and ensure the device never actually receives or alerts of them in the inbox, but the bad ones don’t. If you start regularly receiving SMS’s that don’t make sense and possibly contain series or random letters, numbers and/or symbols, it may be someone on the other end sending the phone remote commands.
Jailbroken iPhone: For Apple users, apps cannot be installed unless they are sold on the Apple Store, and therefore jailbreaking iDevices became common practice by many users, especially the techy ones. Ultimately, you jail break your iPhone in order to be able to install 3rd party apps and software that you would otherwise not be able to, or would have to pay for on the store. In order to install a tracking app on the iPhone or iPad, it has to be jailbroken, therefore if you discover your iPhone was, but you had nothing to do with it, that’s a red flag that someone around you could have done it, unless it was a pre-owned device, which in that case, it could have been done already.
Rooted Android: Even though it’s not required to root your Android to install tracking software, it does not mean that many people don’t do it for that specific purpose. Some functions are limited to rooted Androids only. Sometimes, third party applications like WhatsApp, Skype and full keylogging (saves every key typed on keyboard of phone) can only be accessed, monitored and logged if the device is rooted. With that said, don’t completely dismiss verifying if your cell phone or android tablet has been rooted without your knowledge.
How to Detect If Your iPhone Has Been Jailbroken
For any of these signs to represent a risk of spy apps being installed on your cell phone, it would require a combination of them starting to appear suddenly, one symptom alone would not be enough to raise any doubts. Once you have gone through this checklist, if you do have any suspicion, it’s time to pass to action and get rid of those unwanted programs. Read on to our guide on how to remove spy apps from your cellphone and how to better secure your cell phone from tracking software, to effectively get rid of unwanted espionage tools and/or secure your mobile device from future attacks.