There are good trackers out there that can get into your device and track its movement without your knowledge. That’s why we recommend that you get data and digital products from secure and reputable websites to avoid downloading tracking apps and other spyware. This is because some third-party apps may gain unauthorized access to your device through malware in your downloads.
Some do this to spy on your movement, calls, or text messages. Other times, it could be someone close to you trying to get information from your phone by using a tracking app linked to your device. Whatever the case may be, there are ways to find out if your phone is being monitored.
How To Tell If Your Phone Is Being Tracked
1. Your battery drains faster than usual
If you suddenly start having problems with your phone battery capacity, this may be a good sign that you are being tracked. Tracking apps tend to run in the background and consume a huge amount of battery within a short period of time.
However, you don’t have to conclude until a phone technician has confirmed that though your battery is in a good condition. Sometimes, a short battery life is just an evidence of a weak battery.
2. Increased data usage
Some people may miss this sign because they don’t monitor their data usage since they can subscribe for more data when it gets exhausted. Others figure that the culprit of this situation is their internet service provider. If you suspect that your mobile device is being tracked, try monitoring your data usage to see if it’s suddenly gone up. If so, then you may have spyware running in the background.
To check data usage on iPhone,
- Go to Settings > Cellular > Mobile Data
If the button is green next to an app is green, it means that the app has been allowed to use data and you will find the recent data usage beside the Current Period. You may toggle off an app you don’t intend to use frequently. This will make the app only work when you are using WiFi connection.
To check data usage for Android phone,
- Go to your Settings app
- Follow your Android model instructions to find data usage. It is usually in Connections and Sharing, Mobile Data/Mobile Network or Network and Internet
- Check for the amount of data each app has consumed overtime or within 24 hours.
As an android user, you can conserve your data using the Data saver feature. In your Settings, click on Network and Internet and turn on Data saver. This option may not be available on all Android devices.
3. Unknown apps on your device
It is important to go through your phone application list frequently to check for any new or unfamiliar app. A spying or tracking app may blend in with your apps and cause you trouble without you realizing it. Regularly checking the list of applications installed on your device will surely reveal any unknown application secretly installed on your device.
4. Background noises during a phone call
If you are in a quiet environment but keep hearing strange noises and voices when you receive a phone call, then you may be a victim of phone tracking. Other times, however, this can occur due to a network issue with your internet service provider.
5. Phone responds slowly
Is your device still new, updated to the latest version, and the RAM space is big enough, but you find it responding too slowly? Then there could be a tracking app in your device that is eating up RAM space. These apps have the potential to even crash your mobile device.
6. Phone crashes
If your mobile device frequently freezes and goes off unplanned and you are sure it is not caused by an old operating system, a viral infection, or overheating, then your phone may have spyware overloading its processor. This crash happens because spyware such as location trackers put extra pressure on your RAM and the hardware in general.
7. Encrypted text messages
If you have ever received one or more link-bearing text messages from unknown sources and have actually clicked through those links to see what’s on the other side, you may have unknowingly opened up your device to an external attack. Hence, you should proceed to check the list of apps installed on your device.
Popular Spy apps for iPhones and Android
There are thousands of spy apps out there for users to choose from. However, some are more widely used than others. Though it’s wrong to spy on anyone and breach their privacy, below are popular Spy apps in case you find one on your mobile device.
- ClevGuard – for both iOS and Android. This app is most likely to noticeably drain your battery. It traces your GPS, takes screenshots remotely and so much more.
- mSpy – This spy app is deadly because it is usually undetectable. Anyone can use it to view your chats and email, pin your location and see your call history.
- Spyera – Spyera stays hidden and listens to your conversation and calls, feeding them back to whoever installed it on your device. It works best with rooted phones.
- Flexispy – This can trace your chats and phone calls. It is used mostly by parents to track their kids but anyone can use it too.
- Umobix: Umobix is an app with an easily accessible dashboard that allows perpetrators to monitor all the activities of their target. You can spot it quickly as it drains battery percentage faster and freezes the phone intermittently.
How to Remove Spyware From Your Phone
No one loves to be followed or monitored. We all want the liberty to live our life freely with full privacy assurance. So you will not hesitate to do away with a tracking app on your phone. We’ve highlighted different ways you can remove a tracker from your phone.
1. Delete/Uninstall the app from your phone
The fastest way to remove spyware from your device is to delete it on iPhone or Uninstall it on Android.
- Press and hold the app you wish to get rid of. A range of options will appear.
- Click on Delete for iPhone or Uninstall for Android
2. Use an Antivirus
It may be difficult to detect advanced spyware by simply looking through your apps. Most of them stay totally hidden and only an Antivirus can fish them out. There are a couple of amazing Antivirus programs out there for iPhone and Android devices like Norton360, Avira, Bitdefender, McAfee, and more.
It’s best to subscribe to paid plans to enjoy the full benefits of the Antivirus. The Antivirus will scan your device and uproot every hidden and dangerous app to the surface, then you can delete it.
3. Reset your phone to factory settings
Though this may be an extreme solution, we recommend it if there’s no other way to remove particular spyware from your device. Bear in mind that a few stubborn tracking apps may still not leave your phone even after a reset. In this case, you need to see a professional phone technician to assist remove such spyware by formatting your device and installing a brand new operating system onto it.
Before you reset your device, make sure you back up important files and information to your device cloud or Google account.
To restore an Android 11 device to factory settings, (steps differs with other versions)
- Open the Settings app
- Click on General Management or Additional settings
- Scroll down and select Reset > Factory data reset. A list of all the information that will be deleted will appear.
- Scroll down the page and click on Reset or Erase all data
- Insert your password or draw your pattern to confirm. Then wait for your device to reset itself.
To reset an iPhone to factory settings,
- Go to Settings > General
- Scroll down. Select Transfer or Reset iPhone
- Click Reset all settings
- Enter your unique passcode to confirm the action.
How to Prevent Your Phone from being Tracked
Prevention is better than cure! It’s best to avoid anything that would lead to you having spyware on your mobile device rather than going through the tedious process of getting rid of it. So, to avoid any occurrence of this dubious software on your device, try the following methods:
- Use an Antivirus – As technology develops every day, so do malware developers. You have to beat them to their game by installing a powerful antivirus to your device to ensure maximum protection against spyware.
- Use a VPN – A standard VPN like PIA, NordVPN, ExpressVPN and the likes encrypt your data and reroute your traffic while online, making it difficult for anyone to trace you.
- Don’t jailbreak your phone – Jailbreaking or rooting your phone for personalization purposes could leave your device vulnerable to malware attacks. This is because most of your operating system’s privacy and restrictions would be violated.
- Keep your device up to date – This is a surefire way to prevent your device from a spyware attack. An updated version of your operating system may be more secure and impenetrable.
- Avoid suspicious links – Links sent to you from unknown sources via chats, text messages and emails may be an attempt to get into your device. Be careful what you click on online.
- Download apps from official app stores – This is another way to prevent being tracked or spied on. Google play store for example uses the Google play protect feature to scan potentially harmful apps. Getting apps from third-party websites exposes your phone to spyware.
Stay on alert and carefully watch out for any sign that your device is being hijacked by spyware or any tracking software. If you notice that your mobile device has started misbehaving despite being in very good condition, then you may be infected with a tracking app. Carefully follow this article to delete or prevent your phone from being tracked.