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How to Stop Someone From Spying on My Cell Phone

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Spyware is a cell phone has become a common issue these days. But thinking about it too much or being concerned about every sign that your phone is tapped, could make you paranoid.

Some of the spyware is remotely installed on your phone but they are usually scams and do not work as advertised.

But, for the regular spy apps, the hacker must have physical access to your phone. Therefore, the most important precaution is to keep your phone with yourself or at a safe place.

Unfortunately, it is most common that the user downloads the spy app on their phone unintentionally. Spyware apps could be extremely dangerous as their access could be to the text messages, calls, e-mails, call history and location on your device.

So, you should detect the spy apps on your phone as early as possible and should follow measures to remove the spyware.

Signs That Your Phone is Trapped

Sometimes, these spying apps are smarter and you cannot judge the changes to your phone. However, in most cases, there are some visible and probable signs after a spyware injection.

There are some signs that could be a signal of spy apps but there are other systematic issues too which can cause these problems.

1. Fastest Battery Drainage

If you are witnessing irregular battery drainage patterns then it could be due to a spy app. Such apps are known to increase battery usage severely.

You can better detect this issue and its cause.

Battery performance goes down with passing years or your usage patterns can also be the cause of fast battery consumption. Some mobile apps remain functioning in the background even when you are not using them.

Other than this, spyware running in the background of your phone tends to consume more battery.

2. Uncertain Phone Shutdown And Restart

It is really general that your phone turns off or restarts when you do it. But, with malware running in your mobile there could be a sudden power off or on.

You could understand this with the example of a PC software installation.

Sometimes, when an installation is complete, the PC restarts automatically without your command or authorization. The same could be the case with malicious software; however, here you are also unaware of the running spy app.

One might also notice the mobile screen light up as if it is in use. If you see it once then there is probably nothing alarming but if it happens quite often then you should give it a second thought.

3. Battery Too Hot

Feeling mobile warm is common while using but when not in use, this could be a signal towards spyware functioning.

Even light functioning such as the usage of WhatsApp or Facebook does give a slight change to battery temperature. However, if it gets too hot without any reason such as charging, long voice calls, or lengthy movie play, then it is maybe due to unknown software application processing.

4. Background Noises

Heard any strange buzz or noise while being on call? If yes then recall the history that is it from start or is just sudden.

As mentioned before, the spyware apps are also able to listen and record your voice call which could probably cause uncertain noises.

Signal issues are also the cause of unclear or added voices but you can confirm it through a test call from another mobile. Or, if the problem continues for long or becomes regular then it’s better to be vigilant.

5. Strange Messages

Promotional deals, brand publicity, or a sale offer on a text message could be an indication towards tracking but it’s not a spyware warning.

But if a message read like this; #wet$ssaw244*& then what does it mean?

Weird text messages (usually with symbols and numbers) which are unreadable and seem gibberish could be a spyware tool. As a result, this simple SMS could initiate GPS tracking, enable a microphone, turn on the camera, or could kick off other intrusive processes.

6. Enormous Data Usage

Most people don’t have a track of the data usage until their limit is reached or they get a bill. If your data usage suddenly gets over the regular usage pattern and you haven’t performed any such activity then it could be spyware sending logs to and from your phone.

Such kinds of malicious software tend to direct your phone to unauthentic websites when your data or Wi-Fi connection is on.

Generally, it is hard to detect the change but you can spot the suspicious activity by turning off all the data using apps for some time.

Some of you might have noticed these issues but they are not the complete indication of the spyware apps. However, it is really safe to get precautions before you fall into extreme danger.

Ways To Remove Spyware (Android and iPhone)

Android phones are more prone to spyware attacks as compared to iPhones. Therefore, it is more probable that Android users have a question, how to stop someone from spying on their cell phone.

If you have witnessed regular signs of spyware apps then it’s better to follow these ways to remove spy apps from your phone.

1. Restore The Factory Settings

This is the easiest method to get rid of any spy software.

Restoring the factory settings could be unpleasant for most mobile owners as it removes all the data and stored files. However, it is way better than giving your personal data to a malicious entity.

–For Android

To perform a factory reset you have to open the phone’s Settings> Backup and Reset> Factory data reset> Reset phone. Then, select erase everything and enter your passcode if there is any.

–For iPhone

Go to your iPhone’s Settings> General> Reset> Erase All Content and Settings. To confirm the process, enter your password.

2. Manually Removing The App

Another way to remove the app is to delete it manually.

This way is a bit tricky as you must recognize the malicious app before getting into the removal process. Also, you must keep in mind that there could be several apps working together to make up a single tool. Therefore, you should delete all the apps.

  • Go to your Android Settings app and click Apps.
  • Now, scroll down and locate the spyware app/apps.
  • Click on the app and press Uninstall.

3. Update Your Operating System

This method is not much effective in removing the spy app as compared to the above two. However, many times the ignorance of the OS update is also giving malware, easy access to your phone.

If your mobile company has recently launched an update then it is most probable that they have patched up the security loopholes.

If you have rooted your android phone then it will also be removed with the OS update. Because android rooting allows unknown and stranger apps for download, the malicious apps could also manage an easy way to your phone.

For iPhone

Updating the iPhone with the latest iOS update is really effective for removing the tracking programs. Also, it will remove the jailbreak if it is applied to your iPhone.

To update iOS, go to the Settings> General> Software Update.

Malicious software could never be installed on the iPhone until it is not jailbroken. Most people jailbreak the iPhone themselves so that they could install apps from other sources along with the App Store.

On the other hand, anyone else could also do it on your iPhone with physical access.

4. Installing A Security App

There is numerous anti-spyware software that keeps an eye on malicious and suspicious activity on your phone.

These apps also notify you if any new software or program is installed on your mobile phone. Through such methods, you could easily detect an undirected installation.

Security apps give a feature of scanning to figure out the fraudulent software which already exists on your phone and was previously installed without your consent.

Along with these general features, there are some distinguishing characteristics varying from app to app. For instance, Avast is a popular name for antivirus and anti-spyware.

Better Remain Vigilant and Precautionary

Along with all the discussed precautions, it is really necessary to keep a strong password on your mobile phone. Also, try to keep your phone along or in a safe place.

There is advanced spyware too but most of them are detectable at any point with which you can track and remove them. However, you could equip defense before any such sign so that there could be the least chance of your phone being attacked by spyware.

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Zehra Ali is a Tech Reporter and Journalist. She has done her Masters in Mass Communication. Topics related to cybersecurity, IoT, AI, Big Data and other privacy matters are extensively covered by her on various platforms. You can follow her on twitter.

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