An Englishwoman admitted that her husband is tracking her every move by installing a tracking app on her phone. She doesn’t mind, but a lot of people will agree that any tracking apps and spyware hidden in the phone is an invasion of privacy. So we have here some tips on how to know if you are being tracked through a phone app and some recommendations on what to do about it.
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How tracking apps are secretly installed
To be able to install a tracking app, a person needs to have a direct access to your phone. So your first defense against possible invasion is a security code. You say, how can someone have the opportunity to take your phone (unless someone robs you) when you always have it with you everywhere you go? Nah, you don’t. How about when you take your shower or when you are asleep, your spouse or your parents may secretly “borrow” your phone and install a spyware on it. So never underestimate the value of putting a PIN on your phone. Don’t use easy combination such as your birthday, wedding anniversary, or anything familiar—make it hard for them.
How to know if your iPhone is jailbroken
Apple’s iPhone security is one of the strictest. Only apps and software from the App Store can be installed, so setting up programs not from the App Store like tracking software will require jailbreaking. Usually when your iPhone has been trespassed, you wouldn’t notice it unless the trespasser is careless, then there might be some telltale signs of jailbreaking, like not deleting the app used to do it. Software like Cydia, Icy, Installer, Installous, and SBSettings are some of the tools used for jailbreaking. If you find one of these apps in your iPhone, then most likely your phone has been tapped. Look for it in your home screen.
What unusually high phone bills indicate
Another sign that your phone has been installed with a tracking software is if your data charges are abnormally high than the normal. That’s because spy apps use GPS to track your location and will need data roaming to send back information to the person who is spying on you. So if you check your phone bills and notice an increase in your data charges, check your phone right away.
What other signs you should look for
Here are several signs that a spyware is installed in your phone without your knowledge: 1) your phone’s battery drains faster than the usual and is always warm even if you’re not using it; 2) screen keeps lighting even if you’re trying to turn it off; 3) other apps run slower than normal; 4) unknown apps running in the background; and 5) it takes long to turn off your phone. These signs coupled with some issues below are sure indicators that a spyware is present on your phone.
What does receiving peculiar messages indicate
The remote controller sends text messages to your phone as a command instruction to the tracking software in the form of random characters and or numbers like a computer code. You’re not supposed to notice it, but there are times it goes astray and appear in your inbox.
How to trace the tracking app
Some users don’t bother exploring their phone’s folders and directories. But if you happen to use file explorer app like ES File Explorer, open file folders in your phone and find files with obvious names such as “stealth,” “spy,” and “mobilespy”. Yeah, they are that obvious. Delete them all, but if you suspect certain files that are related to a spyware but you’re not really sure, ask the experts first before wiping them off.
How observing your surroundings can help
If you really think your phone has been bugged, ask yourself, is there a reason someone would want to track you? Do you remember anyone saying or doing anything suspicious? It won’t hurt to pay extra attention to anything or everyone around you.
How to prevent spyware
Protect your phone against virtual attacks like spying and tracking apps. Android phones are the most vulnerable to malware and rogue programs, arm your phone by installing a good antivirus app.
How to remove tracking apps and spyware
If you are using anti-virus software, make sure that it’s always updated. Always check your phone for unfamiliar apps and files mentioned previously and delete all of them. That would keep your phone safe. But to be sure, create a backup of all of your files in your computer so when your phone is intruded, you can revert your phone to factory settings without worrying about losing important data. Then you can install one by one the files to your phone.
For iPhone users, if you feel that yours has been jailbroken, you can void the problem by upgrading to the latest version of iOS.