Are you being tracked? How to spot a tracking app on your phone
Tracking apps and spyware are a genuine risk, and an extremely unpleasantinvasion of privacy for many. Here are our tips on how to recognize if youhave a tracking app on your phone, and what to do about it.A woman in the UK made headlines recently when she confessed that her husbandmonitors her phone – reading her messages and tracking her every move – usinga stealthy tracking app that he installed. She may claim it’s not botheringher, but tracking apps and spyware are a genuine risk, and an extremelyunpleasant invasion of privacy for many. Here are our tips on how to recognizeif you have a tracking app on your phone, and what to do about it.Opportunity is keyInstalling tracking apps and spyware requires physical access to your phone;so the easiest way to prevent it is to keep your phone secure. Since you can’tquite take your phone everywhere with you – we’ve all got to shower some time– make sure to set a PIN on the phone, and make it a hard one to guess. Notyour birthday, wedding anniversary, address or familiar combinations.Has your iPhone been “jailbroken”?Installing tracking or spyware apps on iPhone requires a process called“jailbreaking” – bypassing Apple’s strict built-in rules on installingsoftware from sources other than the Appstore. If it’s happened to your phone,you wouldn’t outwardly notice the difference, but if whoever did it was hastyor careless, they might not have deleted the software they used to do it. Lookfor apps like Cydia, Icy, Installer, Installous, SBSettings – some of the mostcommon jailbreaking tools. Simply swipe right on your home screen to searchyour phone, as they won’t necessarily show up with an app icon.Check your billsIf there’s a tracking app or spyware on your phone, it could send your datacharges through the roof, as it’s fairly common for such apps to use GPS tomonitor your phone’s location and use data roaming to report back to whoever’scontrolling them. If you haven’t been abroad and notice a sudden, prolongedincrease in your data charges, check it out immediately.Signs you may have tracking apps or spyware installedThere are a number of tell-tale signs that your phone might be tracking youwithout your knowledge and reporting on your every communication. Does thebattery run down a lot quicker than it should, and stay warm even when idle?Does it stay lit when you try to turn the screen off, or light up when you’renot doing anything? Is it slower running apps than normal? Are thereunfamiliar applications running in the background? Does it take forever toshut down? On their own, these may not indicate tracking apps, but togetherwith some of the below, they may mean your phone is hiding something.RELATED READING: 8 things you should know about spywareDon’t ignore odd messagesIf you receive a text message full of what looks like computer code, orgarbled numbers, it is possible it’s an ‘instruction’ message sent by theremote controller of the tracking software on your phone; the spyware works byreceiving such messages and although they are meant to go unnoticed, maysometimes appear in your inbox.Hunt down the tracking appNot all users will be comfortable poking around in their phone’s folders anddirectories, but if you use a file explorer app like ES File Explorer, look inyour message folders, image folders and application folders. Often the spywareisn’t very subtle – it can create files with words like ‘stealth’, ‘spy’ and‘mobilespy’ in them. Delete anything that’s this obvious, but seek expertadvice before wiping out files you’re not sure about.Real world evidenceLast but not least, one of the best tips to tell if you have tracking orspying apps installed on your software is paying attention to what’s going onaround you. Has anyone close to you said or done anything suspicious? It couldbe as simple as forgetting to sound surprised when you tell them something, orletting slip something they otherwise wouldn’t know.How to block spying appsA good antivirus app for mobile should guard against spying and tracking apps.ESET offers a mobile security package for Android – by far the moresusceptible platform to malware and rogue apps.How to remove tracking apps and spywareIf you keep your phone’s software up to date, use anti-malware software anddelete anything suspicious as described above, you will probably be safe. Butthe only way to be sure is to do a full backup to your computer, reset yourphone to factory settings and then reinstall everything one by one, payingspecial attention to only reinstall apps you know and trust.If you’re using an iPhone that you suspect has been jailbroken without yourknowledge, upgrading to the latest version of iOS will reverse thejailbreaking procedure and remove the rogue software, but as before, make sureyou’re backed up first.29 Jan 2015 – 10:45AMTop 15 Android Phone Backup Software & AppsPeople get the apps from the store and run them. Sometimes, if you haveimportant data in your phone and owing to some vulnerability factors themobile device is hanged resulting in the removal of your all phone datastorage. For this, a lot of apps and software applications are beingintroduced and launched nowadays to help protect your data withsynchronization, so that unfortunately if you lose your data because of anyreason, then you could retrieve it from the installed software or application.Therefore, we will discuss and give some top rated apps and software beforeyou that are supposed to be good for your mobile devices.
Android Manager – One Stop Solution to Manage Your Mobile Lifestyle
* Backup your music, photos, videos, contacts, SMS etc. to computer and restore them easily * Manage, export&import your Contacts and SMS, deduplicate Contacts, reply SMS with computer * One-click Root – root your Android phones/tablets to take full control of your device * Phone to Phone Transfer – transfer music, photos, videos, contacts, SMS between two mobiles ( both Android and iPhone are supported) * App Manager – Install, uninstall, import or backup Apps in batch * Gif Maker – create Gif from photos, motion photos, videos * iTunes Manager – Sync iTunes Music to Android or transfer music from Android to iTunes * Fully compatible with 3000+ Android devices (Android 2.2 – Android 8.0) from Samsung, LG, HTC, Huawei, Motorola, Sony etc. Developer:The backup software is designed and introduced by ANVSoft Inc.Description and Features: 1. Syncdroid is the easiest and the most powerful backup tool for Android. 2. Select specific category and files to backup or restore. 3. It can also restore backups from SD card or Dropbox account. Developer:The Wondershare MobileGo is offered by Wondershare Software Co., Ltd.Description and Features: 1. The MobileGo software is one the best android softwares for removing your junk files, caches, audio and video files permanently from the mobile. 2. Contains all of the built-in powerful features that you need from one box. Moreover, you can connect your mobile with PC to get large interface for ease of mobile usage. 3. Not this, provides the app manager, cleaner for your garbage memory until your device is ready to run smoothly. 4. Boosts your device speed, no limit to share data and also facilitates with Wi-Fi connection. 5. Easy to install and use, amazing news that also available for iPhone devices as well. Developer:The easy backup software is introduced by the Mobibrick Technologies.Description and Features: 1. The best and simple way to backup your contacts and SMS so that no one can miss his/her important data from the mobile. 2. Easy and fast way to backup your contacts and SMS. 3. Full access to your contacts and sms backup to restore the backup. Developer:The applicationâs publisher is Santa Software.Description and Features: 1. Santa Backup is the simple solution for data recovery as well as for the backup data on mobile devices. 2. It helps to store the backup in other storage places. 3. It only saves the changed data that will allow the speed of the backup in the future. Developer:The publisher of the given application is VeryAndroid Software.Description and Features: 1. It is the first simple and easy sms backup software that allows the user to backup the SMS from mobile to PC. 2. Keeps the SMS safe and manages these simply. 3. From Veryandroid sms backup, you can easily copy your SMS from mobile to PC and save it as a CSV file. Developer:The publisher of the given application software is Genie9.Description and Features: 1. By installing you can backup your mobile data on the cloud. 2. It backups and protects your photos, contacts, logs, videos etc. 3. It intelligently backups your data daily when the mobileâs battery is normal and connected to Wi-Fi. Developer:The helium backup app is offered by the ClockWorkMod.Description and Features: 1. The Helium app is missing app sync and backup solution for the Android devices. 2. A lot of features like no ads. Automatically schedule backups. 3. Also, has clouded backup and restore. Furthermore, you can backup and restore from PC to SD card. Developer:The described backup app is offered by the MobileIdea Studio.Description and Features: 1. It is the fastest backup tool for the android. You can backup apps to SD card. 2. You can auto schedule backups for apps. 3. Moreover, the user can change the backup path from the settings. Developer:The backup app is offered by JRummy Apps Inc.Description and Features: 1. That application developed is much more than a backup utility, itâs like management tool. 2. With the help of it you can backup box, Dropbox, Google drive or local storage. 3. You can link apps to Google play, store and set it to automatic updates. Developer:It is offered by Rerware, LLC.Description and Features: 1. The easiest and most feature packed backup solution for the devices. 2. You can restore or backup by using a local device or SD card. 3. You can schedule multiple backups on multiple locations. Available in 16 languages. Developer:The backup and recovery app is offered by Cheetah Mobile Cloud.Description and Features: 1. It is safe, simple and fast cloud backup tool developed by Clean Masterâs team. 2. Backups and restores contacts. 3. Also, restores and backup messages. Alarms backups and restore. 4. Moreover, restores and backups call logs. Developer:The app is offered by Artur jaszczyk.Description and Features: 1. That application can backup SMS, MMS, and Call logs for your device. 2. It is also possible to schedule an automatic backup of the data. 3. The backups are stored in the SD card memory. Developer:It is offered by HTC Corporation.Description and Features: 1. The simplest and complete way to protect the data on the device. 2. Supports more than 150 settings. 3. It is backed up once daily when connected to Wi-Fi. Developer:It is offered by Sagar Maiyad.Description and Features: 1. It backups the data into the phone memory. 2. Can also backup selected files. 3. Has the features to restore and backup call, SMS and photos etc. Developer:Offered by TopOfStack Software.Description and Features: 1. It is providing a solution to transfer your contacts from any Android device to any android device. 2. Restores all the information on the contacts. 3. Also, has an auto backup system. Top 10 Tips to Detect and Remove Phone Spy Software (Spyware)Article Note: This article “Top 10 Tips to Detect and Remove Phone SpySoftware (Spyware)” was first published on 28th March 2017. We have lastupdated this article on 4th May 2020 with fresh information.Smartphones, today, are more than a device used for communication. They aresophisticated devices that store a lot of powerful, personal, and sensitiveinformation of their owners. From photographs to documents, the informationcontained in a mobile phone is enormous. No wonder, mobile devices have becomethe primary target of hackers and cybercriminals. It has become very importantfor mobile phone users to be aware of cyber threats and alerts to ensure theirsecurity is not compromised.Cell phone spy software (i.e. spyware, wiki) has become one of the greatestthreats to the privacy of your mobile data and the functioning of your mobilephone. Unbeknownst to many users, these apps are able to access your textmessages, e-mail, call history, location, and can also record your voice callsin some instances.Today, these apps can easily be installed on your phone without your consentor, more often, you install them without knowledge of all of their functions.That said, knowing about the presence of spyware and how to remove it isimportant for all end users.
How to Detect Spy Software is Present on your Phone?
This guide will help you run through common spyware, understand the warningsigns and ways to remove any spyware from your device. The signs may varybetween different spyware, and few of the signs may be hard to spot. Here aresome of the sudden changes in your phone that may be indicators of spywarebeing present on your mobile device:> Recommended for you: 10 Excellent Pieces of Advice to Increase Your Website> Safety!
2. Sudden Changes in the Battery’s Life-Span
For years, spyware has been known to drain the battery of your phone severely.If your phone’s battery suddenly starts running down faster than it used to,it may not be due to the age of the device’s battery or heavy usage over time.This may be an indicator of spyware if there are no changes to your usagepatterns or the number of apps running in the background.Also, check if your phone is getting warm even when you are not using it. Itmay be because of the spyware apps running in the background. Most spyware isdesigned to run in the background and cannot be detected easily. An overheatedphone is a clear indicator of spy activity on your phone.
3. Background Noise in Calls
Some mobile spyware has features that can listen to and record your calls. Asa result, you may be able to hear strange voices, hear people talkingdistantly, or experience unnatural noise as you talk using your phone. It’snice to use another phone and test whether it is a network problem. If it’sonly your phone that displays this behavior, or if it is happeningconsistently on calls, then spyware could be present on your phone.Phone networks today have a stable connection and strong signals. So, it isnot normal to hear odd sounds or background noises when you are on a call. Ifyou are hearing background noise or distant chatter not connected to theperson you are talking to, then your calls are being recorded and spied on.
4. High Data Usage
Although this is slowly changing, some spyware sends logs to and from yourphone and uses up your data in the process. This kind of software usuallydirects your phone to other strange websites when you are using data or are ona Wi-Fi connection. Also, low-quality spyware software uses a significantamount of data to transfer information collected from your device.You may not be able to spot technologically advanced spyware apps on the phonewith a change in mobile data usage. It can be hard to spot the change in datausage today because the apps have been modified to use smaller amounts ofdata, but nevertheless, you could still detect it if you are keen enough.Having apps running or refreshing in the background can also use up dataunintentionally, whether it is from spyware or not.Do not allow apps to be downloaded and installed from any other source exceptthe official app store. This is particularly important for Android devices asthey come with a setting that allows apps to be installed outside the GooglePlay Store. Even in iOS apps, it is not necessary to jailbreak the device toinstall spyware. There are apps that allow the installation of malware on thedevice.
5. Strange Messages and Notifications
Are you receiving odd or unusual social media messages, text messages, oremails? Are you receiving messages with links or attachments? Some spywareuses text messages to send command features to be configured on your phone.These messages usually contain strange symbols and numbers; this is a sign ofspy software on your phone.Never click on any link or download an attachment from a message you cannottrust. It is called phishing and is the most common way of spyware enteringyour device. Most phishing attacks are designed to catch a victim unaware.They attempt to lure the user with a link or executing software on attachmentdownload. If you’ve detected or have reason to believe there is spyware onyour phone, it is prudent to remove it immediately.
How to Remove your Phone Spy Software?
If you spot any of the above signs on your mobile device, it should ring alarmbells. Your mobile device is probably infected with spyware that is monitoringyour phone activity or collecting your information or both.Once you have understood the warning signs that indicate spyware, next youneed to know how to treat them. Here are ways you could remove that spyware.> You may like: 10 Paid Mac Cleaning Tools That Are Worth Investing In.
1. Uninstall it
Look at your device’s dashboard and find a way to uninstall it. You may findapps on your phone that you have not downloaded yourself. Also think about theapp you last downloaded, after which you started facing the spyware issue.Sometimes, spyware apps come installed in other apps. So, you may have todelete the app that may have brought spyware.Some apps may be hidden, without icons, or are otherwise hard to find, so itis good to seek the help of professionals if you are in doubt. Check a list ofapps installed on your device. This list can be accessed in the settingssection. Look for apps with funny names or words like a spy, Trojan, and more.
2. Update Your Phone’s Operating System
Updating your phone to the latest operating system can help you get rid of thespyware on your phone. This may patch the exploit the spyware is using orreset the app authorizations. However, you should be sure to backup your mostimportant data before doing this.
3. Reset to Factory Settings
This is a drastic measure, but extremely useful. It involves resetting yourphone back to factory settings, often termed a factory reset. In virtually allmobile operating systems, this can be found in the device’s settings.Unfortunately, while it will get rid of the spyware, it will also removeeverything else on your device.Noting your essential apps and backing up your data is crucial for thissolution. This option should always be exercised as the last resort. Rememberit will delete all third-party apps from your device. If you choose to dothis, make sure you have a backup of all the information present on yourdevice that you do not want to lose.
4. Manually removing the affected files
If you are aware of the specific files that were installed, manually removingthem is an option. This requires you to be keen, as you can easily delete thewrong files; the software is usually hidden and hard to find just by a quicklook at your applications, and likely won’t have ‘spyware’ in the file names.Take your time and monitor the exactly affected files to ensure that youdelete the correct files if you opt to use this solution.”