Modern smartphones are capable of storing a tremendous amount of personal data, be it pictures, videos, or even online activity. This also makes them a primary target if someone wants to spy on you. Through the years, spyware has also evolved, to the point where it can now function in the background and the victim may not even be aware of it. Luckily, there are some ways to spot spyware, along with certain measures you can take to keep your phone protected. In this article, we show you how to tell if someone monitors your phone. We also list some measures you can take to safeguard your phone from being spied on.
How to tell if someone monitors your phone
Spike in battery usage
Spyware installed on your phone can cause a sudden decline in battery life. Since the spyware apps run in the background, your smartphone’s battery is constantly being utilised to keep them active. Any decline in battery life that seems out of the ordinary should be further inspected. In order to check the battery usage of specific apps go to Settings>Battery>Battery Usage and check if any app is using excessive battery power. Also, look for any unknown apps. If no app shows any excessive usage, there may be some hidden spyware installed on your phone.
Check the data usage
Any spyware needs to send data back to the source that installed it. In order to do this, the spyware will need to use your phone’s internet data. If you notice that you’re running out of data quickly without using the internet that often, check the data usage of your phone. Go to Settings>Connections>Data Usage and check the data usage for the different apps on your phone. If the data usage seems consistent with your activity, there is nothing to worry about. However, if there is unaccounted data utilised by your smartphone, it warrants further inspection.
One of the more visible signs of spyware installed on your phone is your smartphone overheating even when you’re not using it. As we mentioned earlier, spyware constantly runs in the background and sends data back to the source. It also monitors your location, so your GPS is turned on at all times. This would certainly have an effect on your phone and it might overheat even when you’re not actively using it.
Disturbance during phone calls
If you notice any weird background noise or echo during your phone calls, it is possible they are being monitored. It is a cause for alarm if it happens even when your phone receives good network reception.
Drop in phone performance
If the level of your smartphone’s performance drops off abruptly, it is a secondary sign of some malicious spyware. While it may not confirm that your phone is being spied on, it certainly warrants further inspection.
How to safeguard your phone from being spied on?
If you notice your smartphone showing multiple signs listed above, it is better to be on the side of caution and safeguard your phone from being spied on. Here are some techniques you can use:
- Try to find the spyware app manually: Go to the file explorer on your phone and look through the installed files. Be on the lookout for any strange names or duplicates. Sometimes a spying app can be disguised with an inconspicuous name like ‘Calculator’ or ‘Gallery’. Always be mindful of any unusual activity.
- Perform a factory reset: Performing a factory reset will delete all data from your phone, including any hidden spyware. This is the quickest way to secure your phone, but you will lose your personal data.
- Install an antivirus app: There are several antivirus apps on the Play Store that are equipped to detect any malicious files or spyware on your phone. Once you install an antivirus app, schedule routine checks for your phone.
If you look out for these signs you will be able to tell if someone monitors your phone. If you have a strong suspicion that it is, taking appropriate safety measures should be the next logical step. To be on the side of extreme caution, do not download any apps from outside the Play Store. If it is absolutely necessary, use a secure marketplace that flags any fake developers.
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