How to Tell if Your Phone Is Being Monitored

With the invention of new surveillance tech, it’s easier than ever for someone to monitor your phone. Monitoring tools aren’t always for nefarious purposes. Sometimes they’re used as parental controls or to monitor employees’ activities on company devices. However, there are cases in which these tools and devices are used to access private data and invade your privacy. 

If you suspect that your phone is being monitored, it’s important to take action. Otherwise, your emails, call logs, login credentials, and texts could be acquired by a business rival, an ex-partner, or a total stranger. So, can you tell if your cell phone is being tracked? Is there anything you can do about it? We’ll answer these questions and more to help you protect yourself and your private information. 

Can Someone Listen to My Conversations?

With the right spyware, yes. Unfortunately, someone could realistically download spyware onto your phone and eavesdrop on your conversations without much effort. All they would need is access to your device and a few minutes to complete the download. They don’t even need much technical knowledge, as these spy apps have become more affordable and user-friendly than ever before. 

Today’s spyware is capable of hacking both Android and iOS devices. Android devices are more vulnerable since iOS devices have to be jailbroken, but both could potentially harbor spyware. This spyware could allow someone to eavesdrop on your conversations, read your messages, and access your internet browsing activity. That said, a spyware app is capable of more than just listening. Frighteningly, they can also enable others to watch you through your phone camera. 

How Can I Tell if I’m Being Spied On?

The idea of being watched through your phone’s camera is enough to make anyone uncomfortable. So, you’re probably wondering, “Can I tell if my phone is being monitored?” In many cases, the answer is yes. Phones that have been hacked or tracked tend to act differently. These changes are subtle, but you can spot them once you’re aware of them. To help you protect your private information, here are several signs and methods for determining whether or not your phone is being monitored.

Strange permission requests

Do you have apps asking for permissions that aren’t suited to the app’s function? A reminder app, for example, shouldn’t be asking camera access or voice-recording permission. These unusual permission requests could be a sign that the app is attempting to spy on you. With camera access, the app could secretly take photos and use your microphone to eavesdrop. Why would any app need that much power?

Higher battery consumption

If your phone’s battery is draining faster than usual, that could be a sign that spy software has been downloaded. Spy software naturally will consume a lot of battery power, as it’s continuously running in the background. 

Overheating

It’s normal for phones to get hot sometimes, especially when multiple apps are running in the background. If your phone is overheating regularly, however, you could have a spyware problem. Spyware apps are constantly active and updating. So, as fast as they’re draining your battery, they’re also causing your device to overheat.  

Unusual noises

Next time you place a call, listen closely for odd background noises. Strange noises that occur when you call someone are signs that someone is eavesdropping with some kind of monitoring tool. 

Increased data usage

If you suspect your phone is being monitored, check the Storage section in your settings. Here, you should be able to see how much data is being consumed by what. If you notice your device is using more data than usual, that could be an indicator of spyware. Spyware uses a lot of data, in part because it’s sending reports to the one monitoring your phone. 

Call *#21# or *#62#

Did you know that there are two numbers you can call to find out if your phone is tapped? They may not work for every type of spyware, but you can learn a lot by dialing *#21# or *#62#. These numbers can reveal to you whether or not your calls or messages are being redirected elsewhere, which is a major sign that your device is tapped.

Check your Apple ID account page

By accessing the Devices section of your Apple ID account page, you can determine if your iPhone is linked to another device. This section will show you all the devices you’re currently signed into using your Apple ID. This includes smart TVs, consoles, and more. If you see an unfamiliar device, you can remove it immediately.

How Do I Block My Phone From Being Tracked?

There are a few ways to block your phone from being tracked — if the hacker has downloaded an app or software of some sort onto your device. If you see a suspicious app that you don’t remember downloading, you can manually delete it from Apps Manager in Settings. You can also update your device OS or perform a factory reset. A factory reset is ideal if there are no new OS updates or if you can’t locate the spy app. 

If you’d like to make your phone invisible to other devices as a precaution, you can turn Bluetooth visibility off or turn Airplane mode on temporarily. You can also make use of your device’s additional operating system settings. On most new Apple iPhones, you should be able to disable tracking for all apps (or individual apps). Android offers a similar option called the Privacy Sandbox, which prevents tracking activities from accruing across apps.

Consider calling for professional help

Of course, these methods may not be sufficient, depending on the tactics being used against you. If you have reason to suspect that your phone is being tracked, you should consider hiring a private investigator to perform an inspection. They can properly identify whether or not your phone is being monitored and quickly take action to get you your privacy back. 

Choose Barefoot PI for Peace of Mind

With over 35+ years of experience helping people in North and South Carolina, you can rely on Barefoot Professional Investigations to give you the peace of mind you deserve. Worried that your phone is being monitored? We can perform an electronic and physical inspection of your phone, computer, and other electronic devices. 

If you instead need to recover digital evidence from a mobile device, you can take advantage of our professional cell phone forensic services. By using powerful mobile forensic tool suites like Cellebrite Certified Mobile Examiner (CCME) and Paraben Certified Smartphone Examiner (PCSE), we can extract evidence from any smartphone. To reach out to our team, please feel free to call 704-377-1000 (Charlotte, NC) or 803-973-8999 (Columbia, SC), email info@barefootpi.com, or fill out our online form. We’d be happy to answer your questions or schedule our services for you. We hope to hear from you soon.

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