It’s 2021, and whether we like it or not, the surveillance state is expanding beyond government and commercial boundaries. As the pandemic has brought more workers out of the safety of their offices, the likelihood of more of the population working with sensitive material or in positions with access to valuable data being exposed increases.
In such an environment, the ability to recognize if your activities are being monitored, either physically or online, becomes invaluable. In order to help our readers and clients better protect themselves from spy devices, we’ve put together this overview of ways to know if you’re being spied upon.
Technical Signs You’re Being Spied Upon
We spend an increasing amount of time online, both professionally and privately. With a large portion of the population working remotely, the chances of these two separate worlds bleeding into one another increase. As a result, our smartphones, mobile devices, laptops, and desktops are the primary targets for those looking to spy upon our activities and use that information to our disadvantage. Here are some signs that a device might have become compromised:
- You use your device every day, so you become used to the types of activities that slow it down and act like it’s about to crash. If you start to experience slowdowns, check your CPU usage and what processes are taxing it and causing your system to hitch. Unfamiliar software might be malware or spyware in disguise.
- Unfamiliar icons anywhere along your toolbar or icons you recognize but don’t remember installing could mean that software is running in the background monitoring your activity.
- Changes to your folder layout, emails being read that you never opened, and various peripherals activating without your opening software to do so (i.e. microphones, web-cameras) are all signs that someone is actively navigating your system without your permission.
- Browser activity you don’t recognize is a key indicator that spyware has been installed on your system, especially if you start seeing changes to your homepage or widgets and add-ons activating that you never installed.
Signs In the Real World That Someone’s Watching You
Putting down the digital devices and taking a walk around the house can reveal any number of signs that someone is attempting to spy upon you. With surveillance devices being extremely compact and high tech, they can be hidden in any number of places that aren’t immediately noticeable.
- Discolorations, damage, or bubbles in the paint or finish on walls and ceilings can be an indicator of a small hidden device.
- Vinyl baseboards are used to hide wires and the devices they are surreptitiously powering. Check near and behind outlets to find wiring that doesn’t belong and comes out of the wall to be hidden behind along seams and gaps in the flooring along the wall.
- Chances are, most things in your house are in a specific place for a reason. Even amidst the clutter, you’ll be able to see signs of intrusion in small items being out of place or rearranged, especially in spots ideal for planting devices.
- Your phone starts having excessive noise on the line, unknown callers, and you notice the location services or other background activities running when they shouldn’t
You can also become aware of being under surveillance if strange things start to happen around you.
- Unsolicited gifts arrive at the house or office from unknown vendors or from friends, family, or colleagues who wouldn’t send you a package unannounced.
- People in your life suddenly know details about your activities or lifestyle they shouldn’t; this can be especially telling if you’re going through a divorce and assets or custody are in question and it’s your ex or their legal team making the inquiries about your private activities.
We’re Here to Help You Keep Out Prying Eyes
North Carolina and the surrounding states require specific licensure to perform debugging services, licenses Barefoot PI has had in place as long as we’ve been in business. Whether you only suspect that you’re under surveillance or you’re absolutely certain that someone is spying upon you, our team can help you secure your space.