13 Secrets to Detect Android Spyware and Secure Your Privacy

spy-phone

The latest Android smartphones come with premium hardware and software features, which is why some users don’t even need computers any more. You can do almost everything on your Android device that you can do on a regular Windows PC. While smartphones are becoming similar to computers in usability, Android spyware and viruses are becoming more prevalent.

At this point you may possess more private information on your phone than you do on your PC. We end up with a lot of our lives on our phones. Privacy is one of the biggest issues on smartphones and if you’re wondering whether someone is tracking your phone or spying on your phone, then continue reading. There are many spying apps, and people can easily install them on the phones of other users in order to monitor them.

Having an understanding of what these spying services can and can’t do is necessary for detecting spyware and knowing how to get rid of it. In this post, I’ll share with you several tips that can indicate that your phone is being tracked or spied on, and what can be done about it.


1. Look for Unusual Or Strange Behavior from Your Phone

One of the most common ways to detect spyware is to check for odd or strange behavior from your phone. If there is spyware or tracking software installed on your phone, then chances are your phone will act a little differently. Your phone might light up on its own, shut down automatically or make strange sounds. Look for any sort of unusual behavior.

Can these behaviors have other causes as well? Definitely, and those causes may have absolutely nothing to do with spyware.  Check out any apps you might have installed recently. You might find apps on your phone that you don’t remember installing. Unfortunately, when you click on malicious links elsewhere, such as a spam email, you could be inviting these onto your phone inadvertently.

Rooted phones are more susceptible to these attacks and unusual behavior. Watch what apps, browsers, websites, and services you use and change your passwords frequently. Some nefarious apps will piggy-back onto ones that may seem safe (for example, Godless malware), and back in the days of Jelly Bean exploits were found that allowed remote installation of apps via script injection. These exploits have since been patched, but hackers are always looking for new ways in. It’s always a race to see who can find exploits and either take advantage or secure the breach.



2. Battery Drain

Another useful way to find out whether someone is spying on your phone is an increase in battery usage. After using a phone for a couple of weeks, most people become familiar with battery patterns and know their average battery life. If your phone is suddenly experiencing sub-par battery life for no tangible reason, it could be spyware. Spyware and tracking apps can drain your phone’s battery, especially if they’re running constantly.

battery-statisticsIt could also be an older battery, a new app you installed that’s running perpetually in the background, or a malfunctioning battery. If your phone is heating up for no discernable reason when it is idle, the same rules apply. It could be spyware, but most modern malware has improved in this area, so consider other causes as well.


3. Noise During Phone Calls

Look for unusual noise or sounds during phone calls. If you hear beeps or any other sounds during phone calls, then this can mean your calls are being recorded. Call recording apps can make such noises.

Also, if the call quality has suddenly worsened, this can also mean that your phone calls are being recorded. Static or feedback can be signs. However, it might also mean that you simply have a bad connection or that your phone isn’t handling calls well. The world isn’t always a sinister place; but its parts, including carriers and cell phones, have no shortage of problems.


4. Random Reboots And Shut Downs

Spyware and tracking apps can cause random reboots and shut downs on Android devices. If you believe that your phone’s software is stable and updated, then random reboots or shut downs can mean your phone has spyware software installed. An unstable third-party app might also be causing this.

reboot

In order to be certain, uninstall the app that you think is causing the random shut downs. If you still experience random reboots and shut downs, then your phone might be being tracked or spied on.


5. Look For Strange Text Messages

Some spyware apps can send strange text messages on phones with different codes or symbols. If you’re receiving such texts on your Android smartphone, then there is a chance your phone is being spied on or tracked.

stagefright

Stagefright is an all-too-recent example, although it used a video text for its exploit. It was a vulnerability identified and almost entirely addressed without seeing much use by hackers, luckily. If it still freaks out you out, use the app below to make sure you don’t have it on your phone.

Download: Stagefright Detector

Google Play download button


6. Higher Data Usage

This is also a really useful factor in determining whether your phone has spyware or tracking software installed. Spyware apps can use a lot of data to send out your phone’s information and an increase in your phone’s data usage can also mean that your phone is being spied on. It could also mean that you are spending more time online, so don’t forget to consider all factors.

data-usage

Make sure that you monitor your phone’s data usage regularly to find out about any unusually high usage in data. For an app that will help you do this, try My Data Manager below.

Download: My Data Manager – Data Usage

Google Play download button


7. Sounds When Your Phone Is Not In Use

When your phone is idle, it shouldn’t make any sort of sound. If you’re hearing sounds when you’re not using your phone, it could mean that your phone is being spied on. If you want to eliminate both the possibility of spyware and also rogue apps causing the noises, perform a factory reset. If your phone is rooted, flash stock firmware. And don’t disregard OS updates. This will solve a lot of these problems.


8. Delay In Shut Down

Try shutting down your phone several times during the day. Android devices usually shut down quickly, but if your phone is taking an unusually long time shutting down, then this can suggest that someone is monitoring and controlling your phone. Or it could also be an app chewing up resources, an actual hardware problem, or a faulty/corrupted install.


9. Be App-Smart

Be wary of pirated apps. Advertisers collect data about your through ad/app bundles. Read what permissions an app requires you grant, and decide if it’s worth it. Watch for clones of legitimate apps and websites. A new technique, called smishing, creates an overlay on top of banking log-ins so that it can steal your information. Ensure you are on a secure site (the IP address starts with HTTPS instead of HTTP) when you enter sensitive information.

app-smart

Third-party apps can be awesome, but they also haven’t undergone the same amount of scrutiny that app stores like Google Play or Amazon put their apps through. And some bad apps do slip through on these sites as well before they are detected. If you experience issues with an app, get rid of it and reboot. If you still are having problems, start over with a factory reset.


10. PopUps

Ironically, a popup that warns about impending doom on your Android, particularly from a program you did not install, can infect your phone with malware itself. The more you click these dialogue windows, the more possibility you will be redirected to a shady place or click on something deceptive. Never run a .exe or flash file that you aren’t sure about. A lot of advertising popups aren’t malware per se, but sometimes there’s a fine line between advertisements and malware, hence the terms — adware and malvertising.

error-message

If a popup proclaims that you’ve won something too good to be true; it probably is. Ads are annoying anyway, and there are a few apps you can download to block them, but they tend to be more effective if you are rooted. Popups can be a sign of an existing infection, that wants to gain more privileges or information from you. Also try the anti-spyware and antivirus apps below.

Download: AdBlock Browser for Android

Google Play download button Download: Anti Spy Mobile Free –

Google Play download button

Download: AntiVirus FREE 2016 – Android

Google Play download button


11. Your Phone Is Slow

The latest Android smartphones have premium hardware and software which is why they shouldn’t lag even when you’re multitasking. If your phone has suddenly become really slow, then there’s a risk that your phone is being monitored and controlled. Don’t leave your phone unattended around someone you don’t trust, use encryption, or at the very least, a lock screen.


12. Look for Suspicious Files

If you have a file manager installed on your phone, look for any suspicious files or folders created on your phone. If you find some new files and folders you know for a fact you didn’t install as part of an app or anything else, then there’s a chance your phone has tracking or spyware software installed.

Occasionally, you might be lucky enough to find phone numbers or emails that will lend a clue as to who is doing the tracking, but be certain before you assume and accuse.


13. Who’s Doing the Spying or Tracking?

Remember earlier when we said that the world isn’t always a sinister place? It isn’t, but there are some crappy people that do crappy things. What motivates them to take the time out of their day and expend the effort?

anonymous

Most likely they:

  • presume you have something they want,
  • feel passionately about gaining your personal information (e.g. cheating spouse),
  • need to satisfy an addiction (but hackers/phreakers still need the effort to result in something worthwhile),
  • employ an app or method targeting a larger population segment,
  • or perhaps, employ you.

There isn’t a great way to identify the person doing the spying, because information can be redirected several times to several places. Your best bet is to prevent or get rid of the spyware.


Conclusion

No user wants viruses, tracking apps or spyware installed on his/her Android smartphone, but hackers are finding it increasingly worthwhile to put it there. The first step in fixing this issue is to check for spyware. Use the tips mentioned above to check whether there are spyware and tracking software installed on your phone, and if so, get rid of it.

Did you find spyware? How did you get rid of it? Tell us below.

Featured Image Credit

 

Comments (98)

  1. MaxCasey on

    Spying? Google is tracking and datamining every flippin android phone out there!

    • Rod Longer on

      Come on, guy. Yes Google is ubiquitous(and effin creepy with Boston Dynamics human hunting murderbots). I believe many would prefer to know if their spouse can hear every breath etc…

  2. Rusty Zahn on

    CM security and all of the clean master apps have protected my phone great, I was surprised they weren’t mentioned at all! I certainly recommend them

    • Dani on

      Rusty,
      I think CM security is an antivirus app isn’t it? We did list about antivirus apps as last point.
      Regarding clean master, do you think it can help us know spying? I dont think so as it just clean up junk!. What do you say?

    • veronica on

      I been having the cm a po pop up on my phone has never done this before. is there a chance someone could be trying to spy on my phone?

      • Judy on

        Hi Veronica,
        I haven´t heard very good things about Cheetah Mobile apps. The rep they have is that they have used the same techniques that malware pushers use to increase the installations of their apps (which makes the fact that they push a “security” app more than a little ironic). I would recommend a different security app of your choice and hopefully, the problem will go away, but What does the pop-up say?

        • Isa on

          Me again. What does this mean about CM using the same techniques as malware pushers? Is it not safe to use them? Are they just good at antivirus but not spyware? So far in my slow research (trying not to become obsessive with my paranoia! ) I see CM has the most DLs and rave reviews. Excuse my ignorance on if spyware is or is not picked up as a virus.

          The other day I was in TriviaCrack and I clicked on my game for my turn and my PlayStore opened to CM?? The only ad in Trivia was for Clash of Clans and no where near where I clicked. I hadn’t been on the Web in hours and only other app i had opened was my text messages. Sound like I’m still infected? Thoughts?

          • Judy on

            Hi Isa,
            It´s good to hear from you again. It´s really a personal decision if one uses CM or not and one should always read the reviews about any app they are downloading, but I haven´t heard great things about it and I was just sharing my experience of the app. So, you were taken to CM when you just wanted to enjoy your turn playing the game? I can´t for sure if may still be infected since technology usually fails from time to time and it is not always because we are being spied on, they are just technical errors. =-)

          • Renee on

            I downloaded cm and I didn’t like it. It keeps wanting you to down load more products. I reset my phone now it runs better.

          • Judy on

            Hi Renee,
            I have used it and I know what you mean, but hey, you never know when they might actually offer something you actually want to try out, but I am glad that your phone is running better. Thanks for reading. =-)

    • D on

      N see now I have like five damn anti spy apps and none of them say anything is wrong but I damn near hit a ten for ten on that list I know my shit is being watched or monitor end … Ya you fuck off get a life .. Sorry bout that but idk iv used so many apps that say my shits good to go but its not

  3. Chris on

    Hi
    As spyware collects info and sends it to a specific address (I presume)
    – then what about putting a virus in a text and when it is collected by the spyware and sent back to the spyer… Revenge ๐Ÿ™‚

    Well… I guess… what I am asking is…, is it possible to do that?

      • Don on

        Is there anywhere to send the phone that, for a fee, an expert could look and see where the info was being sent or how often or what spyware was installed and when?

        The spyinstall in this case was done in another country and I would like to know if it was there a month or 6? Possible?

  4. Kimmy on

    If I do a factory reset on my Samsung GalaxyS3 will that get rid of the problem if it is indeed the subject at hand we’ve been discussing. I am sure I have several of these problems mentioned above. I also have 6gb of files I must keep for a project this fall and I have no idea if they are corrupt yet or not. Do you suggest backing up to cloud and to memory stick or just memory stick? When I do get around to look at the files, I will use an old pc, just in case the virus tries to mess with more of my work. Any suggestions, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

  5. D on

    How is this usually software installed?

    Could someone have sent a video clip for instance?

      • larry on

        Hi judy i just read that you would not recommend cm or anything with cheetah apps I have heard this before so what apps would you recommend for a Samsung galaxy prevail ? To replace the cm antivirus junk cleaner etc please let me know thank you very much thanks for all the help guys have done

        • Judy on

          Hi Larry,
          I think you would be OK with Antivirus apps from well-known companies such as AVG, for example. AVG is the one I personally use on my Samsung Galaxy phone and I am happy with it. Hope this helps. Thanks for commenting. =-)

      • Brandon on

        I have a android ZTE Paragon it has a 4.4 kernel KitKat I definitely know there are multiple people spying on my phone. my phone has been rooted and has a password set to where I can’t even delete these hidden apps on my phone for tracking and monitoring some kind of parent monitor maybe from http://www.myspot.com or http://www.mYnino.com there is an app called Android OS that is not supposed to be there also an assistant that has an icon of an eagle also a unknown app I cannot access called mi popplease help me I’ve lost jobs and good friends over this app contact me at please help me

  6. christy on

    My x has been doing this to my phone for years . I have changed numbers many times. Is there a way to stop this

  7. Lyo Mi on

    I call my Motorola “the little spy in my room”. I put the phone on my table, and there’s two speakers nearby. Every so often, you’ll hear this inference you hear when calling near a speaker – except that I don’t receive a call or a text message. Looks like the NSA tuned in again.

  8. Marie on

    My Samsung Galaxy Edge talk back feature is disabled. Tonight my phone started the microphone up. Its done this before and leaves me bewildered so this time I jokingly asked (who is this) and it replied ” im Galaxy and I am here to keep you company” spyware or ghost? Help please?

  9. Reen on

    My coworkers and I believe another coworker is recording our conversations with her cellphone. when she leaves the room, she always strategically leaves her cell phone on one of our desks. The other day, i picked up her phone to move it. Although the screen was black, there was a red dot blinking in the top left corner. Is that proof of her behavior? I’ve never seen a phone do that. She has some sort of LG Android phone. Please help! Is there any way to know for certain- besides unlocking her cellphone and looking through it?? Thank you very much!

    • Judy on

      Hi Reen,
      How sad to hear about what you are going through. If I wanted to record someones conversation with my Samsung Galaxy I would use voice recorder and I tried it out and waited for the screen to go black.
      At least on my phone a blue light was constantly on, but maybe the LG phone show a red light when the voice recorder is on. My phone does flash a red light when the battery is low. Her behavior is suspicious though, I mean where she always puts her phone. I would directly ask her. Please let me know what happens.

      • Rechelle on

        Many of the permissions that you grant to an app, so you may use the app, allow the app to turn on camera and microphone randomly to see what your up to. On my phone when the screen is blank but the blue light blinks means a recording is taking place. Big brother (and little brother) are always watching- remember that.

        • Judy on

          Hi Rechelle,
          Unfortunately in order to use apps we need to give them those permission and just cross our fingers that we are not being spied on, and if were are we might never know or might not be able to do anything. We are obviously not alone, ha ha.

  10. Kristina on

    Person who wants to track my phone needs my phone to get a spy app or he can get it somewhere from internet just writing down my number ?

    • Judy on

      Hi Kristina,
      All spy apps have to be installed onto the target smartphone or tablet. Unless they are a super spy that can do otherwise you have nothing to worry about it they don´t get their hands on your phone. =-) Thanks for commenting.

      • Isa on

        This is one of the worse experiences of my life. I lost more than my privacy, I lost a person I trusted the most. Absolute devastation.

        Your comment of, “Unless they are a super spy that can do otherwise”…
        Is this something you know about? Would it be safe to say that an IT Professional that has extensive knowledge in hacking COULD be “a super spy”?

        I’ve now changed my phone number, my SIM card, factory reset and started my phone with a fresh Gmail account, not restoring anything that was backed up. We used the machine at the store to transfer my contacts.

        Now I’m left to wonder if it’s possible that something could have stayed on the physical phone and if I should also get a new device?
        More importantly, I’m wondering if any of my efforts will even help if I am dealing with what you’ve called a “super spy”?
        I’ve looked up a spy software that says it only requires the target to answer a phone call! I don’t know how true that is, that’s how it’s advertised.
        I’m sure if he hasn’t already, he will soon find out my new number soon.

        Any thoughts?

        • Judy on

          Hi Isa,
          It is really unfortunate to hear about what you are going through and I hope that things get better soon, I really do. When I said super spy, I meant government level stuff. With what you have said I think you have done enough to start fresh. and I wish you the best in your new start. =-) Thanks for commenting and I hope to hear from you soon. Take Care.

          • Isa on

            One more question. ..for now. . (Scarred/scared for life! )

            Can you help me confirm I understand this correctly. ..

            “After collecting a sufficient amount of data from the infected phone, Proxy will post the info to http://proxylog.dyndns.org/proxy/log.php , which is a dynamic DNS provider. The data can be searched and filtered by anyone with an account at this site, and then used for illegal acts.”

            Once I told one “subject” involved in this nightmare I’ve lived…I feel that subject was then able to track my phone activity as well. .. Is that what this above quote is saying? Once you’re phone is hacked through that method, any hacker with an account can also see what’s being sent from my phone to the site they have an account with?

          • Judy on

            Hi Isa,
            Yes, I understood the exact same thing you did. If you know that you phone has been infected with this software, Have you tried a factory reset? that will wipe your phone clean of anything that was installed but remember you always back up your phone. =-)

        • Kaylyme on

          Hi I was so happy when I seen your post. Because I too am dealing with what I call a SUPER SPY (possibility) . He too is an IT and has been for over 30 yrs . He desire s to be the TOP at all He does. And I also seen that same sight saying you only need a pick up when they dial your number. I would like to ask you Judy a big favor from those of us dealing with people that are bright enough to work beyond the “government” level INDEED … Could you PLEASE check ALL POSSIBLE resource s on your end to see if you can help myself an the others put an end to what I know must be going on. After getting a new device the person was still able to tell me word for word things that were said an done on my phone that there’s NO OTHER WAY that I know of that it could of happened … PLEASE help us as I’m mostly bed ridden an SO ADMIRE her desire to help us uninformed folks out !! Bless you for your help …. These are scary (should be illegal) things going on …such an invasion of security an privacy …. HELP US please !!!Hugs to you an IS A as well

        • Anon on

          My ex’s crazy ex worked in IT and without getting her hands on the (brand new) phone or (brand new) Sim manage to send him an email from his own email of photos that were on his phone!! I don’t know how bit she did it more than once.. even changed photo date details and lied and tried to get his ex wife to take the kids away from him!
          Bitches be crazy!
          She even accessed my friends details by only knowing her first name and address and got her work mobile number!
          So yeah it is possible without getting to the phone… and you don’t have to work for the government to be able to do it.
          Scary huh?
          Oh and just a note.. this is in Australia..

          • Judy on

            Hi Anon,
            Wow, she was able to do all of that? That is scary. What did your friend do to end this or is it still going on?

      • Cheryl on

        Then obviously there are a lot of super spies out there. What about the spy app they have out that steal all your information out of your wallet? That’s why they started making those aluminum wallets to protect your credit cards and bank cards.

  11. Joddy on

    Hallo! For sometime now my friend believes his boss is spying on his text ‘messaging’. Every time he sends a text directly to the CEO about a progress of a project, the supervisor will hurriedly convene a meeting and discuss about the same issue and document it to appear that it came from her. Sometimes she (supervisor) would send a general text to the entire team to appear it was her initiative/originator of an idea few minutes after my friend communicates to the CEO about an idea via text. He has ruled out about CEO’s possibility of forwarding text to supervisor because there are several other (her) peculiar behavioral trends that follow (some of his) text messages to other members of staff.
    1. Could the supervisor be spying?
    2. How will my friend know this for sure – i.e. gather evidence that his boss has been spying? – If spy apps can be written/created, I don’t understand how another app that exposes those phone numbers/IP addresses that spy cannot!

    Joddy

      • Joddy on

        Thanks for replying. After installing the Anti spy app you recommended (Anti spy mobile free) it returned 3 warnings on scanning: palmchart, com.adroid.google settings and Baibu Browser.
        1. palmchart app has the following spy able permissions (exact words from screen): runs on device startup; knows location by cell-ID and wifi; knows location by GPS signal; Records audio on voice calls; receives all SMS messages; Reads all SMS messages.
        2. com.adroid.google settings: Handles outgoing calls; Runs on device startup; Reads Browser bookmarks; Knows location by GPS signal.
        3. Baibu Browser: knows location by cell ID and Wifi; Knows location by GPS; Records audio on Voice calls; Runs on device start-up; Reads Browser bookmarks.
        Please interpret this, and let me know which ones should be uninstalled? Thank you.

        • Judy on

          1. I think you mean Palmchat, not Palmchart. I would uninstall this unless you’re really partial to using it and willing to accept any risks.

          2. I would leave this alone. Not a problem..

          3. I would uninstall this immediately! It’s from a company called DU Apps, who is responsible for some of the most obnoxious, worthless malware for Android. Get rid of it or you WILL have problems!

          Never install anything by Cheetah Mobile, DU Apps, Go Development Team or 360 Mobile Security, just to name some of the worst offenders.

      • Billy on

        They could be receiving anyone’s signal in the area with scanning device.

  12. Emily on

    Why shouldn’t you install cheeta mobile apps? What is your suggestion for junk cleanup. My phone has been glitchy going to black screen and not wanting to reboot ect. What do you recommend?

    • Judy on

      Hi Emily,
      Cheetah Mobile’s main business is your data. You value your privacy, don’t like spam, then don’t install anything from CM.

      I also know that they have used the same techniques that malware pushers use to increase the installations of their apps (which makes the fact that they push a “security” app more than a little ironic).

      The apps they have such as task killers, ram optimisers, battery doctors are not only unnecessary on Android but actively counter-productive. Bottom line: I would not install anything from that outfit. What kind of phone do you have?

  13. santoshtvk on

    Hi sir,
    I have a serious issue with 2 apps (monkey test and time service) in my HCL tab which frequently gets installed, reflects in screen “Time service stopped working”. Guessing above apps are virus:
    I have done factory reset but still i am facing issues like::
    * suddenly tablet doesnot respond [touch doesnot work]
    * unknown apps gets installed [du speed booster, multiple others..]
    * slow performance
    * frequent notification of time service or monkey test.

    please suggest and help me out of it

    • Judy on

      Hi There,
      If the tab is not rooted, you could turn off WiFi and perform a factory reset. Unless the tab came with that stuff on it from the factory, then a reset should get rid of it. IF, however, the tab is rooted, then my guess is it will need a complete reflash of the factory firmware.

      I think that it came rooted with this stuff installed and even if there was firmware to reinstall it might actually have the malware cooked into it. My recommendation is to replace it. Please let me know what happens.

  14. Moon on

    if I get a new phone will that get rid of the spyware that’s on my phone now?

    • Judy on

      Hi Moon,
      If you get a new phone that one will be clean as a whistle. Just be careful that you only download apps from a trusted source and to be careful who you lend your phone too so they won´t download any spy apps on your phone. Thanks for commenting! =-)

  15. FCP on

    After an injury and mountains of medical bills, I now have a bill collector who I believe has somehow gained access to my cell phone contact list and maybe tracking my whereabouts. Is this possible? I do not know how to check an app drawer or file list for dates of possible spyware downloads. Here is what happened: I have at least 3 people from my cell phone contact list who were sent text messages stating the name of an “Investigator and for (my full name) to contact (a number) to address the investigation of (case number). The people that were sent these messages have no connection to me besides being in my contact list. One of the individuals was a male friend I had just met 3 weeks prior and had no other communication with him besides a few text messages. What can I do? How can I figure out how this happened? I cancelled my gmail account from my phone.

    • Judy on

      Hi There,
      How unfortunate to hear about your injury and the mountain of bills. I hope you are feeling better. When you unlock your phone, there should be an icon that says Apps. Tap on that and you should see all of the icons that all installed on your phone. If you see one that you know you didn´t download or don´t remember, uninstall it. If you ever let this person borrow your phonw for whatever reason, ht could of installed a spy app on your phone or if you don´t have a pin code on your phone, he could have taken it while you were not looking. Perform a factory reset and that should wipe your phone clean and that includes any spyware that was installed. Before you do this remember to backup all of you data. Did you try using the Anit-Spyware app that was included in the article? =-)

      http://joyofandroid.com/how-to-factory-reset-your-android-phone-tablet/

  16. Alex on

    I have recently had a small white dim light appear in my upper left hand corner of screen or three small dim white lights in a row across the bottom of screen where menu buttons usually are. Also when light appears in my upper left hand corner there is no notifications verifying it could you please help

    • Judy on

      Hi Alex,
      Have you used the anti-Spy app to see what results in gives you? It could also have nothing to do with spying, has your phone experienced any damage, from a drop maybe? =-)

  17. Mvy on

    I had the suspicion my ex was spying on me because he would make comments that I would say on my phone conversations. At first I thought he had some type of recording device in my apartment, a couple of days ago everything sinked in that he could’ve paid to track my phone. He once mentioned of paying $300 but I took it as a joke because my phone had a password. I noticed that when I would make calls people couldn’t hear me at first or they would hear a lot of noise in the background. I panicked downloaded some security apps including Norton, karspenky & wiretap removal. And when I was making phone calls the wiretap app warned me of hangouts activated another call. I was so paranoid that I lost all of my pics and videos, and just did a factory reset and changed all my passwords. But I’m so traumatized now can he spy paying those websites without access to my phone? Please help…and thank you for all your helpful answer. I’ve been reading them all. It’s so sad how people have no respect for others privacy.

    • Judy on

      Hi Mvy,
      How unfortunate to hear about what you are going through. You did well in doing a factory reset since that eliminated any apps that may have been downloaded to your phone. I don´t think that those sites that offer spyware can spy on your phone because I have read how their software´s work and one requirement is that the person who wants to spy has to have access to the other person´s phone or else it won´t work. It is sad how some people invade other people´s privacy, we have enough things to worry about and shouldn´t have to worry about these kind of things. I hope this helps. Thanks for commenting and reading. =-)

    • Billa on

      Hi Mvy,

      Sorry to hear about your situation. However unless he works for NSA, those websites won’t access your personal data. The only way that can happen is if your ex somehow gets hold of your smartphone and installed the software. Hope this helps and if you are the US, you can report this to the cyber crime division easily.

  18. Cecila on

    Thanks for another fantastic article. The place else
    may just anyone get that type of information in such
    an ideal method of writing? I have a presentation next week,
    and I am at the look for such information.

    • Judy on

      Hi Cecila,
      You are most welcome for the information and I am glad that you liked it. Good luck with your presentation and don´t forget to keep coming back for more useful tips and tricks. Thanks for commenting. =-)

  19. Crysta on

    My phone has recenlty been dropped, but before I’ve been having a problem with my battery percentage being off from what it really is I had a AT&T worker check it last year. Yesterday I had a vibrating pop up from Google saying my battery is damaged and someone has hacked something with my phone it gave me an option to repair, but I just exited out the window because I think it’s a scam. What do you think? Thanks!

    • Judy on

      Hi Crysta,
      I have never seen a pop-up of Google telling me that I have a damaged battery. When my smartphone´s battery was damaged, It would not charge at all, but I never got a similar message. Are you asked to give any personal information in that pop-up? Scams usually look for that, they try to get you to introduce your information. Have you considered a reset to clear any spyware? =-)

  20. J Lion on

    Hi!
    I am a stay at home wife and mother so I am always scared someone is watching me or going to try. I am completely, mentally healthy and physically so it is not paranoia. I have proof to back this up. I read a lot on phones, androids, after (just want to note my phone has been dark and just lit up to a weird shade of bright as I started to type this…doesn’t matter how much I turn up the beightness, it changes while I am on it, also everything just turned to different shades of grey like the top of the screen, the letters I am typing…the color just went away and now all is gray, then as soon as this happened another random person calls me), anyways I read a lot on spying. I have an antenna for my tv, so I noticed one day, this number calls.me again, I look at my files and find a .face (face detection ( and another random file with a lot of letters and numbers. After I deleted those two files my phone stopped making my TV go all crazy when I would stand by the antenna. Before I would stand by the antenna and it would make the picture all crazy. These people will not stop calling, and they keep downloading files. I did a system re..whatever, and lost all of my recordings and photos. Everything. I started over from scratch, taking the sacrifice of losing everything. I backed up all of my files but still lost everything. I don’t care, but now I do because it was for nothing. Someone is spying on me, and putting fIles on my phone. Also, can spy people hack into my phone and watch me through the camera, and record me and how do I stop that? I have a feeling pretty soon technology will advance into some sort of invisible tripod that rises from our screens and can pivot around the room. I am healthy but can see this sort of thing and can feel it happening now or soon. I know someone is watching me, but I can’t just hide my phone under a pillow all day. Please help me and answer my question so I can have peace.

    Sincerely,
    J. Lion

    • Judy on

      Hi J Lion,
      If you did the factory reset, that should have gotten rid of any spy apps that were installed on your device, but did you install an anti-spyware app, like the on #13? Having a good, a anti-virus also helps. I understand how scary technology can sometimes get since basically we have our lives on devices that can be hacked somehow. All we can do is to try and protect ourselves the best way we can with good software’s. Thanks for commenting. =-)

      • Tammy on

        They can also are binded and wrapped around your Google apps from factory installation and factory resetting won’t help…In dealing with this now!

  21. Don on

    If there is a tracking app installed on my phone did the person need to have access to my phone?? Can the app be installed remotely??

    And, if so, do they need access to remove the app?? Or can it be removed remotely since they have access to phone any way/?\

    While typing this message my phone had two notification rings within 4 minutes… No text message… No recent calls noted..

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    slyca

  22. kath watt on

    I saw a notification in my phone and say they detect something so I click the start, after that the phone it turn of by bit self and it’s on but the light with the att symbol keep in on until the battery die. Is it normal like that?

  23. Ed Karl on

    Hey – thanks for the advice. Tried CM (?) I think that’s the app. It found “Keeper” – and warned me – but it doesn’t appear to be spying, or virus – just a password vault that is well known. (don’t they feel dumb warning people about this?) Anyway – guess I feel a little better having run this app on my phone- but what are the chances of there being less well documented or perhaps iffy-on the legal side of things software available that people are using? Can anyone or any app detect, clean or limit them? I like having a cell phone, but the more “smart” they get, there are a growing number of concerns that I have. It’s just a pain, personally, to have to worry about things that should be simple. Like a phone.

      • Judy on

        Hi Ed,
        I agree, the smarter devices get, the scarier they get for some since you have to protect yourself from all sorts of threats, Back in the day, phones were mostly used just for calling but now, they are like computers in our pockets. =-)

  24. anthony ford on

    Hi Joy, my Trouble is extensive. 1.Some how someone has put a fake facbook sign in page, totally different than it’s suppose to be. 2. some how they have completely control my google app on my phone, between FB and instagram, goggle I have changed my passwords 30 times a piece, as soon as I secure the accounts 20 min later they have already changed them. on my google settings I’ll go to my locations and it shows nothing and right there your to be able to see other devices connected to account, get this, a part of the page slides up and covers all of the info not to mention all of the fake sign in pages I get from google, I get NO notifications for anything, all the same with gmail account get no Emails no text messages, it’s like they are being forwarded somewhere else. can someone take control over your google app on your phone> all of the android file folders are empty, and there ar these files called Noimage files instead. It’s like they removed all of the android files and put a complete new program in that mimics google and the phone itself, I’f heard spanish speaking come thru my phone speakers and on my lap top Offline!!! Why would someone go to all of this trouble for a guy that has nothing to give or get, no money no assets I’m on SSI, and this is a Califorinia lifeline service, there is just nothing to be gained I did get a little bit of tracking some travels that were not mine they even took pictures and i have screenshots on there truck with a big sort of device out there window or on a rack on top of it. i’m sorry about this enormous comment but I really need some advice. my phone is a galaxy s3… please help me!!!! they even got to both email accounts and almost my bank. thanks Tony

    • Judy on

      Hi There,
      I´m sorry to hear about the problems you are facing. If I were in your shoes, I would go to the local authorities to see if there is anything they can do. You can always try a factory reset (with this your phone will be like when you first took it out of the box) to wipe your phone clean of any spyware and some users have even switched phones as well.=-)

  25. Sky on

    Hi, Thanks for your blog.

    I have just installed Anti Spy which found no Spyweare on my device. But, I have a nagging feeling that my Android phone has been tapped due to a consistent nose sniffling noise on the line whenever I phone people.

    Is there any other way foreign or domestic could spy on my phone activities other than installing a spyware on it? Thanks.

    • Judy on

      Hi Sky,
      You’re very welcome and I’m glad you like the information. In regards to your comment about spying, I have read about being able to spy without installing anything but it’s not something I’m familiar with. You could try calling your carrier and telling them that your calls have that sniffling noise since it could be something their having problems with.

  26. MuMD on

    Hi all ;

    do you think use spoofing apps for mac adds or ip or even spoof all device data is best protection for at spy or tracking .??

  27. LP on

    My spouse said a fellow employee told him that their dispatcher could ping their cell phones and know where they are? He said the dispatcher showed him and app he had on his phone that allows him to track them. Is this even possible without the dispatcher being able to install software on the employee’s phone? My spouse swears it’s true since he always seems to know where he is at.

    • Trevor on

      If it is a work phone or on their network, they can impose restrictions and GPS geolocation. Some places do this to track remote employees (delivery people). If it is his personal phone and not on their network (including their email server), they would need an app on it that they access. If he didn’t approve this, then they are doing something they are not supposed to or tracking him another way.

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