Smartphones have been a boon for mankind ever since they were introduced. They let us do so much more than making calls and keeping in touch with the people around us. However, just as these devices are immensely useful, they can also be used against you.
Do you sometimes feel like someone is tracking you through your phone? Have you ever noticed signs that someone is secretly monitoring you? Chances are, your device is being used to track your location at these moments without your knowledge and approval.
In such instances, it’s crucial to understand the signs that someone is secretly monitoring your phone, and this guide will dive into these to make you more aware. Read on to find out more.
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How Do You Know If Someone Is Tracking Your Phone?
If you’re wondering whether someone is tracking your phone, the signs mentioned below can help you figure this out.
1. Excessive Data Usage
One of the first signs that someone could be secretly spying on your phone is that you will notice unusually high data usage. This is because most people fall prey to monitoring via tools like spy apps or software-based keyloggers. Each of them requires an active data connection to consistently upload information from your phone to their servers.
This often happens with lower quality spy apps which tend to upload all the data on the phone to their servers. This will consume a huge amount of data, which is when you’ll notice your internet bills coming much higher than usual. However, more expensive and targeted spy apps will track your cell phone location but will be more selective about the information they upload. As a result, they consume less data, making it harder to detect their presence on your phone.
One way to track how much data is being used is to check the data settings on your device. For example, if you use an Android device and want to check your data usage to know if your phone is being monitored, follow the steps given below –
- Go to the device’s Settings
- Click on WiFi & Network
- Click on Data Usage, and then on Mobile Data Usage.
This will provide you a breakdown of how much data each app used, which you can then tally with the total data consumed within a billing cycle.
2. Your Mobile Heats Up Even When Not in Use
Another telltale sign that your device is being secretly monitored is that you notice it heating up even when it’s not being used. Most phones, regardless of how powerful they are, tend to heat up during certain activities. This is normal and usually no sign of worry, as it happens when using heavy apps like games or when your device is being charged by a fast charger.
However, if you notice that your device is heating up even when you haven’t been using it, this could be a sign that your phone is being secretly monitored without your consent, and the spy app running in the background is consistently working to extract and upload all the data from your phone to its servers.
3. Your Phone’s Battery Reduces Faster Than Usual
Just like your phone’s data, any program on it also consumes a percentage of its battery. So, if you notice a sudden reduction in its capacity to retain a charge or that its battery is draining out faster than usual without a simultaneous increase in its usage, this could be a sign that someone is watching you through your phone.
Just like checking your phone’s data usage, you can also go to the device’s settings to check the battery usage and tally the percentage used by each app from the total since the previous charge.
4. You Experience Unexpected Reboots
Another sign to know that your phone is being tracked is if you notice unexpected reboots from time to time. While this could be an innocent case of a bug in the operating system, it can also be caused when someone has remote admin control over all the functions of your phone.
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This is dangerous as this means that they also have access to all the information stored on it. Given that a lot of spy apps come with a built-in keylogger, this makes them a big risk as they can track all your passwords and credit card information as you enter it into your device.
Additionally, since the start of the ongoing pandemic and the subsequent culture of remote work, the risk of cybercrimes has increased significantly. For instance, 20% of managers faced a security breach as the result of being a remote employee, showing the extent to which leaving an organization’s own network can increase the risk of a cyber attack.
5. You Notice Your Phone Becoming Slower All of a Sudden
Last but not least, a major sign that there’s a hidden app on your phone that’s being used to monitor your inputs is if your device considerably slows down. This is particularly strange if it happens on a phone with a decent to good processor and RAM, as such devices are equipped to handle heavier apps and games without slowing down. So, if you notice this happening, you might want to take some action to secure all your personal and sensitive information.
How to Protect Your Phone From Being Monitored?
If you’ve noticed any of the signs mentioned above, or if you’re worried that you might become the victim of a cyberattack, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself. Some of these include:
- Install an anti-malware program that protects your device at all times from any intrusions or instances of malware trying to find its way into your mobile’s system. A good example of an anti-malware program is McAfee.
- Use antivirus software that routinely scans your device and keeps it safe from any type of program that can be used to monitor and track your device.
- Use a VPN when browsing in public. This is especially important when you’re in public and need to use a free and open public WiFi network. A VPN can offer a crucial layer of protection that makes it harder for potential hackers to intrude into your device to track it.
This article was an answer to the question, “How do I know if someone is tracking my phone?” As you can see, there are five key signs you can look out for which could signal that someone is using tracking apps to monitor you secretly.
However, as you can also see, there are a few ways you can keep yourself protected. Using a VPN, an anti-malware program, and antivirus software are three effective places to start. So, always remain vigilant, and you’ll be able to keep yourself and your personal information safe at all times.