In order to track your phone, someone would need to install a spying app onto it. That could come in the form of malware such as the recently discovered Godless , which can be downloaded as part of a seemingly innocent app. And yes, you can download them from the Play Store. Because they have legitimate purposes.
How to Stop Someone from Spying On Your Cell Phone
If your employer assigns you a company phone, they have every right to see what you do with it. Believe it or not, some people put these apps in their phones willingly. But not too suspicious. Those same symptoms may also be a sign of other, less malicious problems.
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- How to Spy on a Cell Phone without Accessing the Target Phone?.
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- 10 signs to help you analyze if your phone is being monitored.
- Cell Phone Spying Happens Around the Globe?
- Battery life suddenly dropping?
If you want to make sure, try running Anti Spy Mobile. It finds spying apps and gives you a chance to uninstall them. The original app is now on the app store again. Either app will do. These versions will use the same tactics of cybercriminals -- a link or email attachment sent together with its malicious package.
If you find yourself the recipient of odd or unusual social media messages, text messages, or emails, this may be a warning sign and you should delete them without clicking on any links or downloading any files. Should stalkers employ this tactic, they need you to respond to it. In order to ensure this, messages may contain content designed to induce panic, such as a demand for payment, or they could potentially use spoofed addresses from a contact you trust. There's no magic button to send spyware over the air; instead, physical access or the accidental installation of spyware by the victim is necessary.
In the case of potential physical tampering, it can take mere minutes for spyware to be installed on a device. If your mobile or laptop goes missing and reappears with different settings or changes that you do not recognize, or perhaps has been confiscated for a time, this may be an indicator of compromise.
Surveillance software is becoming more sophisticated and can be difficult to detect. However, not all forms of spyware and stalkerware are invisible and it is possible to find out if you are being monitored. Android: A giveaway on an Android device is a setting which allows apps to be downloaded and installed outside of the official Google Play Store. If enabled, this may indicate tampering and jailbreaking without consent.
Not every form of spyware and stalkerware requires a jailbroken device, however. There is an app available in the Play Store called Root Checker that can check for jailbreaking on your behalf. This varies depending on device and vendor. Some forms of spyware will also use generic names to avoid detection. If a process or app comes up on the list you are not familiar with, a quick search online may help you ascertain whether it is legitimate.
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However, the presence of an app called Cydia, which is a package manager that enables users to install software packages on a jailbroken device, may indicate tampering unless you knowingly downloaded the software yourself. Windows: On Windows machines, double-checking installed program lists -- possible through the start bar -- and running processes under "Task Manager" may help you identify suspicious programs. Mac: On Apple Mac machines, you can do the same by clicking "Launchpad," "Other," and "Activity Monitor" to check the status of running programs. You can also reach Activity Monitor quickly through Spotlight.
In the cases of Android and iOS devices, you may also experience unexpected battery drain, as well as unexpected or strange behavior from the device operating system or apps -- but in the latter case, many users of stalkerware will try not to play their hand. As with most things in life, trust your instincts. If you think something is wrong, it probably is -- and you should take steps to seize control of the situation.
This is where things get difficult. By design, spyware and stalkerware are hard to detect and can be just as hard to remove. It is not impossible but may take some drastic steps on your part. When removed, especially in the case of stalkerware, some operators will receive an alert warning them that the victim device is clean. In addition, should the flow of information suddenly cease, this is a clear indicator that the malicious software has been eradicated.
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Unfortunately, some stalkerware services claim to survive factory resets. So, failing all of that, consider throwing your device in the nearest recycling bin and starting afresh.
However, it may also appear under another generic name, and so before deleting any apps, perform a search on the app name first. Additional options to try are explained here.
Check your precious data
Both Google and Apple are generally quick off the mark if spyware or other forms of malicious apps manage to circumvent the privacy and security barriers imposed for applications hosted in their respective official app stores. While marketed as employee and child trackers, the tech giant took a dim view of their overreaching functions -- including GPS device tracking, access to SMS messages, the theft of contact lists, and potentially the exposure of communication taking place in messaging applications.
When it comes to Apple, the iPad and iPhone maker began a crackdown on parental control apps in April, citing privacy-invading functions as the reason for some iOS apps to be removed from the App Store. In some cases, Apple requested developers to remove functions, whereas, in others, the apps were simply removed.
Learn What Spy Software Can Do
The company offers its own parental device control service called Screen Time for parents that want to limit their children's device usage. Surveillance without consent is unethical and in domestic situations causes a severe imbalance in power. If your sixth sense says something is wrong, listen to it. A physical object is not worth sacrificing your privacy for. Should your device become compromised, take back control of your right to privacy -- whether or not this means replacing your handset entirely.
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