Security

How to Secure Cell Phone from Spying (the Ultimate Guide)

Spy-proof your mobile right now.

Last updated on March 7th, 2018 at 02:18 pm

When we read somewhere about cell phone spying or hear about it from someone, we usually think that spying is solely a risk for someone who is a celebrity, a business tycoon, a politician, a prominent entrepreneur, or someone famous for any obvious reason.

Consequently, we remain confident that we are safe. Whenever we receive any guidance or tips to secure cell phone from spying, we think “Why would someone spy me?”

Well, that’s the point where we actually become overconfident – the perception that nobody would spy us! But, why?

Why would someone spare you?

Why is your data unimportant?

Why would someone be not interested to secretly monitor you?

Think about it for a moment; you might get an answer after a little brainstorming. If not, read out the reasons right below – anyway.

Why People Spy Your Cellphone?

Before answering this question, let us ask you something. Have you heard about Edward Snowden? We are sure you must have. Remember why did he become so controversial? Because of spying!

Edward Snowden is one of the most expert hackers and spies who can monitor each and every activity of yours via your cell phone.

He worked as an undercover spy for the US Government, precisely, the CIA and NSA, for quite some time.

However, he was later labeled as a traitor by the US Government when he revealed several jolting secrets about the NSA surveillance.

He publicly declared about the secret spying of millions of people by the US Government. Upon such revelations, he was condemned by the USA intelligence and the government. He is now living in Russia under an asylum.

Secure Cell Phone Spying
Don’t ever think that you are safe in this digital spying age; you must take some steps to keep your devices protected.

The reason why we quoted him here is to make it clear to you that you are not safe at all. You may be spied by,

  • your parents (especially if you are a teen)
  • spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend (if he/she lacks doubts you, or is just curious about you)
  • your employer (to see whether you are working or not)
  • the CIA (that too, for a no special reason)

Feeling perplexed? Don’t worry. There is nothing much in spying, and with this article, you can easily learn how to secure cell phone from spying.

The Data a Cell Phone Spy Software Tracks

Now that you realize the need to secure cell phone from spying, you must also know about the data being caught. Of course, you may naturally be worried about this data breach.

Today, several cell phone spying applications are available online. Some of them are even free to use. Whereas, the others come with an affordable subscription plan. That is why almost everyone can now learn and spy on someone else with ease.

Most of these apps spy on the following data from your cell phone.

  • Your location by hacking accessing your GPS – The hacker can swiftly know right away about your whereabouts.
  • Your calls and conversation – the spying apps can easily integrate with your calling apps and can trace, or even record your conversations. It means your business talks, your personals chats, your friendly conversations, everything can be traced. (Worried?)
  • Some spying apps can access your texts and chats and monitor whatever you communicate.
  • A few high-end spyware can even access your camera and microphone to record your voice and your pictures. Whatever you do is traced in real-time.

Signs that Tell Someone is Spying on You

After knowing the reasons to spy, you may wonder, “how can I find out if someone is spying on my cell phone”. Isn’t it?

Detecting possible spying on your cell phone is not that tricky. You just have to be a little observant of your cell phone’s behavior. If you notice anything unusual, or any activity that you may not have done yourself, you may have become a victim of spying.

Here is a brief of some common signs that indicate your cell phone has been hacked.

Strange Noise/Sounds on Calls

Earlier, when analog networks prevailed, people were used to with bearing some unusual sounds during phone calls. Sometimes, the voice of the other sounded distant or echoed too.

But these issues are not common to the present day’s digital network. So, if you notice any such unusual thing while talking on a call, it may hint towards spying.

Compromised Battery Performance

Another hint towards a traced cell phone is compromised or reduced battery function. This drop in the battery’s performance is due to the continuous monitoring and transmittance of data to the hackers. Hence, the battery power consumers much quicker than expected.

If you are skeptical about this behavior and are curious to dig out the reason behind this battery malfunction, you can do the trick. Just remove the battery from your cell phone and install it to some other handset.

If the battery works fine with the newer mobile phone, that’s a red alert for you. Either there is some compatibility issue between the battery and your cell phone, or your phone might have been bugged.

Running Cellphone Activities Even When Idol

Do you notice some running apps on your cellphone despite stopping all apps after your last use? Do you hear any unusual sounds, or experience weird lighting behavior of screen?

Does your cellphone reboot on its own? If your answer is a “yes” to all these questions, you need to be cautious about possible spying. Do something to secure cellphone from spying.

Your Phone Takes More Time to Turn Off

When you turn off your cell phone, all the apps and in-process tasks gradually begin to close down. It takes a while and then your cell phone turns off. You may be habitual of its usual time taken for shutting down.

However, if you notice an extension in this phase, then you may have been a victim of spying. If your phone is transmitting data to some other party, then it will first have to complete this action before shutting down.

Thus, it takes longer than usual to turn off. You will mainly notice this behavior after a call, email, text or web browsing.

Phone Heating

If you have not used your cell phone for a while, yet you find it warm when you pick it up, it hints towards a high phone battery temperature.

This heating up of the battery is due to its constant exhaustion, which may be attributed to possible spying. However, make sure to figure out the other reasons as well to reach a final decision.

Strange Messages or Texts

You may start receiving some weird message with unrecognizable texts or symbols. Don’t take this lightly as these messages might be some secret codes from someone who is spying your mobile. If it becomes a routine, you may have spyware running on your phone.

More Data Usage

Any spyware running on your cell phone will certainly exhaust your network usage. If you notice increased monthly data usage by your cell phone, make sure to do everything to secure cellphone from spying.

How to Find Mobile Spy Software (and Remove Them)

find remove cell phone spy software
Finding and removing spy software from a cell phone is pretty straightforward. Image Credit: Clker.com

If you doubt someone is spying your cell phone, let’s dig out how to catch someone spying on you.

Most spyware are smart enough to hide them from your cellphone’s main screen.

You would never notice any icon or notification for these apps. But, by accessing the app directory, you might confirm their presence.

Even if they do not appear with a distinct name, any app that you have not downloaded yourself could be spyware.

Now your job is to secure cellphone from spying. Find such apps and remove them from your device as soon as possible.

Removing Spyware from Android

If you have an Android smartphone, then here is how to stop cell phone spying software on your Android.

  • Tap the Settings icon on your screen.
  • Go to the ‘Apps’ section and tap on it.
  • Slide on your screen to reach the “Running” services. Every application running on your cell phone will be displayed there.
  • Browse through the list of apps and see if there is any strange.
  • If you find any weird service, clear the cache and uninstall it.
  • After inspecting the running services, browse to the Manage Application option.
  • Follow the steps mentioned above to remove any unfamiliar app.

Removing Spyware from iOS

The jailbreak requirement in iOS, sometimes, turns out to be an advantage. Spying on iOS is trickier than on Android since the installation of spyware mostly requires a jailbreak.

If you find any app running on your device, which is not available in the Apple Store, you may probably have spyware!

Fortunately, removing such apps from your iPhone is way easier as compared to Android. If you own an iPhone and you wonder ‘how to stop someone from spying on my phone’, then here is how you would do.

Just update your iOS version, and all unnecessary apps or third-party applications will be inactivated. Simple – isn’t it?

Tips to Secure Cell Phone from Spying Programs

If someone is genuinely spying on you, whether it is from your family, or you are under the observation of the intelligence — removing spyware from your cell phone will not suffice.

The moment you delete such apps, the other party will get an idea and may hack your phone again. Therefore, you have to take such measures that permanently secure cell phone from spying.

Here, we present a list of some effective activities that can help you protect your cell phone from spying. Although they might be annoying at times, making them a part of your habit will eventually help you secure your property.

Lock Your Cell Phone with A Password

For most spyware, it is necessary to manually install them on the target’s cell phone at least once. So why not avoid giving even this single chance to anyone by locking your cellphone?

A common mistake, which most of us do, is to leave our gadgets unprotected. In this way, we make it easier for anyone to use our cell phone, tablets, or other devices, without our knowledge.

Although it will be a bit irritating to enter a password every time you use your cell phone, it is still way better than being hacked by an unknown person.

We know some of you may argue that screen locks and passwords are not difficult to break, so why to install them! We agree that cutting these barriers is easier for a smart hacker.

But it doesn’t mean that you keep your cell phone open for any layman to intrude.

Locking your cell phone can turn out to be an anti-spy mobile free method. It will at least rule out the possibility of being spied by some average person around you.

You can use the traditional number-based passcode to lock your device. Or, you may assign some patterns to unlock your phone. (I personally love pattern codes. I like changing the lock screen patterns to make a unique code each time. They are interesting to draw too. I won’t mind if you think of me as being childish.)

Nevertheless, the tech experts favor passwords or PIN numbers since they are difficult to hack. Predicting a pattern is relatively easier, so the chances of hacking are more.

If you find it difficult to develop a habit of locking your device, then you can even turn on the auto-lock feature from the settings menu. If your phone or any other device is not in use for a specific time period (say, 30 seconds), your device will lock automatically.

Are You Sure about Jailbreaking Your Phone? Give it a Second Thought!

Yeah, you really should! We are not against rooting or jailbreaking your phone. What we mean is to think about all that we are going to share here before you jailbreak your cell phone.

We completely agree with that jailbreaking or rooting your phones provides you a plethora of features of your device. Yet, you unknowingly make your phone vulnerable to security threats.

On the contrary, a device that is not jailbroken or rooted is much secure since it has all the security protocols and safeguard measures activated in it.

As we said earlier, many spyware and other apps require a jailbreak for installation. So, if your iPhone is already jailbroken, anyone can intrude your phone quite easily. Hence, the best anti-spy mobile free iPhone tip is not to jailbreak it.

The same goes for Androids. Although, for Android, rooting is not necessarily required for spyware to work, yet they have limited functioning features in a non-rooted Android device.

Don’t Ignore Installing an Antivirus Software on your Cellphone

Just like your PC, your smartphone is also vulnerable to virus attack. But a vast majority of us ignore installing this vital necessity.

When you buy a new smartphone, you will several apps pre-installed on it, such as the social media apps. But you are unlikely to find an antivirus already installed.

Likewise, very smartphone users bother to install antivirus applications on their devices. As a result, such users frequently fall prey to viruses and hacking attempts.

Installing an antivirus isn’t tricky, nor it will cost you a fortune. So, why put your cell phone at risk of security threats by ignoring this important software?

If you browse through the App store, you will find a plethora of antivirus apps in there. Most of these are freely available and claim to be the best anti spy app for android. A few of these antivirus apps include,

  • Avast
  • AVG free
  • Norton
  • 360 Security
  • Bitdefender

and a lot more!

Having antivirus on your cell phone also protects your PC, particularly when you connect your phone to the PC via USB.

You may also download an antitheft software on your phone, such Find My iPhone, or Where’s My Droid. In this way, you can track your device in case of loss or theft.

Some antivirus apps also have this antitheft feature with them. You may even enjoy phone optimization with some free antiviruses.

You may wonder why we recommend installing antivirus. Does it detect spyware?

Well, installing an antivirus won’t help you find or detect the presence of spyware. But an active antivirus status will indeed protect your smartphone from the installation of new apps. Hence, they act as a prevention against spying and hacking attempts.

Yet, you may not entirely rely on them. An antivirus works against the predefined file formats only. If the intruding file name is hidden or changed, or new for the antivirus, it can override your device security.

Switch Off Bluetooth Connectivity

We have always been warned about the battery exhaustion while using Bluetooth. Yet we ignore this instruction and keep the Bluetooth connection to our devices turned on.

For some people, it is convenient. They think they can connect to any available device as required. For some others, they are just too lazy to bother changing the Bluetooth connectivity mode.

However, turning off Bluetooth not only saves your battery time, but it also protects your device against spying and hacking. Wondering how?

Have you heard about bluejacking, bluesnarfing, and bluebugging? They all refer to the hacking attempts made over Bluetooth. Shocked?

Keeping your phone’s Bluetooth lets all devices, which are in 25-30 feet vicinity from your device, establish a connection with you. If you have a bluejacker somewhere around you, then your available Bluetooth connectivity is a welcome note to him!

Reconsider a Public Wi-Fi Connection

The freely available public Wi-Fi connections charm all of us. Nonetheless, they pose a high risk to our smartphone’s security.

At first, you become visible to all devices connected to the same network.

Plus, the common Wi-Fi connection makes your device vulnerable to virus and hacking attacks. A hacker can swiftly connect with your device remotely and can access your information.

So, how to disable phone tap on a public Wi-Fi? You can do so via a secure VPN such as ExpressVPN. It will hide your device’s actual IP and other details. Hence, you may veil your online identity.

IF you are too confident and do not want to employ any security measures while using public Wi-Fi, then, at least, never check your bank account details.

Update Your System Regularly

Keep your device software updated by installing every latest update. The software updates are released time-to-time by the developers and app manufacturers.

These updates make sure that your device is fully compatible with the new features, hence, ensuring improved performance.

Apart from better functionality, the updates in antivirus and other protective software are essential to keep us safe. As said above, the viruses may attack your smartphone with new file formats and definitions.

That is how they tend to override a user’s device security software. However, if you have an updated app, you can secure your cell phone spying as the app will be having all the latest definitions.

Ensure Verifying Your App

The other blunder which many of us routinely do is to ignore verifying the apps we use on our smartphones.

Verifying apps isn’t a tricky or time taking action. You just have to look at the app reviews, ratings, developer’s details and history of the bug fixes prior installation. Scroll down your screen and see what bug fixes it offers.

This step is to ensure that you are downloading a safe app. Installing any XYZ app right away makes your phone vulnerable to malicious hacking attempts.

Nonetheless, it isn’t a fool-proof method, particularly for Android users. They can easily find several verified apps on Google Play Store, many of them being malicious applications.

Avoid Taping on Links

Clicking on unknown links is never recommended. Regardless of whether you have a smartphone or a tablet, it is always risky to tap on any other link, which someone shares with you, or with which you come across while browsing.

Most of such links are spam, at times malicious, or may even catalyze hacking attempts. Those smartphones users, who are less cautious about their phone’s security, are at higher risks of spying and hacking. Probably, because the links mostly appear shortened on smartphones. So, you may randomly click on them.

The same applies to forwarded links. If you receive any link via text messages, email or chat, you must not open it. Or, if it is really tempting you (maybe offering a discount deal or a gift hamper), you should at least counter confirm from your contact about the authenticity of the link.

If it is a spam link, or from someone not in your contacts (whether on text messages or on email), give no second thoughts. Delete it immediately!

Never Leave Your Accounts Signed-In

We know it is difficult to remember so many login IDs and passwords and to re-enter them again and again whenever you log in to some account.

Plus, for those accounts where there are chances of your account being locked upon fewer wrong password attempts, saving passwords or leaving your account logged in is way more convenient.

But, leaving your accounts logged in, or your passwords saved in your browser is similar to leaving your wallet or cellphone at a shop or a hotel reception. You put yourself at risks of theft.

Remember the Nice Hash incident? It all happened because of an employee who saved his details in his PC’s browser. The hackers, using his login credentials, accessed the company’s wallet and stole all the coins. Though the device exploited here was a system, the same can be done to smartphones as well.

A good practice to secure cell phone from spying, hacking, and other malicious attacks, is to ensure logging out from your accounts before leaving the device. Even if you let your browser save passwords, make sure to clear the history and cache data periodically to avoid any data breach from your browser upon hacking attempts.

Never Save Your Personal and Sensitive Details on Your Phone

This is something most of us do not do. Yet, a few people find it convenient to save their information, such as PIN numbers, passwords, and account details on their cell phone.

If you are also one of them, we advise you to remove all your sensitive data from your phone right now. You are only giving a treat to the hackers by making all the information approachable. The same applies to the thieves if they snatch your device.

Conclusion

While trying to secure cell phone from spying, one must have to keep in view two different dimensions. Firstly, you have to safeguard your phone from hackers, online spying, and cyber attacks.

Secondly, you should consider the safety of your data and other information upon accidental thefts. In both the cases, the only approach that can protect you is to store the least data on your device.

Whether it is about saving passwords, or storing information on your mobile phone, you put yourself at risk either way. Likewise, leaving your device abandoned, that too, without security lock, gives easy access to an intruder.

Your smartphone’s security is as important as is your PC’s protection. So, you must take every measure to secure your device.

We hope that the tips and tricks given above will eventually help you protect your phone from spying and hacking. If you could come up with some more ideas that add to our content, please do share with us!

Abeerah Hashim
the authorAbeerah Hashim
Staff Writer
Abeerah is a passionate blogger/web writer for several years with particular interest towards science and technology. She is crazy to know everything about the latest tech developments. Knowing and writing about hacking, spying, and gaming has always enchanted her. When she is not writing, what else can be a better pastime for her than web surfing and staying updated about the tech world!
1 Comment
  • I and husband have been married for over 12 years now and i have been absolutely what any man can wish for. We both make a good income and we are also blessed with 2kids but I never knew he had a kid out there for 6 years now. Here i became so broken,I had to file a divorce which with the help of my programmer, spymasterpro3x was able to get all the evidence i need to take down my Devil of a husband. Thank God i am way over all that now but it is never an easy experience. I wish you good luck in your dealing with a cheating spouse and i advice you can always get the best and only real spy Hacker, all app works compatibly with any devices

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