Smartphones have become the place where people “live” and store their most valuable data, such as passport scans, passwords, mobile banking apps, and social media accounts. This attracts hackers interested in stealing other people’s personal data or financial information. More often than not, they use spy apps to read someone’s text messages without installing software on their phone free. Such apps cause performance issues, rapid battery drain, or increased mobile data usage, making users suspect that their phone is being tracked. Check out the signs you should pay attention to.
Unfamiliar Applications on Your Device
Spyware is the most common method of monitoring other people’s Android and iOS mobile devices. Most people use parental control applications to track the target phone’s activity. Such apps are easy to discover as their icons appear on the menu, and no deep digging is required to discover them.
Unlike parental control applications, sophisticated spyware hides better and doesn’t show an icon on the screen. To discover them, you should go to phone settings and look through the list of installed applications on Apps Manager. Then, check every application you don’t remember installing, even if it looks harmless.
Battery Drains Fast
Both parental control apps and malicious software work in the background 24/7 to record every activity of the target device. It means the phone is constantly actively working and using power, which leads to fast battery drainage.
Sudden and significant power consumption instead of gradual deterioration indicates that an unwanted application is running in the background. But to know for sure, you should test newly installed apps to ensure they are not responsible for excessive power consumption. For example, you might be surprised to find that social media apps consume a lot of power and cause your battery to drain quickly.
Mobile Data Usage Spikes
Spyware running in the background requires an Internet connection to pass the collected information to a third party. Transferring call recordings, media files, and other data causes an unusual surge in mobile data volume.
To check the volume of mobile data consumed by your Android device, do the following:
- Go Settings
- Tap Network & Internet
- Open Data Usage
- Choose Mobile Data Usage
Here you’ll see how your cellular data usage has changed over time. Please note that you’ll be able to check only the volume of mobile data usage when your device isn’t connected to Wi-Fi. You won’t be able to track the changes in data usage if your phone is always connected to the Wi-Fi network.
But high data usage isn’t always an indicator that your phone is being tracked by spyware. You should check and exclude recently installed apps and social media apps to ensure that they don’t cause data consumption.
Your Phone Overheats
When your battery drains quickly, and your device overheats, it’s a sign that your phone is being monitored. When spyware is running in the background, it means your phone is always in the mode of active functioning, which puts additional strain on your phone’s computational power. So, your phone can get very hot even if you don’t use it or barely use it.
Again, you should exclude all other options to conclude that the overheating is caused by spyware. You can test your battery on another device to make sure that the battery isn’t damaged or defective.
Unauthorized Activities and Performance Issues
If your phone opens apps or does something without you tapping on anything, it’s a pretty strong indicator that malware is running in the background. Besides tracking and collecting data, spy apps allow the third party to control the target phone remotely. So, if you experience unauthorized phone activities, it means your device is being remotely controlled.
Usually, spy applications eat up phone resources and damage the device over time. As a result, the phone slows down significantly, its performance drops drastically, and unauthorized reboots happen frequently.
Background Noise During Calls
Most spy applications can record outgoing and incoming phone calls. Some advanced spyware runs smoothly and doesn’t show abnormal activity during phone calls. Others, on the other hand, make white noise, beep, or echo in the background. Such weird noises during phone calls indicate that your phone has been compromised and someone is listening to your conversation.
Again, it’s worth checking and excluding the possibility of a bad connection causing such weird noises. We all have lousy reception sometimes, but it’s a temporary issue.
Odd Browser History
If you suspect your phone has been compromised, check your browser history first. You should look for anything that indicates that spyware has been downloaded. But if your phone has been tracked for a long time, you should look for signs that a spy party has used your browser to steal your personal data.