Many of us rely heavily on smartphones for managing various aspects of our lives. We utilize phones for communication, research, shopping, keeping track of appointments, and even getting around unfamiliar cities. With this approach comes many benefits, but also the possibility of having our phone tracked without our knowledge so we often get asked if someone track your phone without you knowing. In this article, we will delve into this, ensuring you have a clear understanding of this subject.
Is It Possible for Someone to Track Your Phone?
The short and unnerving answer to this question is yes. Technically, anyone can track your phone without your knowledge if they have access to your device and the right tools and techniques. This is a phenomenon I've seen time and again in my work as a cybersecurity expert.
How does someone track your phone?
A phone can be tracked through several methods. The most common is by using spy apps like mSpy, uMobix, or XNSPY. These applications, some of the best in the market for tracking, may be installed onto your device without your knowledge and then used to monitor your activities. As a cybersecurity professional, I've encountered various scenarios where such apps have been employed against people without them knowing.
Can your phone be tracked without you knowing?
Yes! That's the concerning reality. It's what makes such instances of surveillance highly intrusive and a serious cause for concern with the potential for abuse. These spy applications can run in the background of your device, meaning you won't even know they're there.
How To Tell If Someone Is Spying On You
When you suspect that your smartphone is tracking your location, there are some ways to tell if the phone has been compromised. However, these aren't definitive proof but are cues to make you more vigilant.
Unusual Battery Drain
Spyware apps often consume a lot of energy as they monitor your activities and send data back to the person monitoring you. If there's a spy app on your phone or any kind of tracking software, it might cause the battery to drain more quickly than usual.
Strange Phone Behavior and Unfamiliar Apps
If your phone suddenly starts behaving strangely or if you find unfamiliar apps installed on it, you might be under surveillance. This could mean your device randomly reboots, or you see icons not linked to any app you knowingly installed.
Increased Data Usage
Spyware generates data and lots of it! All this information needs to be sent back to whoever is monitoring you, which means you will have much more data usage than normal.
Noise During Phone Calls
If you hear strange noises during a call that isn't due to poor reception (static, clicking, or echoing), it could potentially indicate that someone else is listening in on your conversations.
Check for Malware
Quickly scan through all installed applications while looking out for ones you do not recognize. As an additional measure check unknown applications running in the background through Settings > Applications > Running services (Android) / Double-click home button & swipe left or right (iOS).
Security Measures: How Can You Detect Unusual Activity?
If you want to protect yourself, be aware of sudden changes to your cell phone, like quick battery drainage or irregular data consumption. Most times these are red flags that something unusual is happening, but you can use various security measures to address these issues.
How Can Someone Track Your Phone Without Your Knowledge?
The world has entered an era where it is often felt that privacy is becoming more elusive by the day. In this section, we'll look at how someone could potentially install an app to know your location and gain access to your data.
Spy Apps: Features and Functionalities
Off the shelf spy apps are the most common tool of choice for hackers and individuals who may want to track you.
Spy apps will typically have a stealth mode to allow them to run invisibly on your device. These applications can collect vast amounts of data from your device, including call logs, text messages, social media activity, browsing history, and GPS location data.
This is an advanced parental control app designed for iPhone and Android smartphones, allowing parents to read their kids' Facebook and Whatsapp content as well as list websites that were visited. It also has location tracking for your phone and over 25 other features such as SMS monitoring, call logging, application blocking, etc., enabling parents to control their kids' mobile usage.
uMobix offers a multitude of features ranging from call log and social media monitoring to camera activation that would allow a potential attacker to find out sensitive information.
This app can not only be tracking your phone location and log calls/messages but it also allows controlling apps or blocking connections on the target's device.
A comprehensive spying tool commonly used for parental control or employee monitoring purposes but has equally been used maliciously due to executing remote commands and access to multimedia files.
An app that prides itself on stealth mode operation while granting permission for call recording, message logging, etc., thus posing a discreet spying threat.
GPS and Cell Towers
Besides phone tracking software, which is becoming more sophisticated by the day, other methods also exist. Your real-time location can be logged if they have installed tracking software on your phone to gain access to your Google Maps using GPS technology while cell towers can triangulate the approximate location of the target device based on network signals.
Email Hacking and Phishing
Email hacking is one of the oldest yet still effective ways of gaining unauthorized access to one's private life, by enticing you to click a link that can reveal your IP address and GPS location.
Who's Tracking Your Phone?
Who is likely to have the motivation to track you?
In my experience, I've found that those closest to you are often the ones that will be spying on you; whether it's a suspicious spouse or an overly cautious parent. Their concerns could easily extend to invading privacy in search of answers they feel they need to have.
How it could put you in danger physically as well as at risk of fraud.
Beyond breaching your privacy rights, being tracked corresponds directly with higher risk exposure as your physical safety gets jeopardized (since your real-time GPS location is known) while the chances of identity theft increase due to your secure information being made readily available.
What Can You Do if Your Phone Is Being Tracked?
Keeping up with potential security threats, which is the best way to avoid security breaches, can be used as a habitual safeguard against invasions of privacy. You can also strive to practice cybersafety regularly, to ensure you are doing everything in your power for the protection of your personal information. Remember that leaving your phone unattended for any duration of time can increase the risk of someone gaining unauthorized access.
Removing Unwanted Software
If you have confirmed the presence of an unwanted application installed on your phone, don't hesitate to use the uninstall function immediately! Additionally consider reaching out for professional help if needed as they will be able to help you be sure the problem is resolved.
Report to Law Enforcement
If your phone has been tapped or if you suspect criminal activities using details from spying on your personal information then you need to notify the proper authorities as soon as possible.
In an age where personal data stored on devices has value, it is important for you to maintain informational awareness as it's no longer an option but rather a necessity. Navigating this paradigm requires time and attention but remember you're privacy is well worth the effort.