There are five warning signs that you’re being tracked through your iPhone – here’s how to stop it.
Almost all devices and software have built-in monitoring and tracking components.
On the plus side, this can help the user get the most out of the app and its features.
However, it can also mean that someone can monitor your phone and keep an eye on all your activities.
This ranges from phone calls, text messages, browsing activity, pictures, videos and apps.
In most cases, this comes in the form of spyware, a type of malware designed to remotely monitor a device’s activity.
What insights a cybercriminal can gain from monitoring your phone depends on the type of monitoring software used.
For example, an attacker can see what you browse online or who you connect with, but might not see your messages.
Some monitoring of apps may even be desired, such as installing parental controls for security, which could include features like location sharing or remote control, etc.
But what happens when a malicious attacker tracks your phone?
Most read in “Phones and Gadgets”.
An unauthorized user cannot track your phone without physically accessing your device unless you do one of the following:
- Unknowingly installed a malicious app from a third-party app store.
- You shared your login details as part of a phishing scam campaign.
- Outdated device software used for an extended period of time (e.g. a year or more).
How to tell if someone is tracking your phone
According to the experts at Makeuseof.com, there are five signs you need to be aware of.
Be on the lookout for applications that you don’t remember downloading.
Malicious software usually downloads other tools to monitor the device and extract more information.
So if you discover an unknown app on your phone, it is a red flag.
Try researching the app to see if it has been reported as dangerous.
If you feel unsure, delete it immediately.
Excessive data usage in the background
It helps to regularly monitor your phone’s background data usage.
If the amount is significantly higher than your normal consumption, it’s a good idea to check what is consuming most of it.
Also, check that no active hotspot is enabled. In this case, check if unauthorized devices are connected.
Browsing history mismatch
Users must also regularly check their browsing history for entries they do not recognize, as this could be an indication that you are infected with spyware.
Cyber criminals may try to remotely load phishing sites or other invasive portals to install spyware or perform other illegal activities through your phone.
A sudden drain on your phone’s battery could indicate that spyware has been installed on your phone as it often drains the battery as it runs in the background.
It’s best to check the background apps and downloads to make sure everything is ok.
An abnormal restart can only indicate a hardware problem. However, it is best to have the problem checked out by an expert to find out why it is occurring.
If you don’t have hardware problems, malicious software might be active on your device.
How to stop phone tracking
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do if you think you are being monitored. These include:
- Uninstall unknown applications.
- Enforce application blacklisting.
- Install applications from official app stores (or safe APK download sites like F-Droid).
- Factory reset your smartphone.
- Ask if your parents have a parental control app or feature enabled.
The best course of action to stop phone tracking is invariably a factory reset.
This will ensure that you remove any malicious app, service or file from your device without having to spend a long time checking things on your device.