We use our cell phone on a daily basis to send emails, text messages, make phone calls, share videos and photos, as well as to shop online. What if someone gets access to personal data? It can be disastrous, right?
People claim that big tech companies are spying on them to show them customized ads to help enhance sales. Have you ever spoken about buying a product while talking on the phone? Were you surprised to see an advertisement of the same product while browsing online later? Have you ever wondered why this happens?
Is your phone listening to you? How can you find out? Here are 6 ways to tell:
- Unusually High Data Usage: If your device is using more data than usual, that could indicate that someone has installed spyware on your device. Always make sure that you stay aware of your monthly data usage and pay close attention to any sudden spikes in usage.
- Battery Draining Fast: If spyware is working continuously, it can drain your battery faster than usual. Spyware usually uses a significant amount of battery when active. Therefore, if you notice your battery draining quicker than usual, then it could be an indication that you’re under attack.
- Unfamiliar Applications: Most of us regularly share our information with different apps. We do this when we give them certain permissions or allow cookies to track our online activity. If you find any app that is not download by you then there is a possibility that you phone is tampered with. This unwanted app can be a spying app disguised as any other app.
- Overheating of the phone: The spying app is capable of tracking the real-time location on your device. For this, it uses GPS which results into overheating of the device. If your device is running hot, it may be a sign that someone is spying on you by running spyware in the background.
- Background noise on calls: Spying apps can record your calls. If there is imperceptible background noise or echo while on calls, then there is possibility that your phone has been compromised. While on call, please listen carefully.
- Screen Activity: If your phone is on standby mode and the screen fades to black or flashes without touching, then it’s a sign that your phone is hacked. Many of us ignore this, but it’s one that you should never overlook.
Now that we know how to identify if you are being spied on, here are the few ways to prevent spyware from infecting your phone:
- Don’t trust anyone with your phone: Most people have fallen victim to attacks by trusting people they should not have trusted. Make sure you don’t leave your phone unattended.
- Keep your OS updated: Updated Operating system can improve security by removing flaws that have been discovered since the last update. It can help kill mobile spyware.
- Antivirus software: Use antivirus software to scan and protect your device from spyware.
- Install trusted apps: Don’t give apps permission to use your location or access your photos without a reason. It makes your phone a bit more vulnerable to exploitation.
- Use strong passwords and authentication: Use strong passwords for all your online accounts and phone. Never save or share passwords with anyone. Lock your device with a secure password, PIN, or fingerprint, and turn on authentication for app installs.
- Be careful with the Links: Suspicious links can be dangerous. It’s is the easiest way for your phone to be hacked.
- Factory Reset: Whichever device you may be using, your last line of defense against spyware is a factory reset. Resetting your device to factory settings implies that all the third-party apps will be deleted, that means any spy software will be removed as well.
Please note that these are not foolproof ways to avoid being spied on. With the wide availability of various spying tools, it is possible that your phone could be under the prying eyes of a hacker. However, if the above-mentioned tips are followed by every smartphone user, the spyware infection rate can reduce drastically.