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Is Someone Spying on Your Phone?

by on March 30, 2012
in Phones and Mobile, Cell Phones, Tips & How-Tos, Privacy :: 273 comments

You probably know there are plenty of apps you can install on your smartphone to track its location in case it gets lost or stolen. Apple's “Find My iPhone” is one good one and many security apps, such as AVG Mobilation, can track down a phone in seconds.

But what if someone else is tracking you? Is there any chance your boss or spouse could be spying on everything you do on your phone?

It’s easy to do. Spy apps are plentiful and can imperceptibly track text and e-mail messages, location, Web sites you visit, who you call and what photos and videos you shoot. The problem is these apps are difficult to detect and run invisibly in the background.

I decided to track my son and installed an app on his phone called Phone Control by Laucass (free on Google Play). Of course, secretly intercepting electronic communications without the person's knowledge and consent is illegal, so I told my son I was doing it and that I’d only use it if I had good reason.

Every day I receive emails that indicate my son’s location as he’s using his phone out in the world. I can click on those links in my email to see via Google Maps where he is (although I very rarely do). I could also set up the app to send me data about everything else he’s doing on his phone, but that’s not something I personally need—or want—to do.

Signs your phone may have been compromised

Someone borrowed or took your phone

I had to have my son’s phone in hand to install Android Phone Control. Once activated, however, there’s no icon in the application launcher. The app shows up with the name “Android System” in the applications manager so it doesn’t look suspicious. If you think someone could do something like this when you’re not paying attention or asleep, secure your phone with a passcode that isn’t easy to guess.

(Editor's Note 9/26/12: To confirm you have the spyware and not a standard Android app by the same name, follow these steps to open the spy app (dial the phone number.)

(Editor's Note 8/28/13: See our in-depth study of mobile security apps for more detail on 9 of the most common spyware programs and how to detect them.)

Your phone is acting weirdly

Taking forever to shut off, lighting up for no reason, suddenly getting much shorter battery life or running hot when you’re not using it may indicate hidden processes are running in the background.

Your data usage skyrockets for no reason

This could be because your phone is checking in with someone else, using GPS and sending them text messages or emails that communicate where you are and what you’re doing.

What to do if you suspect your phone's being monitored

The best thing to do is perform a factory reset, which you can find as an option in your phone’s settings. Know, however, that in doing so you will lose all data stored on your phone, so back it up first.

If you’re using Apple iCloud or Android 4.0, items like your contacts, photos and music are automatically synced and saved in the cloud. But if you have an older phone, you’ll want to make sure to export your contacts before doing a factory reset. There are various ways to do this depending on what phone you’re using and which operating system it’s running. If you’re not sure, get help from your cellular provider; they can make sure to retain your contacts and other important data during a factory reset.

You'll then want to use a strong passcode to prevent unauthorized access to your device. For Android devices, you can also install an app, like AppNotifier (free on Google Play), that will email you when programs are loaded onto your phone.

(Editor's Note 9/26/12: See our updated recommendations for Android antimalware solutions)

(Editor's Note 8/28/13: See our in-depth study of mobile security apps for our latest recommendations on how to protect yourself.)

You'll then have to tackle the issue of who's doing the monitoring. Keep in mind that if your device was issued by your company or is authorized to access your company's email and other data services, you may have given your consent as part of your employment contract or when access was data access was granted.

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Discussion loading

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My boss' phone

From Mary on September 07, 2012 :: 9:38 am

My company phone is used very sparingly for calls and texts only, and never online. However, recently I’ve gotten 2 spam (here’s a cash loan for ya…).  I don’t publish my company cellphone number anywhere, and very few people have it. My boss, however, has a smartphone and is constantly on the internet doing who knows what on every conceivable website.  So, to my question…...could his phone have been hacked and my cellphone # been stolen for spamming purposes?

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Probably not your boss

From Josh Kirschner on September 07, 2012 :: 10:17 am

Spammers could have your number from a previous owner of that number or may simply be systematically calling likely phone numbers - it happens to everyone. It probably has nothing to do with your boss.

p.s. we deleted that comment and will block the IP address (it’s from Nigeria). I’m also deleting the name from your comment so they don’t get any further benefit.

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Re: Probably not your boss

From Mary on September 07, 2012 :: 11:36 am

Josh,  Thanks very much for your quick reply.

I sure would have loved to have blamed my boss for playing on the internet, but I will just have to hold that thought for a later time.

As for the spam, I’ve never gotten any spam texts (& I’ve had this phone for about 6 mths) until yesterday, and then I got another message this morning from the same number.  I have NOT replied.

I have reported the # to the FCC complain division, and I have searched the link information given in both text messages. They are different web sites but both having to do with “Cash” kind of thing.

I will probably just advise my carrier to block that # from my phone so I don’t get anymore.  Anything else I should do at this point?

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Iphone Spyware & Text Storage

From Lori Webb Ackiss on September 08, 2012 :: 2:31 am

Hi Josh,

Just a comment for the girl with the Iphone and spyware.  Unless her phone is jailbroken, there is no spyware app for the Iphone.  It’s possible that her boyfriend jailbroke her phone, and if that’s the case, then she should see the Cydia app on her phone.

Text messages are included in the backup in Itunes.  If she does a factory reset and then restore from backup, she should have her text messages restored as well.  But if for some reason that doesn’t happen, she can access them by going to the backup and opening the file with any sqlite database browser - on Windows Vista/7 - c:/users/username/appdata/roaming/applecomputer/mobilesync/backup/backupname(unique to every iphone)/3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28.  The file name is the same on every iphone backup.

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Phone hacked

From Mack Edison on September 14, 2012 :: 11:49 am

Me and my brother have had this problem on over 5 years. They have access to our calls, contacts, text messages and email address. Is there any possible way for us to track them and put a end to it. We do not know who the person may be. They have sent harassing texts to family and friends. Its scary how they know your every move.

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IPhone hacked

From Becky on September 14, 2012 :: 1:03 pm

I need help, my ex boyfriend has hijacked my iphone. I’m not sure how or when, I can’t locate an app but I know for certain he is able to see my text messages from remote locations. EX. 09/13/12 at 3:39 pm I recieved a solicitation text at 5:11 pm I responded “STOP” which was listed as an opt out feature at the bottom of the text. At 5:20 pm the ex calls and is asking who am I texting from Chicago, I was confused because the solicitation text didn’t have a real #. He knew the exact times of each message and even knew that I had deleted both messages. I ebay from my phone and he texts me saying “get off of ebay”. How can I regain control of my phone? I’ve tried changing my itunes account access. He changed it so that I can’t download any apps. I don’t understand what he’s doing but I need to have it stopped.

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Block him from your iCloud account

From Josh Kirschner on September 29, 2012 :: 7:50 pm

If you’re backing up your iPhone to iCloud and your ex-boyfriend has access to your iCloud account, he can see your texts. You should change all of your Apple passwords ASAP as well as your email passwords. And ensure that you don’t have any password recovery options set up on any of your accounts that are for his emails or cel phone numbers.

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Inform the Police

From Samantha on September 28, 2013 :: 3:51 pm

Anyone(even a boyfriend) that steals your phone, let alone any of your property, needs to be reported to the police as soon as possible. Press charges against him. By him hacking into your itunes account and whatever other accounts he’s hacked into and change the information on, is illegal. This sort of thing can put him in jail for a few years. He’s trying to have full control over you. Good luck.

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Phone hacked by someone called Miranda

From Michael Westen on May 13, 2014 :: 9:32 am

Who hacked my phone i bought? I am very scared!

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Confused

From Nikki on September 20, 2012 :: 10:49 pm

Someone keeps getting into my facebook, myspace, yahoo, and hotmail accounts (even changing passwords, security questions, and alternate/notification emails). In the past, i had these accounts on my samsung delve and iphone 3g. I have no PC anymore. Someone also keeps acquiring my phone numbers. I no longer use my cell for email or social networking. I have seen the suspects parked nearby for hours, they followed me some, now they show up at various places where i happen to be (miles from where they live…). I have had numerous issues with my phones locking up, not showing calls, flashing on, being hot, and my iphone started showing “device not recognized”..or not authorized and the itunes symbol before it finally died. My data usage has been over 6g.half the time i cant get anything to load. I dont know whats going on, but im becoming very paranoid, and these people seem to know every detail of my life without having access to my devices (as far as i know).

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Spying on a cell phone - even if you can never get access to it to install the spy software

From Ashley on September 26, 2012 :: 1:09 pm

I have recently been the target of my ex…and his psychotic wife who is infatuated with me. They seem to know where I am at all times. It is clear they are tracing my phone which can be easily done with free or paid software program and a cellular phone number. I’m not sure if they have access to my texts, calls, emails, etc. This drove me to do some research.

I have found that it is very easy to spy on a cell phone even without downloading the software onto the target phone. The buyer must spy must download the software on his own phone, then call the target phone for at least 30 seconds in order to give the two phones time to “pair”. From there, the spy can listen in on all conversations, read all texts, even open up a mic to listen in on what is going on.

This information is very scary. I don’t want my ex, and especially his psychotic wife to know my every move. It’s creepy and an invasion of privacy. As acknowledged many times over in this thread, I’m sure the police are of little help - as they have proven to be in the many other violations of court orders of family law.

I did not see this software addressed on the thread and comments and I wanted to let people know it’s out there. I have numerous questions surrounding this situation as I feel violated. I would throw away the phone for a period of time if I didn’t have children which need to contact me. Last night, I turned off my phone and then realized that they can track my son’s phone so they know where we are at all times. If I change my phone number, they will gain access to it through my children.

Reading through this thread does not seem to provide much hope or answers to get away from malicious spies who have nothing better than to sit around and make your life difficult.

How do I combat these spies?

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Hi Ashley,Can you provide more

From Josh Kirschner on September 26, 2012 :: 2:44 pm

Hi Ashley,

Can you provide more information about this program or a link to where I can find more information so we can investigate further?

Thanks,
Josh

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spy on cell phone without installing software

From Ashley on September 27, 2012 :: 1:00 pm

Hi Josh,
There is too much information out there on this topic to link. Just Google “spy on cell phone without installing software” or “spy on cell phone without target phone”. Enlightening and scary. I need someone to teach me how to catch the perpetrators.

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Almost certainly a scam

From Josh Kirschner on September 27, 2012 :: 1:56 pm

Hi Ashley,

As I suspected, the software you’re referring to appears to be a scam. In this case, it is potential spys who are being ripped-off, so I guess that’s a good thing in some karma type way. You can read more at these links:
http://www.investigation.com/blog/2012/07/13/cell-phone-spy-software-scams/
http://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/www.cell-trackers.com

If you suspect you’re being spied on through other means, do a factory reset of your phone and change all of your passwords and security questions for online accounts-email, iCloud, cell phone carrier, etc. Also, check the alternative notification settings to ensure your ex did not insert his own email/phone number as a back-up alternative contact so he can get back into the accounts.

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Gladly of Help

From Me on October 18, 2012 :: 2:29 am

Ashley
I a trying to do the same, what I fine is you need a few things someone you can trust and a plan Prefreable no one knows you go or where, trust someone take a chance and communicate the ole fashion way mail. I a willing to help you but it 2wont be easy to get in contact at first, i AM CLEARLY AWARE THEY ONITOR MY MOVES.  notify me on what posssibilities

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phone pairing spyware

From Julie on April 01, 2014 :: 7:02 pm

It’s out there. It had happened to me. I changed all numbers…even for my kids. But I was calling in my old number to check msg…business line. Then someone unlisted called..said it was wrong number after asking for Rachel, then Brian..etc..since that time my data usage is out of control, blue tooth turns on, calls are intercepted. It’s insane

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Worried that Android Phones may be hacked.

From Cassie on September 28, 2012 :: 6:38 pm

I found your page here today after doing a google search. My Mom recently remarried her husband who is fighting stage 4 cancer, and has pretty much dumped the boyfriend she’d been dating for 5-6 years. The problem is, that he is an alcoholic, emotionally abusive man, and I am worried that he may have somehow hacked into our 1st generation android phones (Yeah, ancient by phone standards). Many of my text messages have been deleted randomly, and some don’t even reach my mom’s phone line. She is also having problems with her phone in general even though it is kept relatively in good shape, and has to keep it hooked in to a plug-in nearly all the time because it keeps turning on and off, randomly dialing numbers, and recently jumbling some of my messages sent to her. Even when I call her, it often sounds like there is another conversation in the background while we are talking, but we can never make out the words. The other day, mom and I were discussing what was happening, then suddenly the quality of the phone conversation, and the background chatting went dead.

Is it possible that mom’s ex boyfriend has hacked our phone, or is this just problems with an old phone about to go under? I can’t seem to talk my mom into running an anti-spyware program, or something of the like on hers since she seems to think that because we’re not an important family, or people in general, it won’t happen to us and it’s just our old phones acting up. She tends to ignore my texts when I ask her about it that way or just gets cold to me until I change the subject.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated on what to do here.

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Perhaps if you told her it's a phone checkup?

From Josh Kirschner on September 29, 2012 :: 7:40 pm

Since her phone is acting up, why not position it as just a “phone checkup.” Download a free antimalware app, such as Lookout Security, and give it a quick check. If nothing comes up, you can tell her she was right all along.

Also, if she’s had the phone for that long, she’s probably eligible for a free upgrade from her carrier. If she can’t even use the phone without it being plugged in, it really not serving much purpose, is it?

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Meows Wireless hacked switchboard

From Kate Westen on May 13, 2014 :: 9:36 am

Who has this problem on the KittenTouch 306 anymore
It is insane!Blu tooth on all the time even though it is off.I AM BEING TRACKED!My psycho husband has my code!

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IPHONE SPY?

From JESS on October 08, 2012 :: 7:29 pm

Hi -
I had been suspicious of my phone for a few months now, my ex-husband is a very manipulative guy and is obsessed with my life.  I think he might have done something when we were still living together in May.  He knows information of things very confidential like what I’m presenting in court for our divorce.. my recently changed password to gmail.. I have tried asking Verizon and they all think it’s unlikely.  I understand that dealing with this kind of person is not normal and it’s hard to imagine they are out there.  I kept getting convinced that maybe I was being paranoid, but I keep getting back to being suspicious.  There has been a two-tone alert that would sound randomly without any notification to view.  I had been having my phone on off-sound for a while because I don’t like to bother the baby with cell phone noises all day.  But recently I started using the ringer more and noticed this alert.  It’s a two-tone alert with a little “boiiing” in the background.  I have tried searching online finding no information.  This morning I realized that when I turn off the phone completely, and turn it back on—the alert would sound first thing after it’s turned on.  So I thought, oh, maybe it’s when the phone connects to 3G it makes this alert.  I asked some friends who have iphone 4s and they never heard it.  I called apple support, they were not helpful.  Then suddenly a couple hours ago, the sound stopped all together even when I turn the phone off and on.  Have you heard anything like this before?  Thanks in advance.

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Check iCloud and your Gmail account

From Suzanne Kantra on October 09, 2012 :: 1:01 am

It’s unlikely that your iPhone is hacked. However, if it is acting unusually, performing a factory reset should help. Also be sure to update your iOS to the latest version.

It’s far more likely your ex-husband has access to your iCloud account and/or Gmail account. Depending on your settings, the data from your iPhone will be backed up to iCloud and, if your husband can access your account, he can access your information. So reset your password to something he would never know and make sure any recovery questions/security questions are also changed. If you’re unsure how to do this online, call Apple Care to go through the process with them. You also should do the same for your Gmail account, being sure the change your password and check your recovery settings. Finally, follow these steps to check for malware on your PC: http://www.techlicious.com/tip/what-to-do-when-your-email-gets-hacked/.

Let me know what you find.

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Hey I think I know

From Nik on August 30, 2013 :: 11:35 pm

Everytime I get a text message my spouses phone always goes off…..EVERYTIME! It can’t be a coincidence. And I noticed today that when I get a call its the same weird tone but slightly different(like two short rings) did you ever find anything out? I am so disgusted by this he monitors everything as if I am cheating and all I ever want to do is get out and ride my horse.

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See our latest article for more info

From Josh Kirschner on September 01, 2013 :: 3:19 pm

We have an updated article on spyware (http://www.techlicious.com/review/mobile-security-apps-perform-dismally-against-spyware/) where we clearly found that iPhones could be hacked and monitored in the same way as Android. The best way to detect if your iPhone has been hacked is to download an app like Lookout that tells you whether your phone has been “jailbroken”. If the answer is yes (and you didn’t jailbreak it), there’s a good chance your suspected spy did.

To remove an iPhone hack, simply update to the latest version of iOS. And to protect against future hacks, make sure that your phone is password protected so no one can get physical access to jailbreak it again. And, obviously, don’t give your husband the lock code.

Once you clear the hack, reset all of your passwords for social accounts and iCloud to prevent other means of spying on you.

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hey josh I just purchased

From layton bush on December 02, 2013 :: 4:47 pm

hey josh I just purchased a galaxy s4 and I am almost certain that when my girlfriend set it up for me she decided to get nosey.. How do I determine if she has downloaded an app to spy or something?

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Layton, check our latest article for suggestions

From Josh Kirschner on December 03, 2013 :: 11:58 am

Hi Layton,

See the link above for our review of spyware detection apps. If you download Lookout and Norton apps and run those, they will detect the most common spyware apps. You can also always do a factory reset, which should remove any spyware apps installed.

Let me know what you find.

Josh

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Stay on your toes

From Maria romani on January 10, 2014 :: 11:45 pm

Girl I know your not crazy ...it is happening to me now with my husband.. also crazy stuff off computer & my cell ( same galaxys4 )
I’m thinking more and more , He is cheating and don’t want to be found out… like mine.

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Tone?

From JESS on October 09, 2012 :: 7:29 am

Thank you for the response!
What do you think the tone is? It comes and goes- random times, varied battery carge, different location… It sounds like a sign in / sign off sound. When it’s on - every time I power off and on, it sounds. Then it will stop for a few hours and come back. I am not doing anything on the phone as this is happening.

I’m so glad to find this site! Thank you!

Just wondering—why do you think it’s unlikely that it’s hacked?

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take control

From vorg on October 11, 2012 :: 3:31 am

All smart phones are small computers.. being a phones is the least it can do.!!  You need to gain control over your device. ROOT IT.. If your not sure what that is or how to do it you can visit XDA developers.  You need to gain full access to your device if you are worried about spyware or someone watching you. You can install a custom android operating system on your device and be totally sure you are the only one that operates your device. It’s actually not that difficult to root your device or install custom operating systems. I never mess with apple or iPhone because it is not open source. Stick with android and you will always truly own your device as long as you stay rooted and run custom Roms.

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Find my iphone

From April on October 14, 2012 :: 11:40 am

Theres noone else I can turn to except this site. I looked everywhere on the net to find the answers but failed.  My proble is.. A couple of days ago my find my iphone alert came on three times and I was surprised. The reason is because I was sleeping and I wasnt tracking my phone. It sent me three emails about the alerts. I just dont understand because I just bought my ihone 5 and noone has an access to my icloud or find my phone account. How could this happen? Is there anyway I can find out who made these alerts and what location they were on?

I really appreciate for any answers.

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I'm assuming you bought your

From Josh Kirschner on October 14, 2012 :: 6:29 pm

I’m assuming you bought your iPhone through Apple or another authorized dealer? If so, you’re covered under the Apple Care warranty and I suggest you contact them regarding the alerts you’re receiving, They may be able to provide more information on what is happening with your specific device.

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Thanks Steve. Ill definitely do

From April on October 14, 2012 :: 7:49 pm

Thanks Steve. Ill definitely do that.

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Good advice Josh

From April on October 14, 2012 :: 7:51 pm

Good advice Josh

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Echos

From Me on October 18, 2012 :: 2:20 am

My PRIVACY has been compromised for quite a while.  I even had to place harassment charges, after a year of misery the DA stated she would like to apologize.  No way, I was threatend my life made unbearable. I requested he look closely at the phone with photos of the texts.  Amazingly there seem to be a problem. They were not in the file.  So now another 3 months till another trial date. Many unusual events continue but lately when I make a phone call I hear echo of my voice in the background loud & clear.  The other party does not. It is not only on my phone, whatever phone I use.  Any help suggestions

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ANY IDEAS TO CATCH/PROVE/PROSECUTE SOMEONE HACKING ANDROID??

From tired of manipulations on October 19, 2012 :: 1:09 pm

I know the individual doing this and he is a computer genius x.  It is a custody situation he moved my kids out of state, the police began an investigation of abuse on him, he then moved, changed his number and refuses to provide it for me despite a court order stating I have phone time. He hacked into my email through my phone and then suddenly my phone was all screwed up…just ringing to nowhere and when calling out just a busy signal, my phone volume was turned off and I received a notification that someone tried to enter my email &/or changed the password on my android.  The result was he effectively eliminated the phone call and somehow got a voicemail through on my phone though when calling from a friends phone it rang to nowhere.  Help!!!  Anyone know how to trace it, stop it, prove it, prosecute it?

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23 yrs STALKED-now Wndws7?

From LifeRuinedByStalker on October 29, 2012 :: 5:15 pm

Hello to anyone who may be an expert in this field:

I’ve been stalked by a real psychocase stalker/harrasser for (going on) 23 yrs now. Yes, you read right, I said 23 yrs. How, you say?
Why would a dangerous criminally insane mental case stop if there’s nothing to stop him? The so-called “law” doesn’t protect female persons from dangerous criminals like this guy, because they don’t even believe us!
He started harassing me and my husband in Jan.2000 because I ended up w/my husband instead of him. I refused to be w/him because he’s a weirdo and does really assinine things to piss people off, sort of like he’s on a mission to get back at the whole world for not liking him.
We’ve gone through at least 9 to 10 phones in almost 13 yrs.
Is it possible for him to hack our new Windows 7 phones?
On my phone history it shows almost every half hour a “GRPS” instead of a sms or a call. Its constant. all day, and sometimes all night. I can’t help but wonder if the stalker has put another monitoring hack on my phone.  It only shows up on my husbands phone several times a day, but constantly on mine.
The stalker has hacked into every email and computer we’ve had, until we got a brand new windows7 cp and now have windows 8 on it, and also got the MacBook and now finally just got these Windows7 phones. I read where the Windows 7 phones are NOT secure and CAN be hacked. Is this really true?  if so, how?

How can we stop this maniac?  I have personally witnessed him flip the hell out no less than 4 or 5 times. So have people at his place of employment. He has been stalking me from his work for years, but I’m wondering if he’s got a phone now to do it from.
The insane crazy things he has done to gain some sort of access to me defies all common sense and decency. Ive been told that we have to “file a police report”, but whenever we’ve tried to talk to them, they say we can’t do a report unless we “have something to go on”, like some sort of evidence submissable in a court of law. And exactly how the hell are we supposed to get that?  Do they not understand that these type of criminals do everything “anonymously”?  We have to tell them that?  Really?
How can we find an investigator that knows about all of this phone and cyber stalking stuff?

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i dont get it ?

From rose on October 31, 2012 :: 10:37 pm

my ex bf has an iphone ihave a 2year old samsung flip phone (old) and he showed me the map on his phone with pin point and my name and were i was? All he has is my phone #.I dont have icloud .I have facebook but i dont post anything on there because my house got broke into last year .How can i disapear do i need to change my phone number?Or how can i track him with my phone so i know if he is following me?

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Your wise guidance is needed.

From James on November 11, 2012 :: 5:32 pm

Here’s a question I’ve been pondering for a while: if someone uses information they’ve cadged from your phone to steal your identity, and then you kill him,... Are you guilty of murder?

I mean, science tells us that two objects can’t occupy the same space at the same time, and he was being you, but you’re still alive, and it wasn’t exactly suicide because, again, you’re still here…
(And, more importantly, would Bruce Willis be interested in a script I’m developing?)

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In ShoCk! Please HELP ME!!!!!!!

From Alex on November 15, 2012 :: 9:52 am

Hello Christina, 1st of all I want to thank you for this info I have been going crazy trying to find out IF this was possible and now I see that it is and that my spouse are definitively going through this, now my question is, is it possible to do this on all types of phones? my spouse has an iphone which I know it def is possible but I have a blackberry torch myself and I would love to know if they could also do that to MY phone? I have been very suspicious about this because our private life is now being shared with outside people and it all points at me. I am very desperate and frustrated about this situation and that’s why I NEED to know if I am also being spied on or maybe is just him. Thanks in advance and I really hope to get the answer I am looking for. Thank you…

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iPhone and WP Hack tests and solutions?

From Lawrence Waters on November 19, 2012 :: 4:31 pm

This thread has officially scared the hell out of me.

My wife’s phone is running iOS6 and mine is running Windows Phone 7.5

Everything in this thread seems to be Android-centric.  Do you have any information on hacks/hack detection/hack removal for the iPhone 5 and WP7.x/WP8?

Thanks in advance.

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iOS 6 is relatively safe

From Josh Kirschner on November 19, 2012 :: 5:30 pm

iOS 6 is relatively safe from spyware, because the OS is pretty heavily locked down. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other issues that have popped up that have compromised users’ privacy (see: http://us.gizmodo.com/5880593/the-apple-bug-that-let-us-spy-on-a-total-strangers-iphone). Also, if you back-up your data to iCloud (as many Apple owners do), that iCloud account is susceptible to hacking (http://www.emptyage.com/post/28679875595/yes-i-was-hacked-hard). However, there have been reports of hacking on jailbroken iPhones. Unfortunately, the locked down OS has also prevented anti-malware makers from creating solutions for the iPhone.

The good news with Windows 7.5 is that it has such low market penetration hackers don’t choose to focus on it. So there is a certain amount of “safety through obscurity”. We don’t have a recommended anti-spyware solution for Windows because anti-malware companies don’t focus on it either.

As a general rule, the best way to avoid cell phone spying is to always keep physical possession of your phone, never download apps from outside the known marketplaces, and maintain strong passwords on your backup and mobile carrier accounts (and don’t share those passwords with anyone). With Android, we also recommend downloading security software from one or our recommended providers: http://www.techlicious.com/how-to/how-to-protect-your-android-device-from-malware/.

And unless there is a specific reason why you think someone may be spying on you, you’re probably fine.

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My phone keeps getting hacked

From Charlie Polly on November 26, 2012 :: 1:02 pm

How is it that my phone keeps getting hacked. No one has access to it. But this unknown assailant, keeps hacking my phone, reading my texts, emails. Than goes on to harass people from my contacts. I need help, local authorities have tries. The FBI refuses to offer any assistance. This person has threatened to kill my 5 month old child. I NEED HELP!!!!!!

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re:My phone keeps getting hacked

From Charlie Polly on November 27, 2012 :: 8:15 pm

I have changed phones 20 plus times. Cheap phones, flip phones, smart phones. I have had them all. They keep getting tapped

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Co-Workers hacked phone

From Bella on December 04, 2012 :: 9:24 am

Hello Josh. I am currently being harassed at my job. One of the ways it is being done by cellphone hacking. I left my cellphone lying around one day and im sure they installed some sort of spyware. They are repeating my convo’s, text messages and emails. I would like to know what you suggest I do. Ive changed my number and gave the cellphone to my son. I have gotten myself another phone. Is my own cellphone free of the spying and can legal access be taken?

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Hi Bella,Can you provide more

From Josh Kirschner on December 05, 2012 :: 12:08 am

Hi Bella,

Can you provide more information? What type of phone do you have and whose account is it under - yours or your employer’s? Is it your work email that you think they are accessing or your personal email?

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neighbor

From audrey on December 06, 2012 :: 8:01 am

my neighbor is hacking my phone and tracking where I am how can I stop this and prove it to the police. I live alone and I don’t deal with any of my neighbors and I dont choose to be friendly with them.

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Hi Audrey,What indication do you

From Josh Kirschner on December 06, 2012 :: 12:50 pm

Hi Audrey,

What indication do you have that your neighbor has hacked your phone and is tracking you? Unless he or she has had physical access to your phone, it’s extremely unlikely that you’ve been hacked by your neighbor.

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I lost my cell phone.

From Sayed abu zafar on December 13, 2012 :: 2:54 pm

Hello i’m sayed abu zafar ,from Bangladesh ,Today i lost my cell phone .Her model number is (Sony Ericsson C-905 and her IME number is 0630.It really my very importunate cell phone.So please would like to help me,How can i find my cell phone???

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phone control app

From manda on January 21, 2013 :: 4:47 pm

I just downloaded this app on 2 phones and it shows up in the app list… ???

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Question

From Jayla on February 12, 2013 :: 3:25 pm

Hello! My question is this: I have a friend who is convinced 100% that her boyfriend monitors her Samsung Galaxy phone. She is even convinced that he is able to listen to her in-person conversations through it, so she covers it up with a scarf or piece of clothing when we meet for coffee. Is it possible for him to actually -listen- to her in-person conversations with people through her phone? I’d really appreciate some light shed on this. I’m thinking it’s a little far-fetched for her to be believing that, but I’m just not tech-y enough to know for sure.

Thanks for your help!

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Possible, yes. Likely?

From Josh Kirschner on February 13, 2013 :: 7:05 pm

It is technically possible to do that. But that doesn’t mean her boyfriend actually did. The best thing to do is to download Lookout Security or one of our other recommended antimalware solutions we link to above and see if it finds anything (many are free, so it’s sort of a no-brainer). If nothing is found, she is probably fine in terms of spyware.

It is certainly possible her boyfriend is gaining access to her personal information by simply grabbing her phone when they’re together and she’s not spying attention. Does she have a lock code on her phone and is it something her boyfriend couldn’t guess?

Let us know what the antimalware finds.

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