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Is Someone Spying on Your Phone?

by on May 28, 2020
in Phones and Mobile, Cell Phones, Tips & How-Tos, Privacy :: 882 comments

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[Editor's note 5/28/2020: Since this article was written nine years ago, many new phone hacking methods have been developed and/or discovered. In addition, cell phone operating systems have evolved significantly. We've created a new article to cover those various hacks in our new story: How to Tell if Your Phone Has Been Hacked. Please go there for the latest information. We're keeping this story active for the issues and useful advice contained in the 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.)

(Editor's Note 12/16/14 (Josh Kirschner): In some of my comments below, I noted the unlikelihood of spying on iPhones that were not jailbroken. However, since many of those comments were made, certain holes were identified in iOS that exploit the iPhone's connection to trusted networks and devices to allow someone with access to the network or device to download significant amounts of personal data. Jailbreaking the iPhone was not required. Fortunately, those holes have been patched in iOS 8. For more information, see:]

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.

Discussion loading

Icon Picture

From Jennifer on July 16, 2012 :: 1:10 pm

Can you describe what the icon looks like. I suspect my husband installed this in my phone. I’m not sure if it is what you’re describing. It is in the right location and it has the same name. I did reset the phone but it didn’t work.


What Icon/name are you seeing

From Josh Kirschner on July 17, 2012 :: 1:58 am

What Icon/name are you seeing that concerns you?


Droid Phone Control

From Jennifer on July 19, 2012 :: 4:09 am

Hi Josh,
I attached a link with the picture. Is this the Android phone control that Christina mentions above?


maybe you can use a

From panper on July 15, 2014 :: 12:27 am

maybe you can use a spy app on your husband and then you can find what you are always confused.
There are lot of Keyloggers, you can try this for free.


Quick question

From Sara on July 19, 2012 :: 1:37 am

If one knew of their spouse being sneaky and talking on one of the free talk and text apps is there any way to bug the phone to find out for sure!


From Jennifer on July 19, 2012 :: 4:17 am


Android Phone Control

From Jennifer on July 19, 2012 :: 4:58 am

I found this icon in “manage applications” under the name of “Android System.” It looks like two connected gears. Can you confirm that this is what Christina is talking about?


I see the same name/icon

From Josh Kirschner on July 19, 2012 :: 9:00 am

I see the same name/icon on my Android device, so looks normal. But to check if you have the specific spyware Christina was referring to, here is how to check by launching the application (dial the phone number):

Let me know what you find out.



From no thank on September 26, 2012 :: 9:06 pm

My phone has the Android System thing in the application manager!  How do i find out who is spying on me?? or when this was installed?  how do they monitor what i’m doing?  is the info sent via text or email to them?  do they log into a website to view what i’ve been up to?  WTH?!


Did you confirm it's the spying app?

From Josh Kirschner on September 26, 2012 :: 10:06 pm

Did you follow the steps of the link I included above to confirm if you have the actual spying app or just the normal system icon?

Try this

From Josh Kirschner on September 27, 2012 :: 10:28 am

To launch the application: use the phone dialer to dial 74283 and press the call button (as if you call number 74283). If the application launches, you know you have a problem.

Unfortunately, the application configuration enables the spy to change this code, so it’s not a guarantee that it will work. If you have doubts, the safest bet is to do a factory restore on your device.

Is it the spying app or no?

From No Thank You on September 27, 2012 :: 10:56 am

I dialed the number you said, and nothing happened.  An automatic message from Verizon said the “feature update could not be completed”.  Does this mean that it is not the spying app?

It doesn't necessarily mean the

From Josh Kirschner on September 27, 2012 :: 12:15 pm

It doesn’t necessarily mean the spy app isn’t there, since the person who installed it could have changed the code on install. However, unless you have some particular reason to think someone is spying on you, it’s highly unlikely that you have a problem.

Some one is bugging my smart phone!

From Paul on January 11, 2019 :: 8:30 pm

They can bug your phone with a stingray from anywhere in the United States! Or other country is it computer that the NSA uses!

Tried this link

From Kelly everett on December 13, 2016 :: 12:23 am

It would be nice if I spoke ax NY of the languages your link took me to! Wth


Use this link for archive of Laucass site

From Josh Kirschner on December 13, 2016 :: 3:44 pm

The laucass site no longer exists. Use this link instead to get the archived version:


Some one is bugging my smart phone!

From Paul on January 11, 2019 :: 8:27 pm

I don’t know who it is but there are some idoits bugging my phone! They have been doing this to me over 2 years now! I think it may be the NSA! THEY texts words and say rude things to me about the president and say stupid things about me too! If you can get rid of them and put a ended to them I would thank you!



From karma on April 20, 2019 :: 4:08 am

For some of you I can help. I have been through more than some coukd handle! Yes PEOPLE things like this happen! This world is corrupt. First things first DONT ever think this cant happen to you and DONT mock or judge the ones this has happened to. WE arent CRAZY! I dont care who replies to this and states anything- This worked for me. Also I changed to an iphone with high security through my phone company. on android save your contacts and pics to a flash drive or another device.I mabually wrote down all my contacts and just dealt with the loss of pics- up to you. Do a hard reset on your phone with the sim card installed- You can google how to do a hard reset per your model of phone. Then take out sim do another hard reset. Do not use the old sim card. BUY a new one, GOOGLE IS A HUGE PROBLEM FOR ANDROID. IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY GOOGLE WILL MONITOR YOU. IN GOOGLE SETTINGS TURN OFF AND READ CAREFULLY DISCLAIMERS. ANOTHER OPTION IF YOU ARE BEING MIRRORED AND YOUR PHONE IS ACTING GOOFY. SETTINGS- ACCESSIBILITY- SWITCH CONTROL. MAKE SURE SWITCH CONTROL IS TURNED OFF. Reasons for new sim. The SIM CARD Could be bugged spy app coUld be installed or someone has gained access to your mac address and accessed your internet/wifi network I.D, router And phone I.P address. Buy a new router, or change all passwords and reset your router. I just bought a new router and requested a new modem feom my internet provider. again thats up to you. Finally always use a VPN from a reputable VPN sercice on all your devices all the time, Its 30 some dollars a year and well worth it. Thats all I got good luck


Phone Hacking

From Dushyant Sarvaiya on July 19, 2012 :: 5:08 am

hi all, I am feeling that my boss has hacked my phone and is constantly viewing all I do over the phone.

Its a company phone so fine he may check my official company usage. But can he also check what websites I run and data I exchange on those website if my phone is connected with wifi??




From Josh Kirschner on July 19, 2012 :: 10:07 am

It’s certainly possible that he or your company has installed software on your phone that can track what sites you visit. That would be the case whether you’re using cellular data or Wi-Fi. It’s possible that key-logging software would also allow them to track the data you’re sending, but that is much less likely. Since it is a company device, there’s probably nothing illegal about that. Though if it were to do more, such as capture video and/or sound through the camera without your knowledge, that may violate privacy/wiretapping laws. (lawyers, feel free to comment further)

As a general policy, it’s safest to assume that your company is tracking every site you visit on their devices/network and email you send through company accounts and act accordingly.


Boyfriend Spying On Me!

From Ali on July 26, 2012 :: 7:08 pm

Ok… Not that I am defending myself, I am not doing anything wrong… however, if I can;t even have a conversation with my Mother,talkng about how much of a jerk he is, only to turn around and have my boyfriend come home all mad at me ( for no reason… hmmm ) my phones battery is completely drained after only an hour! Ugh! Please help!


You don't have a tech problem.

From Suzanne Kantra on July 29, 2012 :: 10:15 am

You don’t have a tech problem, you have a boyfriend problem. Why would you stay in a relationship with so little trust and so much emotional abuse? Factory reset your phone and your relationship.



From rob on July 29, 2012 :: 8:35 am

i factory reset my phone. i went back into my settings applications and running service and i still see android manager and i can’t press it or anything am i still compromised?


Android manager is also the

From Suzanne Kantra on July 29, 2012 :: 10:12 am

Android manager is also the name of a normal Android process. To check if you have the specific spyware Christina was referring to, check to see if you can launch the spyware application by following these steps (dial the phone number):


Tried this link

From Kelly on December 13, 2016 :: 12:17 am

Tapped on link for help and it’s not in english…none of them are wtheck?


Site no longer exists

From Josh Kirschner on December 13, 2016 :: 3:43 pm

That site no longer exists. Use this link instead to get the archived version:

Help me Out of prayers

From Lauralove on July 30, 2012 :: 4:45 pm

I have been a victim of a hacker on my phone for over 3 years. Its caused me so much pain and anger. I have an idea of who it may be but police and phone companys look at me as if I’m crazy! I’ve ran out of options.. Worse of all I think my husband may be involved and is aware, Please help me at your own risk cause I know my emails are checked aswell! I’d like to put these people behind bars. It has caused so much problems in my life along with children lifes. If you have any information on who I can notify too of this crime please inform me!  God Bless


Sorry for late hour

From Katrina on November 02, 2016 :: 10:49 pm

I’m sorry for the late hour but I am truly in the same position as you?
I’m in such a position that I am sure he cane ref my emails and everyone I do!
If you have anything at all that can can help me in my situation, which is not nice, please help me.
My phone bleeps on calls not in my contacts
How’ taking a photo and says memory is full
Strange photos nothing to do with me

Safari history for years nothing to do with me
So much more
I feel people would think in going mental
Tracking devices proof and so much more bit I’m scared to have my case investigated
Please give me your outcome X X z


This is a horrific crime

From Erin Caudill on July 22, 2020 :: 9:06 am

This is a horrific crime extream invasion of privacy and happens all the time but you never hear about anyone being stopped or busted.  It needs to be held in extream mesure against people do this they are taking away human rights which can cause so many problems for people.  Its unjustice and rediculous.


Class Action on human rights and petition to government and law enforcement.

From Wayne M on July 22, 2020 :: 3:07 pm

Hi, there are a lot of laws and international agreements requiring your rights protection.  You can get together with other people and organise a class action relating the problem with some international law agreement, say to do on rights, and class action on government and law enforcement on enforcing protection of those rights, or other agreement damaging you.  You can prosecute internet infrastructure businesses, such as the ones who designs the software on your phone, for failing to protect you and stopping the capability that enabled these people to do this to you, and damage your life.  Then you could class action individual employees, if you want to be unemployed.  Not in that order, though some if it is in order.  A good legal team should be able to do it.  I’m an computer operating system designer, and no way should the network related infrastructure software not be stopping a lot of this.  But my language is not how it is described in the industry, so be careful to find and use correct words,  but how I can relate it to you.

Erin Brockovich is over here, maybe in my State.  Anybody interested, because as a man, I’m disgusted with what is being done?

I should give an example of the otherside of the coin, for people to discuss.  Even though I am repulse by much of this stuff, consider this guy:  I know a guy who flies to Eastern Europe to find a partner, and he had a tracker on one.  Don’t know if he had organised it.  But, he is not a nutter.  He is a Pleasant business man, with money, probably trying to protect himself.  I have had former Soviet bloc friends, and other men and women find the same things, many people interested in your money with shockingly selfish self-centred behaviours.  He says that there are good ones he tries to find with an eye to marriage.  But I imagine he wants to make sure she is one of the good ones and not trying to take him for a ride and pretend, free citizenship, divorce and half his money, as quick as they can legally do him.  We even have Russian women marrying guys here, then their “family” starts to turn up “brothers” “cousins” who are really fellow gang members and boyfriends, who move in and then threaten the guys’ lives unless they sign over their properties.  These people would have over people already in the community who you might not know, who could carry out the threat, with no trace back to them in an investigation.  People are nasty, and I wish that was stamped out as well.  So, sometimes somethings are different, and I think that mutual agreement is preferable.  However, stalkers who just want power or to do something bad, are ick, not on.

I know it’s not all pain sailing.  That some circumstances aren’t so clear cut, and the real solution is mutual consent and tidying up the divorce and immigration laws to protect people and stop abuses.  But, who is interested in class action?

Another action is to setup a petition on to present to governments and law enforcement to take it seriously by weight of numbers. Get around to all the female and anti hacking forums to get government, media and people interested in signing, and to ask for contact details for invitations to future legal action and news.


hacker in memphis

From seashell on August 01, 2012 :: 10:32 pm

It is possible. It happen to me. I meet a man on Facebook topic about income tax freeze. This guy begin to tel me how he caught his ex wife by texting her or calling her from his phone see he buys the app and download to his phone the he can text or call if answered he hacks the ihone. He did my phone n computer.he log into my Yahoo email sent emails of a website to all my contacts n when I logg on to my email that morning it said ur email access from diffetent ocation then I c all the emails were return that I supposely sent good info because the return email shows d hacker using a remote location n fake ips. As I was looking at this stuff the guy calls me like what you doing I told him someone hack my PC n d police is at my house so he hung up but he kept texting me asking if I needed help. I told him that he hack my computer he said no but I know he did but why I dont know we never meet face to face only online and phone. He seem nice but he was a hacker. He log pnto my bank account the bank tracked the IP he used and tried cover up because he thinks he so smart. So he keeps hacking my phone n computer since I had not folwed up with the FBI I think its time since he have started back. My phone never holds the charge and it stays very hot and and I was sitting down with no noise in the room and I had my phone in my hand n d speaker vibrated then I vould hear the guy talking but listening in on my phone. I could put the phone down and get rid of it but im not im giving it to the FBI and d emails all the proof because this is sick.and their is more to this story so it is possible. Im sure this guy do this all the time but he over talks by telling the person he have did this then he turns around and do it to the perso and he feels confident that he cant b stop. If had not did this to many others he would have made it this far to m


Your story sounds like mine

From Kim on July 08, 2015 :: 4:57 pm

Very similar to my story. Though it’s been going on longer than three years. You have no idea how many times I’ve had to hot card my bank card, my credit cards, change routers, phones, passwords, and deal with fraud that has caused my excellent credit to become in the low 5’s score.  I pay more for services and products now and can’t get a loan to save my life if I needed to. Who can help me? Ha ha ha. What a joke. No one!  I’m just _____ outta luck. And these people just keep going on n on to the next keeping me in the loo cuz they can and they know I have no backing. It’s devastating. I’m depressed. I need help in so many ways but I don’t know where to reach.  My husband does nothing to show support even though his credit has also taken huge hits in the negative from fraud as well. Good luck to you.


suzanne or josh HELP!!!

From katie on August 04, 2012 :: 1:33 pm

Please HELP! my ex boyfriend is following me. I live over an hour away from him and the other day I was in my new car (he never saw this car before)and he was directly in the car behind me in the passenger seat. he was leaning forward trying to see if it was me in my driver’s outside rear view mirror, his friend was driving. I was so scared because he has a terrible temper. I have an iPhone and have important pics/text/videos on for work and cannot restore to factory settings as i do not have an apple computer to save txt messages, etc. Randomly, my phone will light up? what does that mean? is there anyway to install any type of app that will disable his ability to follow me? or show me if he has installed anything on my phone? i’m not very tech savvy…so i truly appreciate your help. thank you in advance.


There are a lot of

From Josh Kirschner on August 05, 2012 :: 10:48 pm

There are a lot of ways your boyfriend could be tracking you, including just waiting for you in places he’ll know you’ll be (your home, work, friend’s house). It is also possible that he has installed spyware on your iPhone if he had physical access to it. Find My iPhone is one common app that can be used to track your location.

Unfortunately, we don’t have an anti-malware program we can recommend for the iPhone. Apple’s restrictive policies for what apps are able to do on the iPhone has prevented security companies from being able to create apps for the device.

However, you can save your pics and videos to any computer, not just Macs. I don’t have a solution for you with the text messages, perhaps someone else can help out (do you really need to keep your text messages anyhow?)

If you live in a city with an Apple genius bar, you should take your phone in for them to look at. They may also be able to help you transfer your files to a USB drive or SD card. If not, perhaps your phone carrier store can help. And look through all of your apps yourself. See one you don’t recognize? Delete it.

Finally, you may want to consult an attorney to see if you have legal recourse to get a restraining order, especially if there has been past abuse.

Hope you find a solution.


thank you josh...i have another question

From kate on August 07, 2012 :: 9:47 am

thanks for the info…i have an Iphone, I believe he now has an android…is there a way he can simply input my phone number and track me? i have seen apps on the Iphone that state that if you input someone’s phone number (after downloading the particular app) then you can locate the individual with the phone number. i live over an hour away and on that particular day i was in the country (with not a sole on the road) then back to the city ...honestly it’s creepy…i have checked my iphone and there are no apps downloaded that look suspicious. So, my question is…does an app exist that you can just input someone’s phone number and then locate them without their knowledge? if so, if the phone is turned off will the tracking still work? thank you in advance.


Check your iCloud settings

From Josh Kirschner on August 07, 2012 :: 5:46 pm

If he has access to your iCloud account, he can track your iPhone through “Find my iPhone” without an actual app being installed (sorry, I wasn’t clear about that the first time).

First, let’s turn off that feature. On your iPhone, go to Settings and select iCloud. Set “Find My iPhone” to “off”.

Next, login to iCloud (at and change your password so he can’t regain access.

I know of no way that he could track your phone just by using your phone number. Only the authorities could do that and only with a court order. And there is no way the phone could be tracked by anyone when powered down. If he is tracking you through your phone, my money would be on Find My iPhone.

Just wondering...

From Meow on August 07, 2012 :: 11:09 pm

So my boyfriend claims he has access to my cell phone’s call list and text messages. I’m not sure if he’s doing the hacking or someone else is. A few months ago, I called my carrier and they told me that someone indeed had gotten into my account. (I’m on an account w/ my mom too and she is the main person on it. I’m an add-on line.) My carrier supposedly did something to my line, like limit the access to it so it could only be viewed by the main person (my mom) or something. My bf still claims he can hack into my line though. I do not have a smart phone, it’s a year or 2 behind them so I don’t have apps or anything like that. I don’t believe he physically put anything onto my phone or sent me anything enabling him to hack into it. I guess he was getting into my account on my carrier’s webpage and viewing my info there. I’m hoping that whatever my carrier did a few months ago has kept him out of my account but I’m not 100% sure if it has. I’m due for a new phone soon, but will the info from my current one still be present and accessible? Is there anything I could buy or download to beef up my phone’s security? What should I do? Is there even anything I could really do?
Any advice is greatly appreciated.


I assume your carrier means

From Josh Kirschner on August 07, 2012 :: 11:29 pm

I assume your carrier means someone accessed your account online? Changing your password to a strong password (and keeping it secret) should fix that problem. You need to also make sure that if your account has a username/password recovery feature, that you ensure your boyfriend can’t use that feature to reset your password by changing the password of any linked email accounts.

It is unlikely he has hacked your current phone, and simply getting a new phone won’t help if your boyfriend has access to your account information online.

Since you asked for any advice…if this is a current boyfriend doing this to you, he really should be an ex-boyfriend. This sounds like a very unhealthy relationship for you.


Still Wondering...

From Meow on August 08, 2012 :: 2:54 pm

None of my person online info (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is linked to my phone. I don’t have a smart phone so I really can’t access those websites well from my dinosaur phone. All of the passwords and billing info for my phone are under my mom’s name. She is the only one that can make any changes on our account. When I called my carrier to find out if we were being hacked, they wouldn’t talk to me, they would only speak to my mom. They put some sort of restriction on my phone. I’m not sure exactly what though. I think she may have had to set up some sort of password. My boyfriend says he can access the call lists from either of our lines and also texts. After calling my carrier and setting all of that up, I believe he is bluffing w/ me sometimes. But I can’t be 100% sure about it because he has also hacked into my Facebook, Twitter, and email accounts.
So here are my questions now; My phone contract is up this month. My mom and I will probably discontinue using our current carrier and go to a new one. So when our contract is up and we don’t renew it, would we be taken out of their system? Or would they keep all of our info on file? Is there anyway to get rid of our personal info w/ that carrier? I just want it gone and inaccessible. I’m thinking I’m going to change my number when I go to a new carrier. Is there anyway he could request to have my current number when I don’t export it to my new phone? If that’s the case, I’ll keep the current number.
I’m not sure what will happen with my boyfriend and I. But what I am sure about is that I do not want him to have any sort of access to my old phone, current phone, or future phone.


You should ask your carrier

From Josh Kirschner on August 08, 2012 :: 10:09 pm

You should ask your carrier how they will treat your account after you cancel. My guess is that it will still be there to access for reference purposes. In any case, talk to your mom and have her change her password on the account and verify with your carrier that no one else has access or is receiving copies of your statement. That should keep him out.

I’m not sure about whether he could request your number when you leave, that’s another question for your carrier. One option may to “port” your number to Google Voice, so you retain control of the number and then get a new number when you switch carriers. There will likely be a small fee for porting (maybe around $20).

If your boyfriend has hacked into your Facebook, Twitter, and email accounts, either you’re being too open about your passwords or you’re giving him physical access to your computer when you’re logged into your accounts (or, perhaps less likely, he has installed some sort of keylogging malware on your PC). Until he no longer has that physical access, he will keep hacking your information. You need to make a decision about whether you’re ready to make a complete break from him if you want this nonsense to stop. You deserve better.

Hey Josh...

From Sandy on October 05, 2014 :: 10:25 pm

Josh… First off let me say it is refreshing to hear a man say something like this “Since you asked for any advice…if this is a current boyfriend doing this to you, he really should be an ex-boyfriend. This sounds like a very unhealthy relationship for you.” A lot of girls don’t like to hear this from their parents, older sibling, best friends etc… I am glad you saw it and said something.

Second… I have a general question.  Why hasn’t someone made an app or something that will somehow either disengage texting or turn the phone off altogether when in a moving vehicle?  Just wondering


Thanks, Sandy.

From Josh Kirschner on October 06, 2014 :: 1:15 am

There are apps that will do that. We haven’t covered them for a while, but there are options available from both the carriers and independent app makers.

Most Appreciated

From Meow on August 09, 2012 :: 12:11 am

I will indeed have my mom change the password for the time being and have my current number ported elsewhere when the time comes for a new one. A million thanks for all of the infomation you’ve given me and for talking the time to write back. I just want my phone to be as secure as possible and protected from any future attemps at hacking. Hopefully none of this will happen again.
Thanks again Josh.


boyfriend hacking phone

From nicole on August 21, 2017 :: 8:47 am

heyy so my friend has an iPhone 6 plus
her boyfriend is able to spy on her phone and read all of her texts even the deleted ones he can see all her phone calls and get on her facebook too. he does have access to her phone all the time.
he has done it multiples of times before and she knows he can do it cause he has shown her messages he has read.
well I’m just wondering is there away to see if he is spying still?
and is there away to make it so he cant without doing a factory reset or without updating the iOs? she cant put a password on her phone either.
please help!!!


Why "can't" she do these things?

From Josh Kirschner on August 22, 2017 :: 1:02 pm

If her boyfriend has access to all of this information, then he may have installed spyware on her device or be able to access information directly from her iCloud account using her login credentials. The solution is to see if spyware is installed and, if it is, do a factory reset and make sure your iOS version is up to date. At the same time, she should change her log in credentials to iCloud. If he has access to the device, she should ensure it is protected by a secure password.

If she can’t or won’t take the steps to protect herself, then she won’t be protected.


Still Need a Factory Reset?

From FAB on August 10, 2012 :: 3:58 pm

Hello Josh or Suzanne,
I believe that my husband (in process of becoming ex) has downloaded Spyware on my Android phone….he knows specific details about my text messages, verbatim phone conversations, my locations, etc. I just recently downloaded the Anti-Spy PRO app on my phone and it detected just one suspicious app (Qik Video) that I immediately uninstalled. I also downloaded the AppNotifier for the future. At this point, I am wondering if I need to take things a step further and also get a factor reset? I already separated our phone accounts. I was really trying to avoid the reset but if it is necessary and recommended, I will do that. Please share your advice.
(Also, an aside, as discussed in some of the comments earlier, in my experience, law enforcement was also NO SUPPORT!)
Thank you in advance for your assistance!


Yes, still a good idea.

From Josh Kirschner on August 10, 2012 :: 4:20 pm

Can you confirm exactly which antispyware app you downloaded? We have a list of the ones we recommend here: Many other apps are next to useless, so it’s important to get that part right. Qik Video is not spyware, so assuming that it was the real Qik Video app, that was a missed call by the antispyware app.

Doing a factory reset is actually really easy (you do it yourself through the “Back up and reset” menu or one of the other system/privacy menus, depending on your version of Android). And you can re-download whatever apps you need when you log back in to Google Play after the reset (they’re stored as “My Apps”, so no need to pay for them again). Depending on your email provider, it should be easy to resync that as well. I use Gmail which makes it a snap to also sync contacts, calendar, etc.

The safest bet will be to do the factory reset and then make sure you have one of our recommended antispyware programs installed.

Sorry to hear about the law enforcement issues, wish we could help resolve that. Have you talked to your divorce attorney about these issues to see if he/she has any advice?


Hoping to reset properly...

From FAB on August 10, 2012 :: 5:02 pm

Hi Josh,
Thank you for your response. The spyware that I downloaded is the Anti Spy Mobile PRO app. (which I saw recommended on another discussion site.) And while it did not find any spyware, when it returned the Qik Video app as “suspicious” indicating that it had the capability to monitor messaging, records calls, etc, I just wanted it gone!—especially since I don’t use it anyway and my husband is the one who downloaded it on my phone some time ago—but at that time, I didn’t know it could do all of that! What spyware program would you recommend for my phone?

My phone is an Android Charge. Being that I am not the most technologically savvy, I will attempt to follow your guidelines and reset my phone. I just hope to first back up everything properly:/.

Re: divorce attorney…all of the “divorce stuff” is brand new. Thus, I have not even secured an attorney…yet. However, when I do, I want all of my communications/whereabouts/business to be PRIVATE! and right now…it are not!


The app you downloaded is

From Josh Kirschner on August 10, 2012 :: 5:32 pm

The app you downloaded is not one we would recommend. The developer is not a well known security company, it has not been reviewed by an independent testing company (as far as we were able to determine) and there are grammatical errors in their marketing and app - a strong warning sign that this is not a professionally developed app.

See this link for our recommended antimalware solutions for Android: Our recommendations have all been validated through independent testing by reputable antimalware labs and are from known security experts. Specifically,  I would recommend avast! Free Mobile Security, F-Secure Mobile Security, Kaspersky Mobile Security, Lookout Security & Antivirus, or McAfee Mobile Security.

If you want to be 100% sure you have privacy when communicating with your (future) attorney, you may want to consider getting an inexpensive prepaid phone specifically for those conversations. Our overview of the plans here:, but nay prepaid phone will work for you.


I take that back

From Josh Kirschner on February 06, 2014 :: 4:47 pm

Since 2012, we have run our own detailed testing on mobile antimalware performance against spyware (see:, and the results were eye opening. Many of the major vendors, including those who performed very well in reports from the “independent” testing labs, did very poorly against spyware. In follow up conversations with the security vendors, it’s clear that many, frankly, aren’t taking the threat seriously.

On the other hand, I recently tested Anti Spy Mobile against the same threats and found that it out-performed nearly every “big name” vendor. So Anti Spy Mobile is now on my recommended list for Android spyware detection.


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