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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 :: 852 comments

Techlicious editors independently review products. To help support our mission, we may earn affiliate commissions from links contained on this page.

[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: http://www.zdziarski.com/blog/?p=3820]

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

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.

Reply

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: https://www.techlicious.com/tip/what-to-do-when-your-email-gets-hacked/.

Let me know what you find.

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Question

From Curious on July 23, 2017 :: 2:33 am

Why would someone text a v card messages ith a road map when he accuse u of sexual harassment is it some type of hack?

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Be careful with unknown attachmenets

From Josh Kirschner on July 24, 2017 :: 12:40 pm

There have been a number of hacks that have come through message attachments. If you receive unexpected attachments in a message, it’s best not to click on them until you have confirmed who the sending party is and if the attachment is legitimate.

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 (https://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?

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

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.

Reply

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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Echos

From joen detective on February 03, 2021 :: 4:06 pm

I would move around the house when its happening and see if it gets worse… if so its probably a hidden bugging device that transmits your voice carrier freq and its being looped back to your phone like a digital delay and making an echo… another bug that would do that is if they were physically somewhere there and were pointing a laser listening device on one of your windows to use it as a sound reed they are quite effective and that could cause a feedback loop is what the echos technical term is called. On amazon for like 50 bucks yuo can get bug detectors. They detect anything that ocilliates over 1 mhz that would include any audio or video transmitter so when you check you gotta shut ALL your devices off computers, phones ect and turn your main power off and then sweep the house for devices that are actively oscillating that the bug detector can pick up.  They are accurate. If your unsure which one to get,  look on you tube for ppl that review and test them and give you tips and tricks. Your best source to find out how to find out to get peace of mind   good luck   god speed

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Is someone spying on your phone

From Jty on February 05, 2021 :: 8:33 pm

Thank you,homerun I can pick up a loop frequency and know what is up,is there any way to burn up transmitters that are there.

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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?)

Reply

It's cool.

From BeenthereDonethat on July 19, 2017 :: 11:15 pm

I doubt they would convict you.

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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: https://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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My phone keeps getting hacked answers

From Leenwitit on February 26, 2019 :: 8:43 pm

It’s the up address being hacked buy a new phones up a new email addreSs out with old In with the new all the old emails u used in the past.are compromised you all computers set up all new all new internet access I had this happen to me a while back hopefully this works for. U lime.it did.for.me

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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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trac

From Rob on February 17, 2016 :: 10:50 am

they pull up in front of your house at 2am and grab your number right out of the air with a device…Its real easy

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re trac

From Philautia Philia on February 28, 2019 :: 7:01 am

RE
they pull up in front of your house at 2am and grab your number right out of the air with a device…Its real easy

tell me more about that if its true

Reply

Don't matter where they are

From Bob on June 12, 2021 :: 1:34 am

there are so many variables when it comes to phones and what some people can and can’t do. Honestly if you have the right information and enough of it which now days you just need a name, address, or phone number to completely take someone over that isn’t protected. Always use your 2 step verification and make it something you can remember easily. And never save your password on any of your devices with one of the dumbest things ever invented p.o.s. auto save password. If you do that not only does it save that password on whatever you’re logging into. But it carbon copies it and can be found in multiple places on your device and the account it’s saved under mainly to your Google or iTunes/icloud and for just 1 dollar or less you can track the exact gps location of any phone and I mean ANY no matter how old or new with number that is linked to that phone or if you get the ssid,imei,meid, or serial number you can track its precise location as well. And with just the phones number it will give you the exact longitude and latitude where it is that exact moment then you use the google 3d satellite maps since it updates regularly usually once every week or two usually more though. You want to be protected? Use your 2 step verification never save a password always make it something unique that you will never forget but that no one else could ever guess it not even your spouse. Run vpn’s when online because it hides your IP address and you can get good vpns for free i run 2 or 3 at a time so I’m in 2 to 3 different places in the world at the same time don’t let anyone you don’t fully trust touch your devices and always make sure you know what they are doing if you do then delete anything they did and mask encrypt your hotspot with a password and keep it hidden to everyone. If they are supposed to use it then they’ll know what name to put in and what password to find it set up everything you do to be verified by you and screened before any action is taken on it and if you don’t recognize it don’t open it just delete it immediately that goes for texts and emails too. Just by opening a message whether you respond or not just gave whomever access to what they wanted if your security isn’t in place and running and put multiple locks on your device so incase you do forget one thing you have other options to recover it if need be. And unless you’re one of my friends don’t ever link anything of yours to anyone else’s information they will eventually feel some type of way and now you’re screwed because they have a way in or a way to keep you out. My people link to me if they need to because if I really wanted to be an ass I already know enough info to get in there shit and I will make sure unless they are the (ACID BURN OR CRASH OVERRIDE) OF THE CYBER WORLD, they most likely aren’t getting passed me without leaving a bread crumb trail or just inadvertently linking themselves and their devices to my accounts making me the boss of it now (which happens very often). And make sure you have your find your device (not phone) set up so you can always easily log in from anywhere or anything to lock your devices and track easily. Ok nuff free lessons I usually charge for this. That’s why I paid to get my degrees in computers and cyber technology to make all the people who don’t pay attention and listen pay me to reverse or fix what they messed up or got taken over for not protecting themselves properly. And for god sake keep a screen lock of some kind on your devices if you don’t they can take over literally everything on that device and lock you out forever i know because I’ve done it to people trying to get one over on me. And i know how to do more than just a 2 step verification and I’ll make whatever I took over mine till I say it’s not anymore. who knows how long that will be???!!!

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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text that has another blank text attached to it.

From spring parker on October 04, 2015 :: 1:27 am

When a certain person texts me there is almost always another text that comes through after that is blank & it shows the same phone # attached each time. It is so odd & I don’t understand it??

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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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iPhone 5 c

From Billy Schroeder on January 13, 2019 :: 5:10 am

I know it’s old ic been have problems with it lately it’s allway been updated.  It
Like some hacked its been real slow and this old phone is real fast normally it don’t need a beat what’s doing on

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Help

From Ninim on May 03, 2020 :: 5:33 am

Hey i need help my fone says unknown device access from uiwebview

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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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OneNote Spy??

From Inquisitive on January 28, 2015 :: 5:31 pm

How can you use OneNote to spy on people?

Example, a friend’s ex installed this on their child’s laptop.  The child carries the laptop to both homes. Once the child is at my friend’s house, the laptop automatically connects to the wifi and records each device connected to this laptop.  And OneNote appears to be tracking when the child is online and who knows what else.  Is this possible?  How?

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Cell phone tracking question

From Kathryn Davis on February 27, 2013 :: 2:19 pm

Hi, I’d like to know if my cell phone location can be tracked by anyone w/ my number?

I have an older Samsung, not a smart phone, no apps.

Thank you.

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No

From Josh Kirschner on February 27, 2013 :: 2:42 pm

Hi Kathyrn,

No, your cell phone can’t be tracked by just anyone.  For non-smartphones, the only way to track it (barring someone going in and significantly modifying your phone) would be through your carrier.  Each of the major carriers offers family locator options that allow you to track GPS enabled phones or, in some cases, track phones based on cell tower triangulation. Those are services you would need to sign up for and provide approval before that device would be tracked.

Of course, law enforcement authorities could also track your device the same way, without your knowledge. But, the average person on the street? No.

Josh

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what if....

From concerned on September 13, 2014 :: 2:20 pm

I see in several of your post about “law enforcement” and their abilities to listen to your conversations when your phone is around…or track you when your GPS is off or your “find your phone” is off. I see you say that they are the only ones that can do this with just your phone number….SO WHAT IF, the ex tracking you IS in law enforcement? WHAT IF they have all the abilities of the authorities? WHAT IF all your texts can be read and your calls can be heard and your private talks with you phone in the same room can be heard and you can be pinpointed at all times. What is your suggestion then….and don’t say go to the authorities bc that is certainly not an option. the only access this person would have had is a phone number and at least a 30 sec call to the phone. Never been in the same room with the phone. im unsure but this very comment is probably being monitored. NOW WHAT ON EARTH WOULD YOU SUGGEST….PLEASE!

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Unlikely to happen

From Josh Kirschner on September 15, 2014 :: 11:53 am

For law enforcement to monitor your phone, they would need to work through your carrier, and that would require a warrant - not something an ex-spouse could easily obtain, and certainly not without raising suspicion.

Improper monitoring of communications is a federal crime. So if you have strong evidence to suggest this is happening, you may want to consult an attorney.

What year are you living in

From Kym on October 23, 2014 :: 5:22 pm

Josh. The cops I know DONT play by any rules. Yes there’s times when they will get their warrants but a lot of the time the uncover cops are as shady of not more shady as the people they watching.  And let’s be real too josh while we at it. If cips can have those gadgets , so can anyone else who can afford them.  And husbands spy on their wives all the time. So to the person asking the question about someone spying on her by just having her number. The answer is no. But if someone wanted to know where she is at and knew certain personal things and say she had an iPhone for example. With her apple ID and her password they could use the find my iPhone app and locate her at that very moment unless she had turned off her phone or turn off location In her privacy settling . A person can also open an email that has a program attached that would work in background giving the sender her location or show them her text messages and/or pictures.  If you have a cell phone with one of the major carriers just know that if you don’t go online to set up an account that is attached to the phone you have someone else very well could go in and do the same and then read your messages you send and receive. I know for fact my ex did this with two phones I had with verizon.  I caught wind of it and had to go in by password reset and then turn off that feature and I changed my account security questions to questions no would could possibly knowZ I also set alerts to let me know when I or someone else logs into any of my email, social & banking accounts.  We live in a world of anything made to help us in our day to be more productive can and usually will be abused by those who have their own motives.  So be overly cautious. Add additional passwords and change them often. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t really know.  Because friends on facebook can hack your accounts if they have the codes to do so. There’s pictures and personal info in these accounts that a criminal steal your identity.Happens everyday. Good luck and josh please join the rest of us in 2014 and realize it’s not 1989. :  )

I was responding to the specifics of her question

From Josh Kirschner on October 23, 2014 :: 6:28 pm

She asked about tracking when GPS and find my phone is off, as well as monitoring phone conversations and remotely activating the microphone. To do do that type of monitoring, you would either need spyware installed directly on the device or do it in conjunction with your carrier.

My point was that “all the abilities of law enforcement” still don’t provide that level of monitoring without a warrant.

Is it possible her cop has a friend on the “inside” at a carrier that is helping him do the tracking on an extra-judicial basis without a warrant? It’s possible, I guess, but would seem to be a pretty risky maneuver as I’m assuming that it’s not a simple process for a carrier to initiate monitoring of a device - it would likely require downloading special software to the phone. And both the cop and the carrier person would be risking termination and possibly prison time if caught.

I’ve never seen a program that can be sent by email that would allow someone to track a phone’s location or view messages/pictures stored on the phone. Can you provide a reference for that?

Still believe I have at least one foot in 2014…

Caller apps

From Eugenie nougnon on January 23, 2016 :: 7:07 am

Hi, i am having this situation. My boyfriend and i are on caller apps but whenever he calls me instead of his picture showing it someone else’s from his contact. Don’t understand.

I have the same issue my phone lights up when I talk or turn on another phone my WiFi lights blink t

From Misslife on May 10, 2018 :: 3:21 am

I feel you I love that life as well and I can’t get away from it it’s not possible and would love to prove what it is so i would file charges then but for now I’m not going to police and looking crazy my phone tracks and hears everything along with my WiFi and truck from husband

How can I find out if my phone is being tracked???!

From Tonir on November 14, 2016 :: 1:58 am

I sure hope u can help me . Cause I really don’t know to much about a computer. Is there an app I can get to stop someone from tracking me.

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