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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 :: 749 comments

[Editor's note 2/9/17: Since this article was written five years ago, many new phone hacking methods have been developed and/or discovered. 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

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Help!

From Kellie on January 23, 2014 :: 10:11 am

Hi techlicious people of our world.
I used to think I was pretty techy until recently and I’m losing my mind. I need help and need it now! I’ve moved in with a boyfriend who I’m CERTAIN is somehow monitoring my computers and now, IPhone *I didn’t have a smart fone when we met) 
  He bought me an Ipod (I was and am newish to ITunes) for my 25th birthday and he got me the certificates to buy songs. I created my apple id w my gmail email and started downloading. One day, I noticed all his songs were on my Ipod. I shrugged it off; mind you, you told me that it did’t come with its own charger just USB ADAPTER and id have 2 charger it via his laptop while we were out of town. I was like, okay, but Wow, Apple can’t shell out an AC/dC outlet? Lame.
  Before I get my iPhone, my computer is hacked. The IT guy said it had to have been done through a jumpdrive and so we got ADT. he saved the computer, it worked but I didnt trust our LAN network so I didn’t go on it. (reason being bc I would use a LAN scan app on my old android phone and it would say there were loopback 127.1.0 somethings on the network and other things.) Then, one day I turned it on—mind you, I push boundaries with my laptop and to be careful w/ it and I FOUND IT UNDER A HUGE 20 GAL STERILITE TUB in AN ATTIC. It didn’t work, it doesn’t work. I bought an HP LAPTOP. iT died 2 days but I returned it.
  We had Roadrunner, when we first ordered it we were paying 30 some bucks, I caught wift of a bill and it was 79.99….idk what we were paying for. Cancelled it and to my IPHONE…
  First day at ATT the man asked for my apple id, I gave it to him. I get home. My phone is NAMED “josh”.  I flipped. Josh said its bc “he paid with it with his credit card.”  Ha. Please. Now his work gave him an iPhone and 2 laptops. When he goes on his comps as a hotspot it will say “Mike’s IPhone” connected” and Kelly’s IPhone connected.  (mines through Ethernet 2???)  Then on the other laptop he has, if he connects via his hotspot it says the infamous, ‘josh’. 

I could go on forever here but I need to know what to do. I rebooted my iPhone, got a new sim card, got a new icloud address. nothing works!!!!!!  How can I Prove whos doing this? (not to mention my passwords are changing daily ) 
after finding it IN HIS closet/attic space under a huge tub barried6 Months I get an IPhone 5. I’m so stressed from this its unbearable.

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sucks

From mike koebel on February 13, 2017 :: 2:10 am

i almost just went through theexact same thing ive been investigating my ass off,,its a headache,,but i went through hell because of it

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at know the problem is not Spyware and malware

From Infidelity on January 31, 2014 :: 3:20 pm

for me the problem is not this aplications…well..when you install this aplications they say what permissions needed…well…is your responsability why you install..and the second ...I have any aplications in google and I know how work…if you have any app work in bakground and send gmails you can see in gmail sends..the question is “google” “apple” and others and others Big companys they control our information and any person say…nothing..they copy all contacts…numbers phones…and track your position…this is the problem… .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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Track an Android Phone Without using Internet

From Jence on February 19, 2014 :: 5:34 am

You can easily use Ghostrack for android for tracking anyone from anywhere. Its free and simple but full of useful features. Net connection is not necessary in tracking end to track down any one. Even if you approve once from the other device the person whom you want to track he will not know that you are tracking him so try it once. worthy of downloading

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how to do any of these...

From mimi on August 02, 2017 :: 5:07 am

When he has it always password protected, to even get ONTO the phone or computer.?? Anyone know?

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My cousin needs your help!!!

From Sherri Inez Atchison-Wright on February 19, 2014 :: 8:40 am

SHe was in a bad relationship.  SHe left him and he has a drug issue lets just say that he stays up a lot and plays on electronics.  Somehow he kept playing until he figures things out on how to mess with her.  He hacked her facebook, her yahoo, her gmail.  She even receives phone calls from yahoo now about a man trying to change her password on her yahoo since she has fixed it where is supposed to be locked out.  She has changed her cell phone number and some how after four days of him staying up hacking he got it and posted it on is facebook wall for me to see so that way I could let her know that he had her new number.  I am not very tech saavy but I try to help with as much as I can on all of these things.  He is my father in law but we do not speak.  Lately her phone has been acting weird though and he has been sending her messages like who are you talking to at 1:00 in the morning and random things, her phone even though she is on wifi almost all the time has start using almost 2 GB of data in like 20 days and I do not even use that much and we have the same phone I use my phone comstantly.  I am just wondering if you can help us.  I know that he has somehow tracked her phone and he gets messages on when she is using it and where she is.

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help

From mallory on March 08, 2014 :: 1:13 am

I cant seem to find this app . But is their any other app that can be used to see what someone else is doing in their web browser . Or if someine can send me a link. An if their is a app that i can download to send him a text but when it comes up on their phone it comes up like its someone else that they have in their contacts

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?

From Josh Kirschner on March 10, 2014 :: 9:29 am

There are plenty of psy apps out there that you can install to spy on someone’s web browsing (we’ve covered them in another article) and there is probably a SMS spoofer, too. But spying on someone’s phone without their knowledge is illegal.

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mobile incognito monitoring

From whitney on September 09, 2017 :: 2:02 pm

I’m have trouble finding an app that will monitor mobile private browsing for my childs phone!! I know desktops have extensions for this and ways to completely disable incognito mode altogether and use a different web browser that doesn’t include that feature but I’d like to monitor the private browsing from the factory browser if possible!! Can you help me pleaseeee?????

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i have someone who links a trackview acct to my phone

From ben lancaster on November 02, 2017 :: 5:22 pm

its been going on for 2 yrs my wife acts like im doing it but im not and dont have any idea how to stop it dont matter how many times i change my email address or factory reset my phone or even change phones   its happened to a phone that i just got before i even made it to my car how i need it to stop please help

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Its called caller id faker.

From Xavier Davis on October 15, 2017 :: 4:09 am

Its called caller id faker.

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HACKED

From Deborah Hancockkk on December 07, 2018 :: 11:03 am

I don’t have any time with my phone anymore it’s because nobody really really watches my account they allow anybody to do what they want change numbers using iPhone use the air computer just everything I’m I’d rather just not have a Google account if that’s the case I can’t even enjoy my phone anyways all I do is work on these things my calls are being transferred they know all my information my bank account everything

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twilite zone

From Brooke McManus on March 19, 2014 :: 1:17 am

Hello. So, I purchased a brand new out of the box Samsung Galaxy S3 and and I am on a plan with my girlfriend of mine and, our carrier is At&T. With that being said to say I am having technical difficulties with my phone would be an understatement..! I purchased my phone in Dec.15,2013 and Feb.10 2014 I had to get a brand new battery in replacement of the old one I dont know how to explain it besides the juice would get sucked iut if the battery nothing wrong with the charger. Then after its like what isnt my phone doing…my set up constantly switches and changes, ill be unable to call/text still recieve them, apps that I didnt download will show up on my phone, I will go to call someone from my contacts and it will switch and call a completely different person from my contacts,I noticed that a previous old number I used to have was programmed as a contact for me and I sure as hell didnt add it, get this ine…I know people who own the same exact phone as me and every single one of them have made comments about my phone and how its set up is weird and they always ask me whats wrong with your phone and why is it set up like that and my response is like what? Thats the way it was when I bought it, I have even had a friend say and I quote your phone is weird it looks and feels like its a fake phone he too has the same identical phone as I do! I can be talking in the phone and it appears as though like the call was dropped because either party can hear eachother but the time of our call is still going and then there are those times we get disconnected, I can be making important/random type phone calls and and a beeping noise throughoout the duration of my convo, ive had people tell me that they wont talk to me unless I call in another line,it I could keep going but I gave you a good iverview of my issues. In addition, I have made numerous calls to at&t and had techniccal support try and figure this out and nothing! We did at least three master resets, switched out the sim card, and alit of troubleshooting but have not succeeded in coming up with any answers. Help! Honestly I think my phone is being hacked,bugged,tracked but for sure accessed by someone and its driving me nuts for many reasons but mainly because I am the type of person that if something doesnt make sense or I dont understand im going to research until I have an answers! Please get back to me….!

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Not sure what to make of that

From Josh Kirschner on March 20, 2014 :: 9:11 pm

You’re describing an awful lot of issues. Some could by spyware related, others probably not. And some just don’t make sense (What apps are you seeing that you didn’t download?). So it’s really hard to evaluate what’s going on without actually seeing your phone.

However, it sounds like you’ve already done factory resets. And I assume that you’ve downloaded and run the antimalware apps that we recommended in our story and they found nothing?

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he accesses my phone through his phone

From worries on March 19, 2014 :: 9:54 am

Hi,

Someone is accessing my iPhone 4s through his own iPhone.

It’s his phone but lock screen, facebook, gmail everything appearing are MY details. I know he is doing it to me because he did it to someone else before

Please let me know how I can stop this and protect myself.


Thank you

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Need more details

From Josh Kirschner on March 20, 2014 :: 9:20 pm

Are you saying that you’ve seen his phone and know your accounts are on it? Or you suspect he’s doing it because you think he did it to someone else?

The only way he could have Gmail and Facebook loaded on his phone with your accounts is if he has your account login info (email and password). So the first step would be to change your password for those accounts. You may also want to read our article on what to do when your email gets hacked: https://www.techlicious.com/tip/what-to-do-when-your-email-gets-hacked/. You can also set up “two-factor authentication” to provide more security.

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Tracking

From Allie on March 28, 2014 :: 1:35 am

I’m not sure if this is a stupid question. I tried to scan through every comment trying to find the answer to my question. It’s getting too long to read every single one so I apologize.

My phone lights up at the same time everyday. It is not connected to any Wi-Fi. Is it possible that the cell phone company I am with periodically updates it’s software at the same time everyday and that’s what this could be?

Or… I guess what my real question is, can someone still track your cell phone even if it’s not a smart phone?

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Possible, but probably not

From Josh Kirschner on April 01, 2014 :: 4:54 pm

“Regular” phones can be tracked also through family locator services from your carrier. Would that cause your phone to light up? Probably not. And non-smartphones are much less likely to have spyware loaded on them.

It’s possible you have some sort of alert set on your phone that’s causing it to occur. However, that’s very difficult to determine without knowing your phone model carrier and reviewing your settings. I suggest you speak with technical service at your carrier to see if they can help.

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blank text messages from a number I don't recognize

From Help me! on March 29, 2014 :: 12:19 am

When I check my text messages on my I-phone 4, at that precise moment, I often (sometimes once a day, sometimes more) get a blank text from a local phone number.  I don’t get the usual audio notification that I received a text.  I googled the phone number and it comes back to a man in my town that I do not know.  I blocked this number from my cell phone and it is continuing to happen.  I am worried this man could be spying on me.  Does anyone have any thoughts on what this could be or how I can get rid of it?

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I have an i-phone 4

From Help me! on April 03, 2014 :: 9:13 am

I have an i-phone 4 through Verizon.  I stopped at Verizon and they have no explanation for this, nor did they care to help me try and figure it out.  They blocked the phone number from my cell, but the blank texts continue.  I am certain that I have never had any interaction with this man.  My husband tried calling the number and the phone was turned off and a voicemail stated he is on vacation, yet the texts continue.

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My boyfriends contact information is

From sue on May 18, 2014 :: 5:58 am

My boyfriends contact information is suddenly mixed in with my contact information on my IPhone and I noticed when I check the weather in my phone his hometown comes up which I didn’t put in. Could he be spying? He has access to my phone. Do you think he has his phone connected to mine somehow and is spying or could this happen in some other way?

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this isn't the kind of

From sue on May 18, 2014 :: 6:10 am

this isn’t the kind of thing my boyfriend would do….it’s just strange that his contacts are on my phone.

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forget the spouse, what about the gov

From Rick on June 24, 2014 :: 4:39 pm

I know you will think I’m paranoid but trust me, my Android phone (s) are being spied on. I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve realized there is nothing I or anyone can do about it.

NSA to your local city police and every gov agency in between can now install spyware on your phone without access to it. They can install their spyware easily because the carriers will push it onto your phone and there is NO software out there that will detect it. If you do a reset, the carrier re-installs it automatically during the normal initial setup downloads.

Nothing you can do about this other than know you are being monitored and/or not carry your phone in sensitive situations.

Know that turning your phone off does not disable it. Pulling the battery does disable it on -most- devices but not all.

I am looking for an opensource OS to replace the Android OS on my phone. That would give some level of security as they would not be able to access the mic or camera at least.

I know there are a couple of these out there and I might try installing one on one of the phones I have. However, my question is… How can those open source OS work when they are not built for a specific carrier?

Have any knowledge in this area?

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my text messages

From pauline on July 31, 2014 :: 1:45 am

Hi, my sister has an Iphone 5 and I have samsung galaxy 3 phone. Recently she told me.that she has been receiving some of my text sent to me on her phone. Is it possible for her to get my texts as well. Or does this only works if someone else has an Iphone too. Please help!!

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Sounds like someone mistyping a contact

From Josh Kirschner on July 31, 2014 :: 8:55 am

It sounds like someone is just mistyping a contact name and accidently sending a text to your sister instead of you. I am assuming that the person sending these texts knows both of you?

It’s also possible that at some point you used your sister’s phone to contact those people and now they think here number is your number?

But doesn’t sound like a spying scenario.

I am also assuming here that when you say “text messages” you are talking about standard SMS and not messaging sent through Facebook or another app.

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text messages

From pauline on July 31, 2014 :: 12:18 pm

Yes im talking about SMS. I sent out a text to my husband and she said she received the message too at the same time. I never used her phone to cantact my husband or txt and I make sure i know who I am sending the text to.

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could she be messing around with me?

From pauline on July 31, 2014 :: 12:36 pm

Could she be messing around with me. I havent ask her to see the txt she received or what they say. Im hoping she is just messing with me.

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Could be you're "responding to all"

From Josh Kirschner on July 31, 2014 :: 5:28 pm

If you ever had a previous text conversation with your sister and husband, it could be you’re responding to everyone in that conversation, rather than just your husband, without realizing it.

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Possible answer!!!

From willow on March 29, 2017 :: 9:49 pm

This happened to me. Was i embarrassed when my family and friends got some mushy texts from me to my boyfriend. How? On Thanksgiving I group texted Happy Thanksgiving to my man friend with cc’s to everyone i knew. After people replied back, you couldnt see the cc’s on this group text string. After a few days my boyfriend inadvertently texted me on this group thread, but you couldnt tell it was the group thread. Everyone called us to tell us they were getting copies of our supposed private conversation by accident. So embarrassing. So sometime you must have cc’d your sister on a text to your boyfriend and someone forgot to erase that text to start a new one and used it to continue what you thought was a private conversation.  It happens. Just a thought. Hope it helps.

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whose the snoop

From karan on August 08, 2014 :: 3:58 am

I’m with you, I want to know who put the app Android System Health on my phones & tablets. How doi go about finding the Snoop?

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Ex girlfriend is using my sons iphone to spy on me

From Jack on August 18, 2014 :: 1:05 am

Hi there,
Mine, my son, my sister & my mums iphone/iPods/iPads all run from the same iTunes account (mine).
My son stays with his dad, step mum & their two children once a week, sometimes more. While he’s asleep she takes his phone and snoops through it and takes screen shots of what I happen to have open on my ipad at the time, sends and stores them to her phone. Showing other people, commenting on my financial situation and who’re knows what else. I knew that this action was possible & all ISO devices linked to my account had the ability to also do this too, I just hadn’t got round to changing it.
Now I’m aware of what she’s doing I can change all passwords and take all the other steps to stop this ever happening again (after I’ve had a little fun first lol suggestions welcome!!!).
I’ve also told my 13 year old son what she’s been doing, as it’s his phone and I feel he has a right to know what she is capable of.

BUT MY QUESTION IS
......what can be done about it?

She has no quorums about telling others, thinks it’s normal behaviour to be keeping tabs on her partners ex & discussing with others, some of whom are my friends.
Me & my ex finished over 10 years, what is her problem….

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Can reception for one particular number be jammed

From Aubry on August 18, 2014 :: 12:12 pm

Hi, I’m having a strange problem. When a friend calls me from his cellphone, I’m only able to hear the first word of every sentence. This doesn’t happen with any other calls for either of us regardless of cellphones or carriers calling us. Thus only started happening last week. Can an outside third party do this? I’ve got a crazy ex so I thought I’d ask the question.

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Probably not...

From Josh Kirschner on August 19, 2014 :: 12:38 am

To answer your question directly, this doesn’t sound like a “jamming” issue. There are settings in spyware, though, that allow you to record calls from specific numbers. And it’s possible that the recording process is somehow interfering with the audio on your device during the call. But that could only happen if your ex had installed spyware on your phone. And he could only do that if he had physics access to your phone.

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noises coming out my phone on own

From Jo Evans on August 19, 2014 :: 4:10 am

Hi I hear noises come out from my Samsung galaxy3 on their own sometimes like it will just start playing music from somewhere or etc.. Does anyone know what this could be, could this be someone who has hacked into my phone?

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Doesn't sound like hacking

From Josh Kirschner on August 19, 2014 :: 10:21 am

It sounds like you have an app that is turning on our playing notifications of some sort. Check the running apps in your system settings to try and identify the culprit. If that doesn’t work, uninstall all of the apps you don’t really need to try and fix the problem.

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Question

From cookie on August 20, 2014 :: 7:45 pm

Can they even follow us by our GPS ON Our cellphone beside spy on us. I want to know the answer please.
I realize there are bad people that would do things just to bother.

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Yes, definitely

From Josh Kirschner on August 21, 2014 :: 10:32 am

If someone has installed spyware on your phone, most of the apps we’ve tested would allow them to track you via GPS. And if someone has access to your iCloud or Google account, they could also track you through the “find my phone” feature.

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jailbreak, spy software how to get rid of all thi sshit

From tanvi saini on September 08, 2014 :: 2:08 pm

my husband stay out for almost 6 months and thi stime before leaving he gifted me thi snew fone iphone since it was my bday and before going g he kept my fone for like 2 days and he i sone posessive crazy person. he cant handle my frnds n dunno what more issues he have. he jailbroke my fone n i saw cydia running on my cellular data but otherwise on d spotlight search i couldnt find d application. I m tired of all thi scrap since its the second time he has done it first in my android n now IOS what m i supposed to do??? i want to get rid of it how?????? it makes me sick
is d spy on fone and d sim as well or jus d fone?
please shall be great if u can help me with this…and if v can talk on mail
thanks

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Upgrade to latest iOS through or take to Genius Bar

From Josh Kirschner on September 09, 2014 :: 9:59 am

If you upgrade your iPhone to the latest version of iOS, it should remove the jailbroken version. If you’re not sure how to do that, you can take your phone to the closet Apple Store or your local carrier store should be able to help you.

Having a lock code on your phone that your husband doesn’t know will prevent your phone from being jailbroken in the future.

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Very Weird Problem!

From Kate Smith on October 07, 2014 :: 12:39 pm

A couple days ago, I was calling two people at the same time from two outgoing lines, and I think I must have accidentally hit “join” because as I was talking to one person, the other got a voicemail which was part of the conversation.
I then got several calls from Unknown Numbers, that would hang up when I answered.
Then, to make matters even weirder I got two calls from registered numbers (showed up as the peoples names on my call display but I don’t have them as contacts) and the two numbers were one off from my boyfriends number - for example if his was 123-4567 the numbers were 123-4568 - when I answered it was just dead air.
Nothing has happened since then and it was a couple days ago.
But then, for the past two days, my boyfriend received two calls from a number like mine, with just one number different
I don’t even know how to google this or what the answer is, it seems TOO weird and I am hoping you can help?

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Not sure what the issue is

From Josh Kirschner on October 09, 2014 :: 9:48 am

Could be just a coincidence, or could be related to this: http://www.bbb.org/blog/2014/06/why-is-my-number-calling-me-a-crazy-new-scam/.

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He is peeping

From Sandra Freemount on June 05, 2017 :: 8:17 pm

3 times now a dark black box comes up on my phone and says he’s peeping when I check it says they use the incorrect password 2 times so what’s happening?

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who is spying on me

From Karan Cummings on October 08, 2014 :: 5:14 am

I found the spy app Android System Health on my phones & tablets. It was being used to, among other things, track my where abouts so whom ever could come into my house while I was away. Is there anyway to find out who put the app on my phones & tablets? I have uninstalled all but one on a phone that I moved to another location, turned phone off & battery is dead now. This is very serious & has been going on for quite sometime. I could use any help I can get to find out who is doing this. Thank you.

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Unfortunately, no. But....

From Josh Kirschner on October 08, 2014 :: 10:25 pm

There’s no way to tell who installed it on your devices for the software.

However, whomever installed it had to have access to your device to do so. In the case of the SMS Tracker version (non-hidden) available on Google Play, the person could install it remotely if they knew the user name and password of your Google Play account, though I think it would require physical access to your devices to configure it. Since it is installed on all your phones and tablets, this sounds like the most likely scenario. However, I’m surprised you didn’t see some notification that the app was installed.

If they installed the System Health (hidden) version of SMS Tracker, that would have required physical access to your devices, so it would have to be someone very close to you.

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I too have that problem

From Kym on November 30, 2014 :: 8:15 am

What have you done about your situation? I think it’s very scary!

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Android System Health

From Karan Cummings on October 09, 2014 :: 12:42 am

It was & is the hidden version Android System Health & it wasn’t an easy thing to find, and when I did, on my primary cell phone I was so mad & disgusted that I just automatically uninstalled it. Now I am wondering if maybe I should of took of the data first? Can it still be running since I didn’t? It is somewhat good to know that they have to have the device to put on A. S. H., I wasn’t sure. After I found it on first phone I checked all devices & it wasn’t on one phone that I just use on wifi, but 2-3 days later, there it was, reconfirming the fact someone comes in my house while I am gone since nobody had been by to visit & I live alone. I am disabled with a brain tumor & this is a very scary thing to come home to, but I do have witnesses to a lot of things. So I emailed the makers of the app & explained what was going on & asked if they could help me with a # or email address, anything to try & identify whom is doing these things but they just told me to get a subpoena if I wanted to know who it was. Isn’t that invasion of privacy are something that would be against the law, if you could prove it? As I said, I left it on the second phone, I was able to think a bit better by then. Also, do you know of anyway anyone could put something on your vehicle to track GPS that would be hard to detect? I don’t know who is doing this to me, but I think they could be dangerous & the police need evidence of a break in which I don’t have since I have know idea how they get in & they never take anything, just move things around & sometimes leave something making it obvious they were here. As I said, I do have witnesses of a lot of it. It seems like the people who put out the app would want others to know this wasn’t there intention with this app instead of condoning it.

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Sorry, it's me again

From Karan Cummings on October 09, 2014 :: 1:07 am

I am sorry for taking up so much of your time but I forgot to ask if you know what something is called Eagle Eye or Eagle Eye Full? I don’t know how but I found this hidden on my PC labled under Computer Spy Software and have know idea what it is or how it got there. If you haven’t figured it out, I know very little about phones, tablets or PC’s & what little I do, I taught myself so I am pretty much lost in all of this.

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Um, that's not good

From Josh Kirschner on October 09, 2014 :: 8:42 am

There are a couple of “eagle eye” software programs out there, but it would appear that the most likely match is keylogging spyware. That is, it records every single keystroke (and can take screenshots) your make on your PC.

It would have to be installed by someone with physical access to your PC.

I’m assuming you’re not running an antivirus app on your computer or it should have picked that up. You should install one of these: https://www.techlicious.com/blog/av-test-best-antivirus-for-windows-7/.

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Another Question

From Kate Smith on October 09, 2014 :: 10:21 am

Thanks for the info Josh!
Do you know if there is any way to hack into a phone simply by receiving a phone call? Like if I were to answer one of those numbers and hear the dead air, is there a way for the person making the call to be able to hack into my phone and see other numbers I have been calling? A scam where all they need is for you to answer the number?
The numbers are legitimately assigned to people and when I have answered and they have said nothing, the person somehow knows who I have been talking to.

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No

From Josh Kirschner on October 09, 2014 :: 10:53 am

You can’t hack a phone by receiving a call. The only way to hack a phone is to download malware through your carrier (e.g., for law enforcement) or via direct physical access to your phone. It’s possible to download malware from a website or bad app that can affect your privacy (e.g,, access your contacts), but there is nothing yet that I’ve seen that can fully hack your phone just from a download, either.

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COMMENT ON YOUR STATEMENT

From ELo on January 21, 2015 :: 4:27 pm

I have a question; but I would like to shed light on one of your responses….

    A person is not required to have physical acces/holding your phone… in order to instal tracking…

    I know this because a friend actually proved it to me last year…
The only thing that my friend needed/required of me was to:
    (1) Send a text message to their phone. That’s all that it took; and my friend had the ability to install tracking; as well as reading all of my text, receive my phone calls ect.

    To make a long story short, the joke was funny but I decided to buy a new phone….

    2ndly, my same friend did the samething to a computer that I owned. Yet, this time it was required that I accept the pic that they sent via email, open it and download it to my hard drive to view it or simply open it and view it (as is…...)

    It was explained/and shown to me that they could view all activity on this one computer…

    I say all of this because, from experience, I think that the viewers of this site should be informed.
    This occurred to me through good fun/horse play; but I’m sure that other people could use this to their advantage…

    With that being said stay up to date and informed…

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I find that hard to believe

From Josh Kirschner on January 21, 2015 :: 4:59 pm

I’ve never seen any spyware that could be installed through a text message, nor can I see a way that would work technically. Ask your friend to provide the exact name of this alleged text-based spyware and where one can find it.

Similarly, I haven’t come across any actual (as opposed to theoretical) exploits that will work on a PC (at least one that’s not ancient) through a picture file. It is possible to trick users into downloading malware by sending files that look like a picture but are really executables (e.g., badphoto.jpg.exe may be shown as badphoto.jpg in your Windows file list), so that is something to watch out for.

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This might have been what

From Mandy on April 25, 2016 :: 5:13 pm

This might have been what happened to me, bc somehow my competitor is texting my customers right after I text the customer and this illegal competitor is showing up at their doorstep saying they are with my company. It is always through text, and with different apps I use to hide my real phone number. For instance this happened once through Burner App, then once again via google hangouts text. I just called sprint and they said I have to take in my device to get it checked out…. I am going to do a factory restore then figure out who the heck is doing this…

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