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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 :: 758 comments

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[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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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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My phone is acting weird....maybe cloned?

From Alma on October 23, 2014 :: 10:42 am

Hi! It started a couple of year ago. I noticed hubby spending a whole more time on line that with us, his family…to make long story short, i caught him in a couple of lies which i was never able to prove. ‘til this date, he still says he didn’t do anything wrong and that i am imagining the whole thing. I accused him of cheating with a computer savvy woman, probably from school (he used to go to SBBC) When i mentioned divorce, he freaked out, saying he would never let me have my kids all by myself. Anyway, i think in order for both of them to communicate and to not leave any TRAILS of ANY form or communication (thus acknowledging his cheating ways) his girlfriend has cloned my phone. I first started noticing little changes in my menus (yes several phones) then started missing phone calls from family, saying they had called when I never received a notification from them or even heard the phone rung. Or texts missing. or alarms not setting off….anyway, Now I have a smart phone, Galaxy Fascinate (yes, oldie) and i get the same thing…..but this time they have been more cautious: they only communicate certain days, and leave my phone alone for some days trying not to rise suspicions. Anyway, is there a way to actually KNOW and PROVE that a phone has been used by other person other than yourself? i am certainly tired of this charade. When I confront hubby he goes back to tell me I am imagining everything, that I am paranoid , and that i should leave it alone. I want my privacy back. I cant use my computer because same happens there….i cant use phone…and friends are thinking i am just trying to get him and of course, he feeds him stories like me asking questions about messages and calls…...grrrr. I am in a bind: one- cant look like a crazy jealous wife and two i get pissed that i cant really ask friends and him ANYTHING phone related because they start thinking i am CRAZY!!! please help
Verizon, Samsung Fascinate
I am NOT a computer savy (thats why they take advantage) but i know a couple of tricks (self taught) Please advice

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Sounds unlikely

From Josh Kirschner on October 24, 2014 :: 10:46 am

Modern SIM cards are very hard to clone, so this doesn’t sound like a likely scenario. And even if they could clone your SIM card, I’m not sure why they would want to; that would actually make it easier for you to detect odd calls, messages and other things going on.

If you are still suspicious, you could also get a new SIM from your carrier, but I really think this is very unlikely to be the cause of issues you’re seeing with your phone.

As far as your computer, it’s really easy for you to detect any spyware there by using one of our recommended anti-malware programs. That would confirm (or ease) any doubts you have there. And, of course, you would want to change all of your email and other passwords.

But your real issue isn’t a technology problem. No matter how many computer scans you do or SIM cards you replace, are you ever going to trust your husband? I’m guessing the answer is “no”. So you need to make a decision about whether you’re willing to live with that mistrust or you need to make a permanent change in your life that will get you to a happier place.

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Ever heard of mspy remote?

From Brad on April 13, 2016 :: 3:59 pm

Ever heard of mspy remote?

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Yes

From Josh Kirschner on April 13, 2016 :: 4:05 pm

It’s very similar to other spyware apps I’ve tested. See: https://www.techlicious.com/review/mobile-security-apps-perform-dismally-against-spyware/

htpp;//open.spotify.com/track

From Mike Pestka on October 23, 2014 :: 9:22 pm

some one sent me that from another cell phone number and i called back and the lady said stacy a girl i know sent her the text from my number a few min ago is it possible she is using my phone number to text people from her phone

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I stopped Receiving Notifications About This Article

From Alma on October 26, 2014 :: 12:33 am

I guess they (hubby and g/f) are at it again! they realized I subscribed to this article or something because I stopped receiving notifications about this article. Anyway….I know sounds crazy and maybe that’s what he wants…..we have been married for twenty years. Got kids, if he doesn’t want to pay child support or alimony he needs to have grounds for divorce and that way he can request to have kids….Mental illness is ground for divorce, clean and simple. I wont even have the kids 50% of the time….anyway. I cant ask to divorce him because then he’d say I have been after him all this time. you know? part of this “crazyness” . How can I prove he is doing all of this?> I cant. They communicate using my cloned phone number ( I am so sure) thru my email….(sighs)

Thanks for listening.

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Unsupportive husband

From Sally on January 01, 2017 :: 5:27 pm

First of all i just dated an abuser like this. . .if he is unsupportive and unsympathetic to your fears. . .why not get a private number and phone to alleviate your fears and a good divorce lawyer.

Tell him he is welcome to romance you back later but right now you have to trust your gut.

Just keep quiet about the electronic stuff and say youre suspicions are not proven but enough for you to seek a divorce.

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just curious..

From Cor Sarge on October 26, 2014 :: 10:44 pm

My boyfriend has been keeping track of my whereabouts and I’m wondering if or how he might’ve installed somthing on my old non-smart lifeline phone? Is that even possible??

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Probably not

From Josh Kirschner on October 30, 2014 :: 6:19 pm

Putting spyware on older, non-smart phones isn’t easy. However, some carriers offer the option to track family members using their family plans. You may want to contact your carrier and confirm what kind of plan you have and who has access to your account.

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remove spy app from partners phone remotely

From Arianna on October 30, 2014 :: 1:10 am

Hello
I recently installed mspy on my partners phone however I noticed that the application showed in his downloaded applications and before I could do anything he asked for his phone back. He has now gone on traveling holiday and he made comment saying ‘I know his whole life passwords accounts and said the only thing you havent done is tap into my phone’...ahhh coincidence he said tap into his phone? I think noooo its not coinsidental as now he almost all day remains ‘offline’ where & when he goes online and does something he can delete it within 2 minutes withou it being registered for me to track. Sooo I need to urgently remove it so that when he returns he cant show me, have fact with proof as he has told me he needs space to figure out if he wants to be with me…ive overstepped the line, soo stupid of me to do this as ofcoarse if the shoe was on the other foot id be pissed with him tracking melo
I recently installed mspy on my partners phone however I noticed that the application showed in his downloaded applications and before I could do anything he asked for his phone back. He has now gone off sight & he made comment saying ‘I know his whole life and he has nothing to hide from me and said the only thing you havent done is tap into my phone…ahhh coincidence? I think not as now he almost all day remains ‘offline’ where & when he goes online and does something he can delete it within 2 minutes without it being registered for me to track. Sooo I need to urgently remove it so that when he returns he cant show me, as he has told me he needs space to figure out if he wants to be with me…overstepped the line, soo stupid of me to do this aa ofcoarse if the shoe was on the other foot id be pissed with him tracking me. HELP!!! His phone was last backed up 25/10 but I want to avoid all his applications being deleted as he loves his games & will loose what levels he is up to etc. I didnt root the phone so can this be done….?!?! I am almost certain that this is breaking point…7 1/2 years will be ruined, he wont take such behavior!!! His phone was last backed up 25/10 but I want to avoid all his applications being deleted as he loves his games & will loose what levels he is up to etc. I didnt root the phone so can this be done….?!?!

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No

From Josh Kirschner on October 30, 2014 :: 6:27 pm

Apps can’t be removed remotely. That used to be an option for Google Play, but is no longer.

It sounds like you guys have a lot more to work out, though, than what apps are installed on his phone.

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Spying boyfriend -

From uncertain on October 31, 2014 :: 5:13 pm

Close to two years ago my boyfriend and I were living together. We were having intimacy issues, for over a year and a half my boyfriend did not want to sleep with me. We had sex quartly. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Getting fed up we spoke one night and i thought we broke up. I was in need of some love and slept with someone else. Long story short we got back together - i got pregnant - and two days after we discovered I was pregnant I came home one Saturday to him having packed up all his Sh$% and was gone. He had cleared my phone camera and computer of all pictures of us. Later that day he text me a stream of texts exchanged btw myself and the guy i slept with. The texts were from six or so months prior (during the time we - i thought were not together). We both have iphones and he totally had access to my phone. How could he have intercepted these messages? I purchased a new iphone, but could he still be in my new phone?

ANY HELP IS APPRECIATED! I didn’t know he was spying on me either.

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Same here

From Frustrated horl on June 07, 2017 :: 2:57 am

I have same problem

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Help plz!

From Layla Rahzor on November 01, 2014 :: 1:59 pm

Hi Josh, Im hoping you can talk me through how i find icloud on my phone. i have no clue whre it is and ive looked everywhere!!!!! I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 2

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what's the best type of cell phone to get to prevent hacking/snooping/cloning?

From Mel on November 04, 2014 :: 6:36 pm

Hi,

I have been having a lot of weird things happening with my Cable, computer, cell & cordless home phone.  My ex-boyfriend is getting into all of these and also into other family members & friends phones.  It’s insane & he’s driving me crazy.

I cancelled my Cable & wireless plans.  I have not had a cell phone or turned on my TV for the last 6 months.  I do not have an internet connection.  I am getting an old style phone today (the ones with just the phone line connection, not a cordless that uses electricity cause I think he has access to that too, or maybe he’s listening to the cordless through a scanner or bug).  I really don’t even want to use that, though.

I wonder if there is a cell phone & plan that is better to protect me from this.  I’ve been looking at pay as you go phones with SIM cards that do not have even have an option for internet access or Bluetooth.  Just phone & text.  No camera even, but it does have a speaker. 

Would this be my best option?  Should I get new SIM cards every month or so?  Not even sure how that works but can figure it out.

I would also only use it when I am away from my apartment.  How many miles away do you think would be good enough to prevent a scanner or other device from picking up the calls?  Of course, he does follow me around so he could have a scanner with him, so I’m not sure distance would even matter.

I have filed a report with the police but have no evidence so they said there is nothing they can do.

I would appreciate your advice.  I’ve been out of touch with the world for so long!  This guy is a number one JERK.  I am writing to you through my friend’s email as I don’t even have that anymore.  Please help.

Best,
Terre

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Any modern phone is safe, when handled properly

From Josh Kirschner on November 04, 2014 :: 7:55 pm

Any cell phone is safe from spying as long as it remains in your possession. I have not seen any spyware that can be remotely installed (except for law enforcement, in conjunction with your carrier). Putting a lock code on your device acts as further protection in case someone gets hold of your phone. There’s also no reason to switch SIM cards. Cloning modern SIM cards is VERY difficult. Cell phone transmissions are also encrypted and can’t be picked up by a scanner.

For your home phone, a cordless phone is fine as long as it uses digital (DECT 6) encryption. Those transmissions also can’t be intercepted by a scanner, (Note: older, analog cordless phone technology can be intercepted, and there may be some manufacturers still making these).

I’ve never heard of snooping via cable. Not even sure how that would happen or what your concern would be, except if he had access to your account and could play around with your service plans. Securing your password would mitigate that issues.

Similarly for computers, using strong passwords, installing anti-malware software, not opening unknown attachments and not giving your Ex direct access to your computer will keep you safe.

There’s no need to distance yourself from the world when staying safe is relatively easy to do.

Best,
Josh

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Spyware

From Jason on November 04, 2014 :: 8:59 pm

I have an Iphone 5c. Some how my wife has gotten a spyware program and has it in my facebook account she hasn’t admitted it to me and I’m not sure how she did it. But all of the sudden she has unlimited access to every single thing I have every done on facebook. At first I thought she had only hacked my account when she started tell me about thing I hit like on in a private/secret group on facebook. But then she begins questioning me about things that I did way long ago. Starters, I have not cheated and do not want to cheat I love my wife. I work off and some times get bored and will look at random things. But not anymore now that I know I was wrong for it. Somehow she can tell me everything that I have typed in the search bar. Names of ex-girl friends. Going to her page and clicking on her friends list then searching for only her male friends. Honestly She has away of seeing all of this and telling me the day and time I done it!!!!! Oh and even 3 months ago when I typed in Beautiful Naked Women. But it’[s not like I did anything but look. I’m gone 30 days in the middle of no where. So my question is how did she do it and what can I do to stop it. It’s only my facebook account that she talks about. So I don’t know if she used my phone or what. I know it has cause a lot of problems. I have cheated and do not want to. Please help. I was going to delete my FB account but after reading about it my info is all still out there and she can still see things from the pasted. Which is really strange beings I don’t even know how to check my history on my account.

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Probably your Facebook Activity Log

From Josh Kirschner on November 05, 2014 :: 10:02 am

There is no way to install spyware just on “Facebook”. However, anyone with access to your Facebook account can see your “Activity Log”, which shows all your activity, including searches. Changing your Facebook password so only you have access will stop this.

To see your activity log and the info it contains, click the drop down in the upper right corner on Facebook and click"Activity log”.

Note there’s no way to to turn your Facebook Activity Log off, but only you have access to it (unless someone else knows your password).

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My hacked phone help me

From Rick on March 15, 2016 :: 6:06 pm

Am not good with phones but someone listens in on my phone calls and can talk though it and it makes a really weird noise.I’ve changed phones and still I have a problem with the same thing.Help me what can I do to stop this for good ??

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First you said you haven't

From Julie on September 08, 2015 :: 6:58 pm

First you said you haven’t cheated, then you said you have.  ?

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spyware on facebook

From carla on January 21, 2016 :: 5:25 am

Does this spyware or if its spyware messes with me getting on facebook and does not load up. But I’m being a├žused of loading spyware. How is this possible.

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moving text messages

From Dominick Baldwin on November 09, 2014 :: 2:58 am

my wife and I suspect her ex husband has tapped into our phones email messages would just disappear as soon as you open the app she would go to her trash and they would disappear from there this is happened on several email addresses her phone number or contact picture call her one day in the middle of a big group of usand now my phone apparently I got all of her text messages into my phone is there a way that one person can do this? Please help

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Probably not

From Josh Kirschner on November 14, 2014 :: 9:47 am

Unless someone has physical access to your phone, it’s highly unlikely to have spyware on it. It would be much more likely an ex would be accessing your wife’s email because he knows her email account password. Follow these steps to ensure your account is secure: https://www.techlicious.com/tip/what-to-do-when-your-email-gets-hacked/

As far as the text messages, are you using Android or iOS? And are you talking about iMessage? Because iMessage is associated with your Apple ID, so if her ID was used on your phone, you may start seeing her iMessages.

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It's probably snap chat

From Kim on January 05, 2016 :: 10:22 pm

Her ex husband probably sent disappearing messages to her. Why he would do that I don’t know.  Maybe there’s something else going on behind the scenes…maybe the guys just a game player

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Nerve racking

From Bryan on November 28, 2014 :: 9:45 pm

My sister and I have almost always had weird happenings during our phone calls…dropped calls wayyyyy out of the ordinary etc etc.

But it is the texts which bother me.  Today (and its happened before)...I (old Samsung UNsmart phone) received a text from her.  The text came across oddly double spaced AND entire words were missing.  So this evening, I went back to read the text…and EERYtime I clicked to open, my phone died.  Repeatedly tried clicking on her text…repeatedly, the phone shut off…even though I had plenty of power.  And JUST the text from her…not the ones from other people…JUST THAT TEXT.  We have a sibling we are estranged from who is rich, mean, connected…and is trying to position himself for our father’s estate.  So the conversations and texts between my sister and I would be of GREAT importance to him.  Question:  Before our estrangement a couple of years ago, unbeknownst to him, twice I saw my brother give his brother-in-law wads of cash.  His brother-in-law is wayyyyyy up in Sprint and handles privileged tech and “access” issues.  My phone if Virgin Mobile (which uses Sprint’s netword…my sister’s phone is sprint.  COULD someone in Sprint remotely intercept my sister and I’s phone interaction?  The phone dying ONLY when I click her texts is perplexing.  Thanks if you can help.

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Not sure the two are connected

From Josh Kirschner on December 07, 2014 :: 2:28 pm

Is it possible someone at Sprint is monitoring your messages? Sure, it’s possible (though likely illegal), but they wouldn’t need to access or affect your phone to do that. They could pull the messages directly from Sprint’s servers.

I don’t have any experience with spyware on non-smartphones. Maybe there are programs that could be loaded on the phone to forward your text messages to another person, and that could be causing a problem with the device. But perhaps the issue ia related to the specific coding (i.e., MMS vs SMS) of the messages she sends or the content in them (e..g, attachments). Or maybe your phone has just gotten old and buggy.

Either way, since your phone isn’t working correctly and you say it’s pretty old, getting a new one should solve your issue. There are plenty of inexpensive non-smartphone options out there.

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Hacked

From Helen Juarez on December 03, 2014 :: 12:46 am

So I have tried many things to fix my phone but its just not working and AT/ Samsung do not want to help me…my google,yahoo,all search engines are diff from original ones in my galaxy 5s…its almost like an iphone or something. It seems apps are turned on and off or something and security in the phone is uding outdated versions if that even makes sense….I believe its my boyfriend and his cousin out of the navy/another friend in homeland security doing this to me…meanwhile I have been experiencing fraud on my credit cards now also.

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HELP! galaxy got hacked and wiped clean

From chelsie on December 14, 2014 :: 8:41 pm

my galaxy started acting up, so I was on google to find answers, but every time I would get close to figuring it out it would tell me I had to disable a program or change a setting option, well at first I thought nothing of it until my phone started glitching ( like flicker while I was trying to use it) well, I went to my cleaning program (clean master)and out of no where it told me “MASS MEDIA LOSS”, which then proceeded to show me a battery looking shape (but huge size) and it was full of all my info when next thing I know im watching the hacker drain ALL my info! and there was nothing I could do,
    so I started to panic! im still trying to wrap my head around it, but I then decided to try to recover lost/stolen files ect. with a downloaded program called (jihosoft android phone recovery), well I don’t know what it did or if phone is still hacked even after a factory reset? but now its like it has a mind of it own-the ram keeps filling up, files that should have stuff are empty and the ones that aren’t important have like 180 mb??? nothing is right anymore and I need help asap :( phone is only a couple months old and I sure cant afford a new one.

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I don't think this is malware

From Josh Kirschner on December 15, 2014 :: 12:05 pm

Your phone certainly seems like it has an issue(s), but I don’t see any reason to suspect it is “hacked”. If a hacker were stealing your info, you wouldn’t “see it” happening - it’s not like some spy movie where there’s an on-screen indicator showing files being copied. You can download Norton, Lookout or one of our other recommended anti-malware products, but I don’t think you’ll find anything.

It could be that you have a hardware problem of some sort with the memory on the phone or another physical issue. I would do a factory reset (again) and only download those programs that you absolutely need on the device and see if you still are having issues. If you are, I would suggest seeing if you can get it repaired or replaced under warranty.

FWIW, we generally don’t recommend “cleaning programs” for your phone. They often offer little to no benefit and can create problems of their own.

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phone spying

From luk on December 16, 2014 :: 2:46 am

my friend came along me with a beeping device - i know there was a reason why he did it and dunno what was that device—small beeping—i know they were spying on me,they knew what i was doing… can anyone tell me what kind of device is it…

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how can this be done

From dianna on December 20, 2014 :: 11:37 am

I trust my boyfriend and stuff but I get the feeling sometimes at other women send him naked photos of them and I just like to know cuz I do have his number if there’s a way I can get to his phone and just to see. but I’m not doing it to spy on him I just want to make sure that’s not happening

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just get a Windows Phone.

From James on December 21, 2014 :: 6:35 am

Windows phones are safer than iPhones and infinitely safer than android phones. Its not possible to jailbreak them, which means its not possible to install secret software. The only tracking software you can install requires your pin and your Microsoft password, and only emails the owner of the phone, or someone listed as the parent of the owner of the phone in the Microsoft eco system, so everyone is very clear than logging is turned on.

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Never say never

From Josh Kirschner on December 21, 2014 :: 11:28 pm

I haven’t researched Windows Phone spyware in detail, but I would be careful to suggest that it’s “not possible” to instal tracking software. Things are only impossible until proven not, and we’ve seen that a fair amount with technology recently.

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Cell Phone Spy app

From samantha david on December 22, 2014 :: 2:52 pm

Very well effort there. If you are trying to say that what to do when you are being spying, i will truly appreciate you content wise. myonespy also give such kind of opportunity to solve when you are in danger. will you please mention it for getting some close to check what is going on behind the scene actually.

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Unexplained Text Message

From Daniel Ivers on December 22, 2014 :: 3:48 pm

Hi Josh. A girl I am seeing, received a text message from my number today with the message reading “Its over lol :D X”

After some convincing that it was not me that sent the message she sent me a screen shot of her message inbox on her phone, the message was sent at 12.49pm, now here’s the thing I was home alone at that time, with my phone beside me on my bedside locker. There was no message in my message inbox of that sort.

Im wondering is my phone being spied on and maybe potentially compromised. Im thinking who ever sent the message has looked at previous messages and used my common text talk in the message, as the message has “lol” a smiley face and an x which I only use with her in text talk

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What phone do you have?

From Josh Kirschner on December 22, 2014 :: 4:31 pm

Are you using an iPhone, Android or other? If iPhone was it sent via your carrier’s SMS or iMessage?

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Android

From Daniel Ivers on December 22, 2014 :: 6:06 pm

Im using a Sony Experia Z3 compact android phone… I logged onto my service providers website to check the message log and it confirms a message was sent at 12:49pm, and I am 100% sure it was not sent by my phone

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Couple of possibilities

From Josh Kirschner on December 22, 2014 :: 11:55 pm

Is it possible someone had access to your phone at some point and could have scheduled a text to go out at a future time to play a joke on you?

Thinking there may be a simpler answer here than some sort of spyware. Of course, scanning with one of our recommeded antimalware apps is always a good idea, too.

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help

From abdifatah on January 04, 2016 :: 9:17 am

can you help me to know some thing about how to keep my sms sent messages from deleting in my sonyericson C510 Mobile phone

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