In this digital age, our lives revolve around our smartphones. It’s home to all the personal information one could think of – photos, location data, credit card info, texts, browsing history, contacts, passwords, etc. This could pose a significant threat to your personal security.
Interestingly, an average smartphone user shouldn’t be afraid of mysterious hackers. Instead, they must watch out for spyware. These spying apps remotely access your device and enable someone to spy on your online activities and all the data stored on your phone. Just do a quick Google search about “the most advanced spying apps” and you will see so many results. Our increased dependence on smartphones has made us an easy target of spying apps.
How Do Spying Apps Work?
Spying apps use your phone’s data plan to send logs of calls, text messages, and data from IMs such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, etc. to a remote server. These apps can also activate the microphone of your device to let the intruder listen to your conversations. The most advanced spying apps can even snoop on phone calls. The problem is these apps don’t have a user interface. This makes it difficult to locate them on your device.
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Some popular names in the spying app industry are Xnspy, mSpy, FlexiSpy, and Highster Mobile. They remotely track and control activities on smartphones. Some of them are available for a one-time fee while others cost as low as $8.33 a month. Some even have free trials.
A special characteristic of these apps is their ability to operate in stealth mode. That means if the spying app is installed on your phone, you may not be aware of it.
How Do Know Your Phone Has A Spying App Installed?
The big question is when these apps are hidden, how can you know they are working on your device? There are some signs that indicate spy is installed on yours or your loved one’s device:
- Random restart or shutdown: Spying apps can light up your phone when not in use. A sudden shut down of the phone or frequent restarts could be a sign there is a spying app in your phone.
- Background noise: There are some spying apps that can record, listen and let you intercept live calls. This is done by adding the intruder in a conference call. When that happens, you might hear strange background noises. This could happen because of a bad connection, too, but if it’s going on for a long time, you might have a spyware problem.
- Strange text messages: Spying apps often send text messages containing symbols and numbers. Look out for such strange and unfamiliar messages.
- Increased mobile data consumption: Check your phone bill to see how much data is being consumed. Spying apps have to send logs to remote servers and this requires significant bandwidth. If your data usage has spiked all of a sudden, chances are you have a spying app on your device.
How to Protect Your Family from Spying Apps?
To install a spying app, you need possession of the smartphone. The process takes 5 minutes on average. However, there are techniques for installing these apps remotely as well. For example, when a user connects to a public WI-FI, the intruder can install spyware remotely. These spying apps are attached to random apps as well. If a user installs such an app from a non-trusted website, spyware, if attached to it, can automatically install itself.
These are some of the measures you and your family can take to protect yourself from spying apps:
- Do not leave your phone unattended.
- Use a strong screen lock password. Avoid using pattern locks as they are easy to hack.
- When typing your password, beware of prying eyes. Make sure no one is looking at your screen while you are unlocking the phone.
- If you have noticed all the above-mentioned signs and you believe that your phone is compromised, back your data and factory restore your device. This deletes all the apps as well as data from your phone.
- Always have a mobile security app installed on your device as well as the device of your loved ones.
- Download apps from trusted sources like Google Play Store. It’s best if you check the reviews of the app before downloading.
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