Do you know how to tell if your cell phone is being tracked, tapped or monitored by spy software?

Today’s spy software, or spyware, makes tracking and monitoring any mobile device so easy, even a teenager could pull if off.

Once spyware has infected a mobile device, it is often difficult to detect. But knowing how to see the signs can help you minimise the damage before it’s too late.

So, what signs tell you that your cell phone has being tracked, tapped or monitored by spyware? Is your cell phone being monitored without your knowledge?

How to tell if your cell phone is being tracked, tapped or monitored: 5 signs to look out for

Sign 1: You frequently receive unusual sounds during calls

(image credit: Lifewire) If you frequently hear odd noises or distant voices during calls, your phone may be compromised.

One tell-tale sign that your phone may have been compromised by spyware is frequently recurring sounds during your calls.

These sounds can be:

  • Clicking noises
  • Beeping
  • Static interference
  • Distant voices in the background

Don’t be too paranoid though. Sometimes, sound anomalies may occur due to poor connection or weak signal. If they occur frequently, you may want to confirm if there is indeed spyware embedded in your mobile device.

Sign 2:  Your device experiences drastically reduced battery life

Most spyware are designed to relay information from your mobile device to a third party, and this illicit data transmission can heavily strain your mobile device’s battery life.

Observe if your phone's battery drains a lot faster than usual

One way to test this is to simply leave your phone idle with no apps running in the background. Assuming there are no prior issues with your mobile device’s battery, you’ll want to check if the battery depletes significantly faster than usual.

Sign 3: You receive lots of unusual texts

Receiving frequent, unusual texts is another strong indicator that your phone is being monitored or tracked with spyware.

Another sign that your phone has been infected with spyware is if you receive lots of unusual text messages

Some spyware work by exploiting security flaws inherent in text messages, and sometimes these messages might show if the spyware fails to function properly. Often, these messages will appear as an unintelligible scrawl of symbols and alphanumeric characters.

Sign 4: Your mobile device shows activity even when it’s not in use

If your phone lights up, makes noises or reboots on its own, you’ll want to take these signs seriously.

(image credit: Sam Young) If your phone often acts on its own, you may want to send it in for a check

If these events occur infrequently, it may just be a system error or a technical glitch. Should they happen on a regular basis, it could be a sign that your phone is being accessed covertly by someone via spyware.

The strongest sign that your mobile device has been compromised by spyware is if it has been rooted or jailbroken without your consent.

To be clear, not all spyware requires a jailbroken or rooted mobile device to work. But you can be sure that someone is tampering with your phone, and he or she doesn’t want you to notice it.

To check if your mobile device has been rooted or jailbroken, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap Security
  3. Select More Settings
  4. Tap Install apps from external sources

Here, you’ll be presented a list of apps that can install other apps on your mobile device.

(image credit: Android Authority) Use an app like Root Checker to check for rooted access

You’ll want to run through the list and make sure that no app is allowed to install anything that’s unverified by either the Google Play or Apple Store. If you're not sure how to verify apps, you can use an app like Root Checker to help you.

What to do if your mobile device has been compromised

If you’re worried or are sure that your mobile device has been compromised by spyware, take these steps to minimise any risks:

Step 1: Change passwords for all your accounts

If you have saved passwords on your mobile device, be sure to change passwords for all of your accounts. When changing passwords, also make sure not to save the new password on your mobile device.

Step 2: Use a new phone number

While you should refrain from using your mobile device further if you suspect that someone may be tracking or monitoring your activity, you should also avoid using the same phone number associated with your mobile device.

Ideally, your new phone number should also be an untraceable burner phone number. Burner phone numbers are effective solutions to avoid being tracked by spyware and law enforcement agencies alike.

Phoner can get you started with a burner phone number.

To get started with burner phone numbers, download our very own Phoner burner phone app now.

Step 3: If all else fails, factory – reset your mobile device

Often, a mobile device that has been compromised by spyware will deny its user certain functions. If you find that you’re locked out of your mobile device, you may have to do a hard factory-reset.

Follow these steps to factory-reset your mobile device:

For Android devices

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select System  / System & Updates
  3. Depending on your device, tap Advanced or simply choose Reset
  4. Tap Reset Phone

For iOS devices:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select General
  3. Tap Reset
  4. Choose Erase All Content and Settings

You should know how to tell if your cell phone is being tracked, tapped or monitored

Being watched without your consent can be a frightening experience. It’s even worse when you feel powerless to stop it.

(image credit: Le VPN) On both computers and mobile devices, spyware can be hard to spot 

Today’s spyware are highly sophisticated and hard to spot. Knowing how to spot the right signs before it’s too late can not only protect your mobile privacy, but also save you from potential harm.

So now you know how to tell if your cell phone is being tracked, tapped or monitored. Keep yourself safe from spyware today!