8 ways to check if your phone is being bugged, and how to stop it

People around you can easily exploit your smartphone, be it your friends, family, employer or even your spouse. Android phones can be monitored using third-party apps, while iPhones can be spied on after jailbreaking. If you suspect that someone is watching your phone, don’t worry. Here are some easy ways to check if your phone is being tapped. Besides, we also mentioned ways to stop it.

Related | Use the phone’s microphone to spy, record audio, and listen in real time

How to check if your phone is being exploited or monitored

Hackers or other people around you can spy on your phone to check your messages, calls, emails, notifications or any other information. It is usually targeted and executed via spyware available to monitor Android and iPhone devices.

Tapping on Android phones is much easier than on iPhones. In the case of iPhones, the other party will likely have to jailbreak the device before installing any backdoor or spyware. Anyway, no matter what device you have, here are some pointers to help you check if your phone is being bugged or monitored.

1. Increased data usage and phone bills

If someone is watching your phone, the first thing you will notice is the increased data usage. Besides, you may also see an increase in your phone bills.

Most of the malicious applications use the internet to download your data. So, check data usage to see if any unknown app or program is suspiciously consuming data in the background.

Check Data Usage on Android

  1. Open Settings on your Android phone.
  2. Choose Wifi and network.
  3. Click data usage And check data usage for both mobile data and WiFi.

Check data usage on iPhone

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Click mobile data.
  3. Here, scroll down to current period.
  4. You can now see the apps and data they are using on your iPhone.

2. High battery drain and overheating

Using the phone in a hot environment, keeping the brightness at maximum, playing heavy games or apps may cause overheating and battery drain issues. However, if the phone is heating up or losing battery very quickly even when it is idle, it could be a malicious app spying in the background.

So, check the battery usage to see if it is due to common reasons like buggy app update or apps running in the background, or something fishy on the device.

Check Battery Usage on Android

  1. Open Settings on your Android phone.
  2. Scroll down and tap battery.
  3. handle Detailed usage view To check which apps are consuming battery power.

Check battery usage on iPhone

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Here, select battery.
  3. Scroll down and check Battery usage by app and activity.

Related | 9 ways to cool down your Android phone without turning it off

3. Abnormal behavior or ads on the device

Has your phone started behaving abnormally like screen turns on, apps open by themselves, suddenly lags or stutters, phone restarts automatically? Or have you started seeing pop-up ads on your phone? If yes, then it is likely that it is infected with spyware or adware.

Spyware tools usually consume a lot of resources in the background. A tapped phone can record all conversations even when the phone appears to be idle, causing the phone to feel sluggish and quickly discharge.

Additionally, the phone may behave strangely if the other party is trying to perform remote actions on the device. Some apps may simply show you malicious ads, clicking on them will attract more ads, or introduce more fraudulent programs.

4. Fake or unknown apps on the device

One of the easiest ways to know if your phone is being tapped or has spyware is to check if there is an unknown app on the device. Spyware is usually installed without your information. So, go to the list of installed applications and check for unfamiliar applications.

Usually, these apps are hidden to look like system apps and may contain names like Security, Malware, Messaging, Scanner, etc. You should also be aware of the popular spy apps in the market like mSpy, FlexiSpy, XNspy and more. These apps can snoop on your calls, messages, location, and even capture your screen.

However, if your phone has an app like FamiSafe, Norton Family Premier, etc., chances are your parents are limiting your phone.

advice: If no other app is installed on your phone, yet the other party knows your location at a given moment, check Google Maps. Someone may have turned on location sharing on your phone. Fortunately, Google sends out periodic notifications about it.

Related | 7 ways to tell if an app is fake or real before you install it

5. Suspicious messages

Another sign of Android or iPhone spyware is random suspicious text messages. If you have started receiving strange texts with random letters, symbols or numbers from unknown senders, then you need to be extra careful.

These messages could be the other party trying to contact the spyware on your phone. Likewise, if your contacts report receiving strange text messages from you, the app is likely trying to install malware on their device.

6. Unusual noises during calls

If there is an unusual clicking sound or a constant noise during calls, it is possible that your calls have been intruded by someone. It is not uncommon to hear this noise due to connection issues but if this is something that has started to happen recently, it is a sign of wiretapping.

7. Detecting spyware trackers using third-party applications

There are many third-party applications that allow you to scan for spyware on your phone. Generally, any reliable anti-malware application will detect the unwanted applications on your phone. However, you can also try apps like Certo Anti Spyware to check Android eavesdropping tools.

8. Check if iPhone is Jailbroken

iPhone users should check if their device is down. To do this, check if there is an app called “Cydia” installed on the device. You can also use desktop tools like 3UTools or look for other jailbreak flags like additional customization options, non-App Store apps, etc.

If you find your iPhone is jailbroken but don’t remember trying anything like that, it’s possible that the spyware installation has been jailbroken by a third party to click on the device.

What do you do if your phone is tapped?

If your phone is tapped, follow the steps below to remove any spyware or tap software from your Android or iPhone.

1. Turn on Airplane Mode

The first step will be to turn on Airplane mode. Doing so will block all connection and disconnect features of the app or tool that is trying to spy on you. Once this is done, you can proceed with the other methods below.

2. Uninstall unknown apps

Now, check the list of installed apps carefully and remove any app that you don’t remember installing. Even if you have the slightest doubt, delete the app.

3. Remove device administrator access

Are you unable to uninstall a specific app on your Android phone? Is the uninstall button disabled for the app? This may be because the app has device admin access. Most malware or spyware applications use it to prevent users from uninstalling it.

To remove device admin access, go to Settings > Security and lock screen > Device Administrator Apps And disable the switch for all apps except Google’s Find My Device and those you’ve intentionally enabled access to.

4. Reboot to safe mode

If a malicious app prevents you from disabling it, restart your phone in safe mode. Doing so will disable all third party apps on the phone. You can then uninstall the app without any hassle.

Restarting to safe mode varies by phone. Generally, you will get to the Safe Mode prompt by pressing and holding the Power toggle button in the Power menu.

5. Factory reset phone

If the spyware is still on the phone, proceed with a full factory data reset but make sure to backup any important data.

Factory reset your Android phone

  1. Open Settings on your Android phone.
  2. Go to System > Re-Set and options.
  3. Click Delete all data (factory reset).
  4. Confirm to continue.

Factory reset your iPhone

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Click general.
  3. then select Transfer or reset iPhone.
  4. handle Erase all content and settings and go ahead.

If you have a jailbroken iPhone with spyware installed, back up the data and restore the device using iTunes or recovery mode.

6. Update your phone software

Finally, check your phone and update it to the latest software available. Doing so will correct any vulnerabilities and ensure that they cannot be exploited again to infect your phone.

Check your phone and stop it from eavesdropping

This was how to check if someone is bugging or monitoring your Android phone or iPhone. Besides, we have also mentioned steps to prevent your phone from being spied on. I hope this helps you to prevent others from snooping on your data. If you have something to add, let me know in the comments below. Stay tuned for more of these articles.

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