[Security] 22 Ways to Tell if Someone is Spying on Your Phone (& How to Stop Them)
And How to Stop Them
Want to know whether someone is spying on your Android phone? Here are 22 ways you can tell and how to stop them. Feel free to leave a comment with requests and suggestions.
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1. Check your device settings
If someone has set a lock pattern or passcode that has not been changed, it's likely they have done so on purpose. Someone with malicious intent won't just leave their device unlocked for others to access, and will usually set up a password instead of locking the screen or simply setting up a new phone altogether.
Also, see my article on how to stop Android from spying on you.
2. Check your email
If you log into your email and there are suspicious sign-in attempts that you don't remember having made, then someone is likely trying to gain access. Check for IP addresses in foreign places like China and Russia, which may indicate that someone is trying to hack into your account. Also, check for unfamiliar accounts in the address book of your phone. If there are unknown numbers with SIM cards linked to China or another country you aren't familiar with, it's likely they have been added by a hacker.
3. Look at recent call logs
If a phone number that doesn't belong to a friend or family member is listed several times on the call log, then someone may have access to your phone. Usually, the number is from a foreign country that you aren't familiar with, which indicates that someone may be trying to spy on you. If you see numbers from an area code where you do not live, it's possible that someone has been tracking your location.
4. Look at recent text messages
If you notice unfamiliar numbers in your recent text messages, it could indicate that someone else is spying on your Android device and making unauthorized changes. Also, if you receive messages that you never sent, it could indicate that someone is gaining unauthorized access to your device.
5. Check for notifications
If there are notifications from another Android app on your phone that you don't recognize, then someone may be spying on your phone. They will probably be from an app that was installed without your permission, which explains why you didn't recognize the app in the first place.
Always check all of the permission requests before granting access to an app, as some phone manufacturers allow for other apps to grant themselves permission for anything under system settings or permissions.
6. Look at recent network connections
If a proxy is connected to your phone, but you don't recognize who the proxy is for, then someone may be spying on your phone. The same goes for any apps that have recently connected to your phone when you didn't initiate the connection.
7. Check for hidden directories on the SD card
If there are directories on the SD card of your device that you didn't put there yourself and which contain suspicious files, it could indicate that someone is spying on your Android device through files stored on an external storage device. This will happen if someone steals your phone or accesses it by some means while in a public place and installs malware without accessing the physical memory.
8. Check the source of your downloads
If you download a game or new app and are notified that it's from a company that you don't recognize, then someone could be spying on your phone. If a hacker gets access to your phone, they may try to trick you into downloading fake apps by hacking into a legitimate app or website and tricking you into installing malware instead. You can also avoid this by downloading only from Android app stores like Google Play, which have stricter standards in place against malware and fake apps.
9. Check for installed software updates
If there are updates available on your phone, but you haven't installed them yet, then someone may be spying on your Android device through the update program. If someone has unauthorized access to your phone, they may force an update without your knowledge, which is why it's important to install all software updates as soon as they are available on your smartphone.
This is especially true for operating system updates, since hackers will often hide malware in the core of the operating system. If you don't have automatic updates enabled on your phone, be sure to manually check for and update any available software regularly. Otherwise, someone could gain access and infect your device with malware.