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With overreaching government surveillance programs, rampant spyware, and a growing number of bad actors, it's virtually impossible to stay secure. Everyone’s trying to get at what’s on your cell phone – and it’s working. Since getting rid of our phones isn't an option, securing them is more important than ever. On the other hand, here's how to stop your phone from listening to you.
Aug 16, 2018 · 5 min read
Most spyware tools cause bugs that will help you identify them. Simply pay close attention to the way your mobile device functions. Here are some signs that your phone might be compromised:
Excessive battery drainage is usually caused by resource-intensive activities such as gaming, streaming or browsing the web. However, if you ever notice that your battery drains without any significant use of your phone, it could indicate the presence of spyware. Usually, such software uses a substantial amount of your device's resources while active.
Since spyware apps are designed to send data from your mobile device to the hacker’s C&C (Command & Control) server, excessive data usage could indicate that you’ve been infected. It’s a good idea to track your network usage on a regular basis; that way, you’ll be able to spot unusual spikes that could indicate devious activity.
This is another sign that people tend to overlook. You should take note if your phone runs significantly slower, starts lighting up while on standby, or takes more time to power on or off. You can check your app activity via your OS' settings menu.
Some spyware tools use text messages to receive commands and interact with their owners. A simple text can initiate GPS tracking, enable your microphone/camera, or start other invasive processes without your knowledge. Such text messages often seem like gibberish coming from an unknown sender. Ignoring them, however, could end badly.
Spyware used to eavesdrop on phone conversations may make weird sounds during your call. These include white noise, beeps, crackles, and echoes. While such disruptions can be caused by bad reception, it’s best not to take chances and check your device for suspicious activity and intrusive apps.
If you suspect your Android has been infected with malware, it’s most likely going to be an app, so that should be the focus of your security efforts.
A few more ways to secure your device:
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If you think someone might be spying on your iPhone, it’s most likely going to be an app. Apple keeps its app store environment fairly clean, but nobody’s perfect, and they let the occasional piece of malware through as well (Note: these instructions only apply to non-jailbroken iPhones).
Although iOS is famous for its security, it’s best to take a few precautionary steps to be on the safe side.
A few ways to secure your device:
Fortunately, mobile spyware is not that hard to track and remove – for now. Eventually, we’ll be facing a whole new wave of advanced mobile spyware; the challenge is to set up our safeguards accordingly.