How to tell if your cell phone is tracked, tapped or monitored by spy (2023)

Several tell-tale signs that suggest your phone is being tracked, tapped, or monitored in some way by spy software. Learn what to look for.

There’s somepowerful spy software available for snooping on mobile phones. You might thinknobody would spy on you, but would they?

Well, bugginghappens at all sorts of levels from political figures to anonymous everydaypeople. If you find your mobile phone chewing through battery life or your datausage rockets skywards, these could be signs of snooping.

And, if not, readon to become acquainted with snooping clues. They could be useful.

Why wouldsomeone want to spy on me?

It’s a questionthat is asked a lot especially by people who have been spied on. Maybe you haveinformation that someone else wants. If you’re in business it could be detailsabout sales strategies, new product development, and so on. It could be to findout details about your private life or it could be related to a courtcase.

If you’ve neverspied on anyone, the concept of you being spied upon might seem unlikely. Otherpeople might feel less hesitant. Technology makes spying a lot easier than itever used to be. If your phone has been handled by someone else — for instance,during repairs or for some other reason — a backdoor application could havebeen installed to piggyback on your GPS service, orspy softwarecould have been installed on your mobile device.

There’s a large,legitimate, and thriving industry dedicated to snooping on others via spysoftware. And some of this software is powerful. But it’s not so powerful thatyou can’t spot clues if you know what you’re looking for.

How to tell if your cell phone is beingspied on

There are severaltell-tale signs that suggest your phone is being tracked, tapped, or monitoredin some way. The signs can be quite subtle but when you know what to look outfor, they can also be glaring:

Unusual sounds during calls

If there areclicking sounds, static, or distant voices coming through your phone duringconversations it could be a sign that you’re being snooped on.

This is notnormal for today’s phones on digital networks. It’s a thing of the past andassociated with old-style analogue networks.

If you arehearing fragmentary voices, it’s a possibility that your phone has been tapped.

Decreased battery capacity

Reduced batteryperformance is another indication of a bugged cell phone. If a mobile phone istapped, it is recording your activities and transmitting them to a third party.This leaves a footprint in the form of increased battery usage and as a resultthe battery loses life faster.

A tapped cellphone can also be constantly recording conversations in the room, even when thephone appears to be idle. And as a result it will chew through battery life.

You can test thisby using your battery in another phone of the same model and compare theresults. Is your phone using more battery power than a phone of the same modeland software? If so, it could be that your phone is bugged, or it’s defectivein some way.

Phone shows activity when not inuse

Is your phonemaking noises or lighting up its screen when you’re not using it? Call andmessage alerts to one side your phone should be silent when not in use.

Does it alsoreboot for no reason at all? If so it’s possible that someone has remote accessto your device.

Phone takes a long time to shutdown

Before asmartphone shuts down it must complete any tasks that are processing. If yourphone is transmitting data to someone it will have to complete the processbefore it shuts down.

As a result if aphone takes longer than usual to turn off especially after a call, text, email,or web browsing, it could be sending information to a third party.

Battery temperature feels warm

A furtherindicator of a possible phone tap is the temperature of your battery. If thephone feels warm even when you haven’t used your phone it could be still in usesecretly transmitting data.

Keep in mind, however,that this is only a potential sign.

Receiving unusual texts

Are you receivingstrange text messages containing random numbers, symbols, or characters? Theremote control feature of spy software works by sending secret coded textmessages to your phone, and in some cases these can be seen if the software isnot working correctly. If this happens regularly you could have a spy app onyour phone.

Increased data usage

Some of the lessreliable spy apps use extra data to send the information collected from yourphone, so look out for any unexplained increase in your monthly data usage.

More advanced spysoftware programs data usage has been reduced and will be almost impossible tospot but the poor programs will show significant data use.

How to find spy software on your phone(Android and iOS)


It’s possible tofind spy software on an Android by looking inside the files on the phone. Go toSettings – Applications – Manage Applications or Running Services, and you maybe able to spot suspicious looking files.

Good spy programsusually disguise the file names so that they don’t stand out but sometimes theymay contain terms like spy, monitor, stealth, and so on. Some of the poorerquality software programs are still quite easy to spot.

Don’t worry, ifyou are only looking for confirmation of spy software you won’t do any damageto the phone, but it’s probably best not to remove or delete any files unlessyou really know what you are doing.

And if you do find suspicious software it’s agood idea to take your device to someone who does know what they are doing.


Generally, if youhave an iPhone and someone wants to install spy software they have to jailbreakthe phone first.

That said,vulnerabilities have been discovered in the past that allowed someone withaccess to a network used by the device to download significant amounts ofpersonal data. These holes have been patched but you can never be too certainabout new vulnerabilities emerging.

Sometimes youmight find software on your iPhone that you don’t remember downloading. You cancheck the Apple store and see if that software is available. If not, then it’slikely your phone has been jail broken.

Looking deeperinside the iPhone directories is more difficult than with Android but there isan easy way to remove spy software from the iPhone. Simply upgrade to thelatest OS version, which will remove the jailbreak and any external softwarenot from Apple. But make sure to back up any important data on your phonebefore you do this.

Factory resets

Resetting yourphone to its factory settings, whether Android or iPhone, will remove any spysoftware, but again be sure to back up your data such as contacts, photos, andmusic or you will lose them.

How to tell if your cell phone is tracked, tapped or monitored by spy (1)

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