How Can You Tell if Someone Is Tracking, Tracing, or Monitoring Your Cell Phone (Android or iPhone)?

How Can You Tell if Someone Is Tracking, Tracing, or Monitoring Your Cell Phone (Android or iPhone)?

When the telephone was designed, Alexander Graham Bell had the idea of connecting people across the world and enabling them to communicate with each other regardless of the distance. When mobile phones appeared, their main function was to enable communication even if you’re not at home, near your phone.

But, today, in 2020, the mobile phone has evolved so much that most people consider it to be an essential part of their lives, some even as the most important technological device in their lives.

Modern smartphones are basically small computers and they offer so much that a lot of people actually depend on them and keep large portions of their private lives inside their mobile phones. This has its benefits, as having your private life in your pocket is always handy, but it also leaves you vulnerable to different forms of cybercrime, which could potentially do a lot of harm.

In today’s article, we are going to talk a little about the security of your mobile phone and show you how it could be tracked and/or hacked, but also how you could detect that someone is tracking or following your mobile phone.

How Does One Track a Phone?

Well, although there are physical devices you can use to track a phone since phones are small and always held in the hand, it would be very difficult to place a tracking device on a phone, although it’s not impossible; but, devices are easier to detect in such cases. Software-based tracking is more common, although the “thief” would need physical access to your phone to either crack (jailbreak) it and then hack it by installing a tracking app. 

You might also find someone physically follows you, thereby simultaneously tracking both you and your phone, but we don’t actually think that such idiots exist, but you never know… Einstein said that human stupidity is infinite. 

Can Someone Track Your Phone Without You Knowing?

Well, he can. Software-based tracking is very specific and if you do not notice the tracking application i.e. if the tracker hides his prints well, you might go on using your phone without actually knowing that it’s being tracked and monitored.

Some inexperienced might leave traces for you to detect, but you might have to deal with a very experienced and good hacker who’ll easily hide his doings, which can be a very big problem. 

The good thing here is that a hacked needs to access your phone physically – he has to have it in his possession for a certain period of time – to install all the necessary hacks, which means that there is an easy way to protect yourself – keep your phone with you and the hackers won’t have any way of accessing it and hacking it. 

Tracking a phone means that a good hacker can access everything you have on your phone. He can read your messages, access your files, track your location and even monitor your screen. So yes, if you’ve ever wondered what the answer to these individual questions was – it is a simple ‘yes’ because a good hacker can really monitor everything you do.

This is basically why you need to be very careful not to leave your mobile phone anywhere because someone might take advantage of that. 

How to Know Your Phone Is Being Tracked?

If you find yourself in a situation where you suspect your phone is being tracked, but you cannot be certain, we have a list of some signs that might indicate that your phone has been hacked or is being tracked. So, watch out for the following:

  1. Jailbroken phone – jailbreaking is the act of cracking the official software of a mobile phone, thus allowing you to install cracked applications and tweak your phone. If you haven’t done the jailbreaking yourself but you find your phone is jailbroken, you have a very strong indication that someone tampered with the phone. An inexperienced hacker might leave some traces (like jailbreaking apps), but most experienced hackers don’t leave any traces, which means that you’ll have to check for it in detail. 
  2. Bills – a hacked phone might eat up a lot more data than you regularly use. Namely, the hacker can use the hacked phone to monitor your phone, but also use it, spending your data instead of his own. If you suddenly get higher bills that show you’ve spent way more data than you know you have, you might suspect foul play. 
  3. Odd messages – if you suddenly receive an odd message that looks like some form of code, you should definitely not ignore it. Why? Well, it might be a message or an instructor sent by the hacker to the hacked phone to perform a certain task. It might be just a glitch, but if you ever actually do receive such a message, spend some time finding out why you might have received it. 
  4. Unexplained activity – if you put your phone down in standby mode and you still notice signs of activity, your phone might be infected with spyware. This means that the hacker controls your phone even when you’re not using it. Your battery might be running down quicker, your phone might be warm although you haven’t used it, it might light up without any activity or something else that you might consider odd or unexpected, which means that hackers have lots of ways to use your phone. If you notice any strange and inexplicable activity, consider checking your phone. 
  5. Unexpected reboot – this could also be a sign of spyware presence, meaning that we could just repeat what we said above. If your phone keeps restarting on its own, that might be a sign someone else is tampering with it and that you should certainly check for possible spyware. 
  6. Odd sounds – if you hear some odd sounds (crackling, for example) during calls, this might be a sign that someone is listening in on your conversation. Certainly, the reason behind the sound might just be simple static, but if the sounds keep repeating for some time, do not hesitate to check your phone for possible intrusions. 
  7. Slowness – if your mobile phone starts working slowly, you might be a victim of hacking. Certainly, if you push your phone’s processor and storage to their maximum, your phone will certainly become slower, as it will become after you’ve used it for some time. But, if your new or recently checked phone starts going slow on you, you should definitely check to see if there is something that’s slowing it down. 
  8. Shutting down – changes when shutting your phone down might also be an indication of hacking. If your phone becomes difficult to shut down or shuts down longer than usual, there might be something stopping it from shutting down, or… someone. In such cases, do not hesitate to check your phone for intrusions. 

How to Remedy Your Problems

Now that we have identified the problems, we will give you some solutions to look at. Namely, there is no universal fix because the remedies depend on the type of hacking tool used on the phone. For example, if you’re a victim of spyware, i.e., a hacking application, you can easily track the application in your settings and delete it. Here is a guide on how to do it in different operating systems.

If the issue affects your hardware, you might have to change something or do a hardware scan before determining the exact reason. As you probably know, the solutions are generally similar, but each operating system (Android, iOS, Windows, etc.) has its own specific elements that you have to follow. 

Although there is no universal fix for this issue, we have to state that there is one last resort that can solve all software-related issues, but it comes with a high cost – the factory settings solution. You probably know that when you reset your phone to its factory settings it becomes like a new phone, at least software-wise. But, the deletion of all data on your phone means that it doesn’t just wipe the malicious software, but also everything else – all your memories, your contacts, your messages, everything is going to be deleted, which is why it is good to have some sort of backup for such situations.

The factory reset should be your last resort and you should use it only if everything else fails, but in some aspect, it is the only completely full-proof method of dealing with unwanted software on your phone. Before we finish this, here is a quick guide on how to do it in different operating systems:

This covers our analysis of the topic for today. For more information, keep following us and stay tuned for more of the same.


  • Tristan

    Tristan has a strong interest in the intersection of artificial intelligence and creative expression. He has a background in computer science, and he enjoys exploring the ways in which AI can enhance and augment human creativity. In his writing, he often delves into the ways in which AI is being used to generate original works of fiction and poetry, as well as to analyze and understand patterns in existing texts.