Does My Cell Phone Have Spyware?

Smartphone with lock. Security concept

In a world where we are constantly under surveillance, it is logical to be worried about who might be looking into your cell phone. You may wonder–does my cell phone have spyware? What can I do to protect my privacy? While the chances of someone tapping into your cell phone data may be rare, the chance does exist. Here are some tips to help you detect and deflect spyware on your cell phone.

Signs of Spyware on Your Cell Phone

If someone is, in fact, hacking into your cell phone or listening to your calls, there are a few tell-tale signs to keep in mind. These include:

  • High battery drain, caused by applications on your phone working behind the scenes when your phone is supposedly “sleeping.”
  • Random shutdowns, happening several times within a few days or a week.
  • Higher than normal data use, which comes from spyware using your Internet while tapping into your phone.
  • Strange background noises or static, occurring on most or all of your phone calls.
  • Unusual text messages, which could actually be special codes for spyware logs.

You don’t need to automatically assume that a problem with your phone is spyware. There are logical explanations for all of the problems mentioned above. Nevertheless, if your phone shows a few of these signs, you might want to get it checked out.

How Big Is the Risk?

For the most part, you shouldn’t have to stress a lot about your phone being spied on. Cell phone technology is inherently more secure than computer technology, and most phones have blockers in place to make sure they are not hacked into. Be observant of your surroundings and note anything unusual. But you should not have to worry too extensively about spyware on your phone.

Using Anti Spyware Apps

If you are concerned about getting spyware on your phone or you think you already have it, you could invest in anti-spyware applications. These work much like an anti-virus would on your computer. “Anti Spy” is probably the most common anti-spyware app on the market, but there are others like it. Some are free while others cost money. You have to choose the one that offers the best protection.

Be careful when selecting an app since there are a lot of fake ones on the market. These rogue programs can actually do more harm than good. They are designed to look like the real deal, but they turn out to be spyware disguised as protection. This is most common in programs that show up as suggestions on other apps, rather than those that come from the app store. Check out the reviews before installing an app on your phone and you may be able to better protect yourself.

How to Get Rid of Spyware for Good

If you are still concerned about spyware after placing protection programs on your phone, the only real solution is to replace the phone entirely. You may also think about changing your cell phone number, just to be on the safe side. If you contact your cell phone provider and tell them about your concerns, they may be able to send a replacement phone for you under a warranty or insurance plan. Then, you won’t have to pay for anything out of pocket.

You could also try doing a factory reset on your phone. This will wipe out all of your current data, which would hopefully include the spyware. Think of this as the equivalent of crashing your computer for a fresh start. In most cases, it gets rid of the problem. A lot of this will have to do with how the spyware is coded, but clearing the phone could get rid of it.

Spyware on cell phones is not a serious problem at this time, but it can be a concern. Keep this information in mind so you are as protected as can be.

About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue is a PR professional who has worked with the Birmingham Zoo, Coca – Cola , the Alabama Theatre, and the Saenger Theatre. She has covered personal finance issues for 10 years. Lynn can be contacted at [email protected]