Some people often find that many unknown people who were not supposed to know about their messages and calls, have their private information without having had sent it to them. If this sounds familiar it is possible that you were/are being ‘tracked’ through your smartphone. Obviously, this could be with the intention to keep track of your movements and your interaction with people.
Why Is Someone Tracking My Smartphone?
The first thing that may strike you is why someone should want to track you. However convincing your arguments may be yet there may be many people who would want to keep track of your movements and interactions with friends etc. If you are a teenager then your parents want to track you for valid reasons and if you are in a relationship or are married then your partner may want to keep track of you for reasons that he or she may be only able to give. We have all seen Breaking Bad right?
The government may want to keep track of you for a variety of security reasons which may be permitted so long you do not get involved with anti-national activities. These types of tracking are understandable but there can be more malicious types of tracking which can be severely damaging kind.
Tracking with Malicious Intensions
If you are a businessman or an employee you may have business competitors and rivals who may be interested in your activities so that you do not surprise them with some innovative and competitive market moves. Your business rivals would be interested in knowing what mails and messages you receive and send apart from eaves dropping on your phone calls. In this manner your business plans get divulged to people who could spoil your strategies.
In addition, this type of tracking can enable fraudsters to gain access to your password or Personal Index Number when any business gets transacted over the smartphone. You must have read about cyber thefts worth millions of dollars and you could become a victim when your important codes are revealed to unknown people. An individual or group could be tracking just to know when you plan a vacation so that they can clean out your house during your absence.
What Are The So Called Trackers?
The tracking software consists of a small bundle of programs which is placed on your smartphone by the interested party. In the case of the government or your parents they can be conveniently placed on your phone but when it comes to fraudsters the process is a bit more complex. Let’s take a hypothetical example. You receive a call where the caller identifies himself as being from the police.
He engages you in a very brief conversation and asks you to confirm whether you were at a certain club last weekend. By the time you think and answer and finally hang-up – may be within forty seconds the tracking software has been placed on your phone. This small software package is the tracker which puts your personal calls and messages in the hands of the fraudulent person.
Noticing The Difference
This software package is so small that you will not find any perceptible change in the storage space available on your smartphone which has a significant amount of storage space. Again most of us put our phones to charge when we do not intend to use it, say at night. Once fully charged it could last out the day on an average. Frequent use may lead to the battery discharging faster than normal.
The problem is that we hardly keep track of the level of battery charge after calls or messaging. Technically, faster battery discharge and excess data consumption are said to be apparent indicators that your smartphone is potentially being tracked. Not many of us bother to keep track of battery consumption or data usage during the day. Most of us never have the time for all this.
In some cases, your phone’s screen might stay lit when you try to turn it off. Or it may turn on without your interference. The smartphone itself could also start running slower than it usually does. might also want to check
So what is the way out? Step one is not to panic and step two is, I suggest, read on.
Popular Tracking Apps
Here are some examples of applications someone might be using to track your smartphone:
- Spy Bubble
- Trick or Tracker 3.0
So, What Do I Do?
To begin with, please follow these steps to handle the problem. First of all, start by uninstalling any apps that might look suspicious. If you haven’t installed an application yourself, there is no reason it should be on your phone. Also, turn off location services such as GPS and only turn them back on when you actually need them. In case you are using an Android smartphone, it is critical to install an anti-virus app on it as well. You could also restore your phone to factory settings. While this means you will probably lose some files and legitimate apps, it is necessary process if you’re absolutely sure that someone has installed an application on your phone behind your back.
I am certain that before reading this you have already reached for your smartphone and tried this out. Yes, your phone is smart but you ought to get smarter. Make sure to install a suitable antivirus and prevent any rogue software from messing with your smartphone.