People have the right to privacy on their mobile phones. However, with the increase of malicious hackers and the use of third-party apps, this privacy is diminishing. Companies and cyber criminals look to obtain your data by any means, and use it to their advantage.
However, most consumers don’t want their personal information getting in the hands of anyone, especially without their permission. To stop these attacks, whether it be hackers, apps, or loved ones, from spying on your phone, follow the methods below.
15 Ways To Prevent and Stop Phone Spying
- Know Where Your Phone Is At All Times
First and foremost, know where your phone is at all times. Avoid leaving it out on a table or on a bench where anyone could access it. You never know who might want to steal it and your information.
- Don’t Let Anyone Else Use Your Cell Phone
Even if it’s your mom, avoid letting anyone use your cell phone. They could install spying software on your phone without you realizing it. They may also visit websites that could put your smartphone at risk.
- Avoid Connecting to Public Wi-Fi without VPN
When out and about, avoid connecting your phone to public Wi-Fi networks. A hacker could easily infiltrate the network or create a fake public Wi-Fi network mimicking one that’s nearby. Once your phone is connected, the hacker can spy on you and access your data. However, in a serious situation, one may use a reliable VPN software to connect to public WiFi.
- Make Sure Your Phone’s Software Is Up-To-Date
Always update your phone when there’s a new software update. Sometimes, the updates are necessary to fix any security flaws hackers could take advantage of.
- Disable Your Phone’s Microphone
To avoid any spy app or other apps from spying on you through your phone’s microphone, make sure you disable it. Whether on your iPhone or Android device, you can control what apps have access to your phone’s microphone in your settings.
- Be Careful What Apps You Use
Not all apps in the App Store and Google Play are legitimate. Many third-party apps are looking to obtain as much information about a user as possible. These apps hide their data-gathering intentions usually in their “Terms & Conditions” that you must agree to, even if you don’t actually read it. Before you download and use any app, take a second look at it and what terms you’re agreeing to.
- Use A Private Web Browser
If you own an online business or are shopping on your phone, it’s essential to make sure your web browsing is secure. You don’t want your bank, credit card, or social security information exposed to online criminals. To keep your data safe while online, utilize private browsers like Brave, DuckDuckGo, and Firefox Focus.
- Limit Phone Ad Tracking and Opt-Out Of Ads
On most apps and cell phones, you can limit or opt-out of ad tracking. Apps and companies want to track your phone usage and get your data to better target ads to you. However, this doesn’t guarantee that’s all they will use your information for. Learn how to do this on your device by checking out this article.
- Turn Off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth When Not In Use
It’s good practice to turn off your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your phone when you’re not using it. Connecting to public Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections could expose your phone to being hacked. And if you are on the go, your phone might connect to the nearest, and possibly a non-secure connection.
- Utilize Antivirus Software
Just like on a computer, antivirus software can be used on your phone to stop any malicious apps, software, or code. Once it’s detected, the antivirus app will quarantine the threat before it does any real damage.
- Avoid Clicking On Suspicious Links
If you get contacted by someone you don’t know asking to click on a link, don’t do it. Often, hackers or scammers are looking to steal your personal and financial information. You could easily get misled by them offering you a major discount or entering sweepstakes. You may receive these messages and links via email, text message, private messaging apps, and/or social media. Tip: Use VirusTotal to scan for malicious links and files.
- Delete Any Files Or Apps You Don’t Recognize
Often, if you look hard enough, you may notice downloaded files, software, or apps you didn’t install yourself. Spyware apps and malicious software will usually appear on your phone as an app or a file. Do a spring cleaning of your phone, and delete any content you don’t recognize or is not necessary to have.
- Pause Your Google Web and App Activity
Even though Google is a great resource of information, it does track your web and app activity. This is done to give you a more personalized experience when using Google services like Maps. Click here to learn how to turn off tracking on your Android phone or iPhone.
- Use Your Phone’s Security Settings
There are several phone security settings you can use to ensure no one gets physical access to your phone and apps. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) requires a phone or app user to go through two steps in order to gain access. These steps may include entering a password, using their fingerprint, or using a security code.
To log into your phone, you should have a variety of options to choose from. There’s Face ID or fingerprint scanning, password protection, or pattern protection.
- Reset Your Phone To Factory Settings
If your phone is already infiltrated and all hope is lost, you could do a factory reset. And yes, this would also delete your data. However, it would remove spyware tools and software in the process.
That’s everything there is to know about how to stop someone from spying on your cell phone. By taking the necessary precautions, you won’t ever have to worry about your personal information and data being exposed.