The term smart phone refers to a wondrous device that can help us do a multitude of things from finding the perfect recipe for goulash to getting directions to a restaurant – and yes, we use it to communicate with people, too.
But like everything else in this world too much of something can be oh so very bad for you. That’s what people are realizing now as one report after the other surfaces on cell phone tracking which is running rampant all over the place.
It’s not just crooks
Contrary to popular belief thieves and cons aren’t the only people that have their cell phones bugged. A simple online search will reveal a plethora of spy software for cell phones (Download here) which is just sitting there online, a lot of it free, for someone to come and use it for their own misdeeds. A million articles online will tell readers why one should track their rebellious teen, or how to keep a check on the whereabouts of one’s lazy employees and even how one should track their spouse to ensure that they’re not cheating. But there’s a cure to this disease, there are certain things you can do to check whether you’re being monitored or not.
1. Maps are in your head
A clear indication is always the GPS because that’s the primary source which helps track you. Your location i.e. longitude and latitude is lifted from the GPS connection. Shut off apps that use the internet for a bit and check whether your GPS continues to function. If there are no visible apps that should be using the GPS but the dial keeps spinning on your phone there’s a chance that a hidden app is lifting information on your location and sending it somewhere else.
2. Check your greens
Your GPS will cost you money, it’s never free, so if there’s a sudden spike in the amount of money you’re being billed to use internet on your phone, but no real change in the things you do online with your phone then you may have a problem. Generally your package plan adheres to your usage so if there’s a sudden shift you can mark it down as an app doing something it shouldn’t be doing.
3. Batter the battery
Generally apps that function in stealth mode run constantly and any smart phone that has an app running constantly will run out of battery like a fat girl runs out of cake. So if you’re battery is dying out sooner than it should double check the apps on your phone and then confirm whether it’s just an app you’ve left running (like Skype for instance) or if it’s something you can’t see.
4. Do a little fishing
Possible the best idea for anyone who suspects that he/she is being monitored through their own cell phone would be to go and check out the apps that are listed in your applications section. If you’re using Android you can follow the path: settings>applications>manage applications. Sure there’s no icon on the main screen but no app can hide completely unless you’re just completely oblivious as to how you should be using your phone. The tricky part is recognizing the stealth app that maybe stealing your information. Since some of these apps hide under the names and icons of popular apps. However, here lies your greatest plus point as well… since if there are two angry bird games in your app directory the likelihood is that one of them isn’t a game. Or if you see apps that you’ve never heard of before for example hala’s shwara shop is probably not something you’ve downloaded and should be easy to pinpoint and delete. Of course there’s also the chance that you’ve actually downloaded malware or spyware by mistake because you’re running a rooted Android machine or a jailbroken iPhone.