5 Ways to Find Out If Your Phone is Being Monitored or Tracked

Aditya Rayaprolu
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Updated · May 05, 2023

Aditya Rayaprolu

Joined February 2023

As a cloud architect at McKinsey with experience handling Fortune 500 clients, this individual has c... | See full bio


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Smartphones are integral to our daily transactions. According to Google Analytics, 40% of Americans do their online transactions on mobile. 

The increasing reliance on smartphones also comes with concerns about online privacy and security. Cybercrime statistics say phones are more prone to phishing attacks. 

This puts over 3.5 billion smartphone users in the world at risk for hacking, spying, scams, and more. However, there are ways to detect whether your phone is monitored or tracked

Continue reading to know if someone is snooping on your mobile devices. 

Signs Someone’s Spying on Your Phone

Before we discuss the five ways to determine if your phone is being monitored, let us first explore the signs. Learning them will give you a clue about the symptoms your phone has.

If your smartphone is being watched or monitored without your consent, it will frequently provide hints. Observe the warning indicators listed below:



Overheating and Noises

A phone’s average temperature is no more than  45°C. However, you should be wary if it overheats even when not in use. Another indicator is it makes odd noises like clicks or static during phone calls. 

Spy or tracking apps use the phone's resources. They can affect the device’s processor, which causes the phone to overheat or produce unusual noises.

Performance Issues

If your phone slows down without opening a single app, something might be off. 

It is not typical for phones, especially new ones, to experience sluggish reaction times, lags, or freezes.

Abnormal Data Usage

The quantity of data you consume depends on your subscription and network provider. It’s best to keep an eye on your average data consumption – daily and monthly. 

Spy software and other types of malware transfers data in the background without your knowledge, resulting in higher data usage.

Increased Battery Consumption

Mobile devices get old when frequently used. An old phone’s battery drains fast because of its age.

If your phone is new but its battery drains fast, it could indicate unauthorized monitoring. Spy apps consume power to operate, leading to increased battery consumption.

Not Shutting Down Properly

If your phone does not shut down properly or restarts on its own, someone could be remotely controlling it. 

Unknown apps can override your phone's normal shutdown process to maintain surveillance or control over your device.

Auto-Correct Issues

Another unusual sign of monitoring issues with its auto-correct feature. Words are changed to something that doesn't make sense. 

Tracking apps may interfere with your phone's keyboard settings to manipulate text messages.

Unknown Sent Text Messages

If you notice text messages you did not send, someone may be using your phone without your knowledge. 

Spy software can send messages from your phone to collect data or manipulate communications.

Awareness of these signs can prepare you for any subtle privacy challenges. Continue reading to know how to tell if your phone is being monitored.  

How to Tell If Your Phone Is Monitored?

Let's look at five different ways to detect if your phone is being monitored or tracked:

1. Check if Your Phone is Jailbroken or Rooted

Check if Your Phone is Jailbroken or Rooted
One of the first things you can do is check if your phone has been jailbroken (for iPhones) or rooted (for Android devices). 

Jailbreaking or rooting a phone is a process that allows anyone to bypass the manufacturer's restrictions. As a result, users gain access to the phone's operating system, allowing them to manipulate it.

You can use a Root Checker app to check if your Android phone is rooted. If you’re an iPhone user, check the Cydia app to determine if your phone has been jailbroken.

2. Look for Parental Control Software 

Look for Parental Control Software
Many parents use control software to monitor their children's phone activities. mSpy is a parental spy app created to protect kids from online hazards. However, this tool can be used by anyone intending to sabotage your personal life.

Popular monitoring software like FlexiSPY, Spyzie, eyeZy, and uMobix are also for this purpose. In good hands, these apps are used with good intentions. 

However, these are also potential tools for others who want to invade your privacy. Always check your phone for any unfamiliar apps or software that someone could use for monitoring.

3. Check Location Sharing Settings of Apps

Check Location Sharing Settings of Apps
Allowing location permissions to applications can enable online criminals to commit cybercrimes and harm you. Monitoring apps use location tracking to keep tabs on your whereabouts.

To prevent this, check the location-sharing settings of all your apps. If you find any unfamiliar app tracking your location without your consent, it could be a sign that your phone is being monitored. 

There are many wasy to find an cell phone number's owner and their address so it is important to be very vigilant in everything you give access to. 

Always check the permissions asked by every app you are about to install and read their terms and conditions. Carelessly allowing permissions can make you a victim of unknown apps that look legitimate.

4. Check Sharing Settings on Find My iPhone

Check Sharing Settings on Find My iPhone

If you use an iPhone user, check the sharing settings on the Find My iPhone app. This feature allows you to share your location with your family and friends. 

However, if someone else has access to your Apple ID, they can also use this to track your location. Make sure that no unknown contacts have access to your location data.

5. Call *#21# or *#62# 

Call *#21# or *#62#
*#21# and *#62#  are codes to see if your phone is being tracked. It is an old way to determine if someone is tapping your phone. 

You’ll know whether your call is redirected elsewhere by dialing these numbers. It is a sign that your phone is tapped for unknown purposes.

These numbers may not work for all countries or other Android phones. However, the codes will let you know whether your texts or calls are private.

Bottom Line

Knowing that your phone is monitored can help you avoid data breaches, identity theft, or worse — theft and blackmails. Identifying unknown callers and learning to determine scammer profiles can help you lower the risk of falling victim to the situations above. 

Check your phone regularly for any signs of monitoring. Be cautious about the apps and software you install. Always be mindful of sharing your personal information and location data.

You can always employ the use of reverse phone lookup services if someone you don't know keeps calling you. Or if you suspect that you are being monitored, you can turn to the steps mentioned in this article. 

By staying vigilant and proactive, you can safeguard your phone and privacy in today's digital world.


Can someone access your phone without you knowing?

Yes, someone can access your phone without you knowing. They can do it physically or by using spyware.

Can someone watch you through your phone camera?

While it is feasible for someone to remotely access and use the camera on your phone, doing so usually requires having malware or malicious software installed without your knowledge. The likelihood of someone watching you using your phone's camera without your knowledge or agreement is low because such incidents are uncommon.

Can your phone be tracked if it is off?

Typically, anyone cannot track a phone if powered off. However, some advanced surveillance technologies can do it. It's always a good practice to remove the battery or turn off your phone entirely if you are concerned about being tracked.

What does it mean when a phone is monitored?

It means someone is actively collecting information from the phone. These include call logs, text messages, location data, and more. It could be for surveillance, espionage, or parental control. However, it's important to note that monitoring someone's phone without consent can lead to legal consequences.


Aditya Rayaprolu

Aditya Rayaprolu

As a cloud architect at McKinsey with experience handling Fortune 500 clients, this individual has comprehensive expertise in cutting-edge technologies and tools such as cloud computing, virtualization, network security, data storage, and disaster recovery. They have a wealth of experience in creating and executing virtualization solutions for both on-premise and cloud-based systems, with a primary focus on enhancing efficiency, dependability, and security.

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