Tech and Science

How to stop someone from tracking you on your phone

How would you feel if someone was spying on your every move, possibly eavesdropping on your conversations, and maybe even accessing your personal information without your consent? Would you even know if this happened to you? We recently received this interesting email from Marybeth of Wilmington, Delaware:

“Is there a way to tell if someone has tracking software installed on your phone?

– Marybeth, Wilmington, DE”

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That’s a great question because the last thing you want is for the wrong person to know your every move. Sharing your location with people through your mobile phone should be done with your consent and only with people you trust, not with idiots who have found sneaky ways to track you.

Detect tracking software on your phone

First, let’s answer Marybeth’s question. Yes, there are several ways to tell if someone has tracking software installed on your phone. Here are some signs to look for:

Here’s how to make sure you’re not accidentally sharing your location

Could someone be tracking me on my cell phone?

The truth is that your phone can be located. Sometimes shady characters find ways to hack into your device to see where you are going. Other times, you might have apps on your phone tracking your location in the background without you even realizing it.

Whatever the case, there are ways you can spot when someone has hacked into your device and is tracking you.

Common signs that someone has hacked into your device and is tracking you

Strange or inappropriate pop-ups: Continuous pop-ups, especially bright, flashing advertisements or adult content, are a major clue that your phone has been compromised.

Texts or calls not made by you: If you notice text messages or calls from your phone that you haven’t made, your phone may have been hacked.

Higher than normal data usage: If your phone behavior has stayed the same and your data usage has skyrocketed, it’s time to investigate.

Apps you don’t know on your phone: If you notice new apps appearing after you already own the phone, it could be malware.

Battery discharges quickly: If your phone usage habits have stayed the same, but yours The battery is empty faster than normal, hacking may be to blame.

If an orange or green dot appears: These orange or green dots appear at the top of your phone’s screen to indicate that someone may be listening or recording you. To learn more about Click here.

What to do if you think you’ve been hacked

If you think your phone has been hacked, there are a few things you can do to fix the problem.

  • Contact law enforcement for help if you think you have been hacked and believe this hacker is tracking your location
  • We recommend Tell your contacts about it that your phone has been hacked and that they should not click on any suspicious-looking links they may have received from you.
  • You can also Delete all suspicious apps that come from a third-party source (in other words, not from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store)
  • You can also Check for unauthorized GPS location from Check the list of apps who have access to your location.

MORE: HOW HACKERS CAN ATTACK FROM YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILE

Woman covering her mouth, eyes wide with shock, holding up iPhone

Signs your phone has been hacked: A green or orange dot appears, strange or inappropriate pop-ups, unusual data usage, texts or calls you haven’t made, and rapid battery drain. (CyberGuy.com)

What can I do to prevent my phone from being tracked?

The good news is that while your phone could be tracked, there are a number of steps you can take to significantly reduce the risk of it. Here are some of my top tips to follow.

1. Use antivirus software

You can prevent hackers from tracking your devices if you have good antivirus software installed. Antivirus software can not only block malware that can track you, but also prevent you from even clicking on potentially harmful links that would allow hackers to gain access to your personal information.

Check out my expert rating of the best antivirus for you Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices by going to Cyberguy.com/LockUpYourTech.

2. Use a VPN

Consider using a VPN to protect yourself from someone being able to track you and identify your potential location on the websites you visit. Many websites can read your IP address and, depending on your privacy settings, may display the city you are corresponding from. A VPN masks your IP address to show an alternate location.

For information on the best VPN software, check out my expert review of the best VPNs for private web browsing on your device Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices, through the visit CyberGuy.com/VPN.

3. Do not use public WiFi network

If you don’t use a VPN, you should definitely not use a public WiFi network. This is one of the easiest ways for a hacker to break into your device and start tracking your location since you have little to no protection. Scam hotspots have historically been easily identifiable by using generic names like “free wifi” to trick people into connecting to their networks. Cyber ​​criminals have become more adept at using similar names of popular legitimate hotspots.

This is a big reason why a VPN is so important, as it offers an extra layer of protection that makes it much more difficult for a hacker to break into your phone. For more information on why public Wi-Fi is not a safe choice, see Click here.

Shocked man covers his mouth with his hand and looks at his phone

Using a public WiFi network without a VPN is one of the easiest ways to get hacked. (CyberGuy.com)

4. Disable location settings for specific apps

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As I mentioned earlier, certain apps on your phone can track your location even if you have disabled location tracking in your phone’s settings. To prevent this from happening, you need to make sure that location services are turned off for any app that you don’t want to track. Find out how to do it.

How to disable app tracking on an iPhone

  • Go to yours Settings app
  • Scroll down and click Privacy & Security

Choose persecution

A list of apps This shows that you have consented to your activity being tracked. You can opt out of those that have no purpose in tracking you, for example by turning them off Twitter or Instagram. However, apps that actively use location services like Uber and Door Dash should remain on so that you can be located when you use them.

How to disable app tracking on an Android device

The settings may vary depending on the manufacturer of your Android phone

  • Swipe down twice from the top of the screen to view quick settings
  • Touch and hold Location
  • Beat app permission
  • Find the apps using your phone’s location (e.g. Facebook or Instagram) at:
    Always allowed
    Permitted only during use
    ask every time
  • Always allowed
  • Permitted only during use
  • ask every time
  • Tap the corresponding app to change permissions

And if you want to learn more about how to stop sharing your location with others, you can Click here.

5. Verify your Google account

No, it’s not an individual, but you don’t want big tech companies to come after you either. Your Google Account may have a history of the devices that track you, and Google has been known to collect tons of data about your location history, web and app activity, and more. However, you can ensure that your location settings are adjusted so that this does not happen without your consent.

MORE: DETECT A CREEP’S UNWANTED BLUETOOTH TRACKER WITH GOOGLE’S NEW SECURITY FEATURE

The woman, frightened, puts her hand on her head, looks at her phone with wide eyes and open mouth

You can adjust your location settings in your Google account to keep you safe. (CyberGuy.com)

How to adjust location settings in your Google Account (iPhone).

  • open that Google app
  • Click on that profile picture icon in the upper right corner
  • Click Google user account
  • Click data privacy in the menu bar above
  • Scroll down and select location history
  • All the devices you are tracking will be listed. If you do not want this, select Turn off activity or turn off and delete

How to adjust location settings in your Google account (Android)

  • open that Google app
  • Click on that profile picture iconin the top corner
  • Tap your E-mail
  • Click Manage your Google account
  • Click data privacyin the menu bar above
  • Scroll down and select location history
  • All the devices you are tracking will be listed. If you do not want this, select Switch off

MORE: GOOGLE’S NEW FEATURE REMOVES PERSONAL INFORMATION FROM SEARCH RESULTS

6. Use a strong password

You should make sure your phone is always locked when not in use. Create strong passwords for your accounts and devices and avoid using the same password for multiple online accounts. Consider using a password manager to securely store and generate complex passwords.

7. Enable biometrics and 2-factor authentication

In addition to a secure password, you should also enable face recognition or fingerprint, depending on what your smartphone offers. This prevents unauthorized access to your phone and installation of tracking apps. Make sure you enable the feature 2-factor authentication or 2FA, This is a security method that requires two types of identification to provide an extra layer of protection that prevents hackers from breaking into your accounts.

8. Keep your phone updated

Make sure you always check software updates on your phone if you haven’t already turned on automatic updates. You can do this by checking for software updates in your phone’s settings. These updates often contain important security and bug fixes that can further protect your phone from hacking. You should also regularly check for updates to all apps on your phone as they will also receive security and bug fixes.

9. Use a more private browser

Google is the default browser for countless people on the internet. However, the tech giant has also been known to keep tabs on people’s data so it can send out more targeted ads. Therefore, there are some great alternatives for you Desktop and laptop browsers as well as yours mobile devices which allows you to surf freely without fear of your data being stolen.

Kurt’s key insights

The big nightmare we all want to avoid is having someone tracking our every move. It is an invasion of privacy and can be incredibly scary and anxiety-provoking. So, make sure you follow my tips carefully and keep these criminals out of your business.

Should apps that don’t need your location even be able to turn it on? Let us know by writing to us Cyberguy.com/Contact.

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