There are times when you may just have a gut feeling you’re being tracked, in the sense that someone is listening to your phone conversations or that the private messages you send and receive on your phone are being read by someone they aren’t intended to reach.
This situation is real and can happen to anyone. The purpose of such tracking can be as innocent as a parent wanting to keep tabs on his/her child’s activities or as suspicious as a spouse keen to know what his/her partner is up to.
There are many other reasons why smartphone tracking can take place. But mere gut feeling cannot confirm whether or not you’re being tracked, nor will it do anything to stop the process.
Instead, you will need to understand how technology permits such tracking and how you can protect your privacy in an intelligent manner.
How Does It Happen?
If you want to know how your phone can be subjected to tracking through a remote device, you should understand a little bit about the technology involved.
Malicious software programs and rogue applications can be installed on your phone to keep records of your activities and behaviors—and this data can be easily tracked from another device.
This is different from the type of eavesdropping that government agencies indulge in, by commandeering the service provider to gain access to your device.
In a limited sense, there is every possibility that the person who accesses your phone for planting the tracking app can be someone you know and trust. The above examples of a parent or spouse fall in this category.
And there could be other instances too, such as rivalry within a workplace or even a friend wanting to track you just for fun.
How to Find Out if You’re Being Tracked
Broadly, there are two ways to detect if a tracking application has been activated on your phone.
One is through observing the behavior your phone is exhibiting, and the other is through using particular codes that can reveal the offending software and help you remove it from your smartphone.
While there are many such “symptoms” you will notice if tracking on your phone has been activated, a few of them are quite obvious and will show up easily.
One is by noticing any unusual and/or excessive data consumption on your phone that’s causing your usage charges to increase.
The other is if your battery is draining faster than the normal duration you are accustomed to.
If both are happening simultaneously, it’s possible that your phone is indeed being tracked.
There are also other direct and indirect ways you may be able to suspect and detect if any sort of tracking of your phone is being carried out.
Codes You Can Use
The most useful code you can employ on your smartphone goes like this: “*#21#”.
The moment you input these values, your phone’s display screen will show you if conversations and messages are being diverted/transferred to another device.
What’s more, it will also disclose the number to which the diversions are sent to. That way, you can settle the issue if you confront the person or entity involved in the tracking and hope that your privacy is restored.
You can also use a code “##002#” to stop anyone else from tracking your phone. This is a well-known code to employ in order to block any form of tracking or diversion from your device.
There are other advanced methods to be used as well, but that may require some amount of technical expertise and tools, which you may not be in a position to access.
How to Stay Protected?
Irrespective of whether you’ve detected a tracking episode in your phone and whether you’ve removed it, or if no such thing has occurred, you must ensure that your smartphone is protected all the time.
The ideal method to do this is to download and install an effective anti-virus program that will block any and all attempts to gain access to your phone’s data or to install rogue apps.
There are also some minor differences in the way the issue could be approached, depending on whether your device is an iPhone or an Android.
Even so, understanding the issue and following the suggested tips thoroughly will help immensely.