5 Ways to Know If Your Phone is Being Tracked

  • A hacker wearing a hoodie operates a computer
    A hacker wearing a hoodie operates a computer
  • With the advancement in technology and overreliance on the internet, users are more vulnerable to being tracked or spied on by malicious individuals and applications.

    In a recent statement, Instagram dismissed claims that users' information is being shared with a third party. This is following an uproar on social media where users cautioned each other about the social platform.

    A loophole that increases the chance of your phone being tracked is the lengthy terms and conditions which force users to only skim before pressing the 'agree' button oblivious of the content they are subscribing to. 

    A person using a mobile phone
    A person using a mobile phone.

    Kenyans.co.ke takes a look at some of the indicators that your phone is being tracked and how to protect yourself. 

    Unknown applications

    While receiving files from friends or co-workers some applications may also unsuspectingly be sent to your device and automatically installed.

    You should be keen to check for applications you did not install on your phone. These apps could be collecting your personal information and tracking your activities online.

    It is thus advisable to uninstall all suspicious apps.

    Faster battery drain

    Have you noticed that your phone's battery is draining faster than usual? This is one of the signals that your phone is being tracked.

    When a tracking app has been unknowingly installed on your device, it can consume a lot of the battery's power.

    However, an old battery could also drain faster. It is key to check your battery's health and replace an old battery.

    Unauthorized phone activities

    When your phone is being tracked, it might often reboot, light up when idle, or even produce strange noises or messages during calls and texts.

    If your phone lights up when you have not received a notification or a call, then your phone may be exposed to tracking.  

    An unprompted reboot suggests that an application has triggered the action.

    Unknown browser history

    Being on the internet for a long period can increase your browsing history and if you do not recall all the sites you visited, you might miss spotting some unrecognized entries.

    These suspicious entries could sign you up for unsolicited sites and subscriptions.

    A smartphone graphic showing different apps contained on a handset.
    A smartphone graphic showing different apps contained on a handset.

    Excessive background data usage

    A tracking app will use a huge chunk of your mobile data to carry out its activities. If you notice that your data usage is higher than usual, you need to investigate the reason.

    You also need to ensure that only verified devices are connected when the hotspot option is enabled.

    Experts suggest that you turn off the Wi-Fi and then connect to mobile data, if there is an abrupt surge in the data usage, your phone might be tracked.

    Online games could also contribute to a spike in data usage.

    To avoid your phone being tracked through apps, only install applications from official app stores. You can also, reset your phone settings.

    This action restores the smartphone to its default set-up.