Can You Easily Detect Cell Phone Spyware? PDF Print E-mail

The market for personal surveillance software is exploding at the moment, and more and more cell phone spyware packages are becoming available for people to install on others' phones. Let's not get into the moral issues here-everybody is confronted with their own personal problems and everyone has their own different hierarchy of ethical considerations. The fact is, spyware is becoming a potential threat for any owner of a modern smartphone. This article will examine ways in which you can try to detect if cell phone spyware has been installed on your phone.

The first factor to consider regarding cell phone spyware is to ask yourself "am I a potential target for spyware". Do you have anybody in your personal or professional entourage who has a vested interest in learning some secrets about you? Does your partner suspect you of having an affair behind his or her back? Do you work with highly sensitive information? Do you think your parents suspect you of drug use or "sexting" abuse? If you believe there is somebody out there who has a definite interest in gaining more information about you, then you should surely have your cell phone checked for infection. In fact, this has nothing to do with paranoia, as some cell phone viruses are installed by total strangers-it is just sensible practice to occasionally check that your phone is not infected. Just as millions of PC users have accepted the necessity of installing anti-virus software on their computers, a whole new generation of smart phone users will have to accept a similar process on their machines.

Manufacturers and distributors of cell phone spyware proudly state their products are invisible to the phone user, and this is often the case for the uninitiated end-user. However, if you know the symptoms to watch out for, you should be able to tell if your cell phone has been infected with spyware.

The first symptom of spyware is the battery life of your cell phone-you probably already know how long a full charge will last, and if you notice a sudden drop in battery life this might indicate you have a problem. A simple way to check up on this is to fully charge your battery in the evening, and then leave it to stand all night long, without using it. Check in the morning that your phone is still charged 100% - cell phone spyware uses power all the time and if your phone is less than 100% charged that could be a sign of infection.

Another way to detect cell phone spyware is be on the look out for unusual occurrences regarding your cell phone-you may receive odd text messages which don't appear to mean anything, or your telephone could sometimes ring for no apparent reason. Other unusual events which could mean trouble include odd beeping noises and vibrations which seemingly occur out of the blue. Don't be alarmed if this happens just once a year, but if it occurs on a regular basis you'd better be safe than sorry and get your phone checked out for cell phone spyware.

You should also keep a close eye on the phone provider's bills. If the service price suddenly goes up and you appear to be paying for calls and text messages which you haven't made, then something is obviously wrong.

So if your phone is displaying some or all of these symptoms there is a good chance it has become infected with spyware. If you own a modern smartphone you can simply restore the phone's operating system which should wipe any spyware however some older phones might not have this functionality and you may need to take your cellphone to a professional. Whatever the method, once you've removed the spyware from your phone, be sure to install an anti-spyware program to prevent the infection re-occurring.