How To Know If Somebody Is Tracking You
How To Know If Somebody Is Tracking You
Updated on Jul 1, 2022. In the old days, if you were being tracked, you’d usually be able to tell. Perhaps you’d notice a mysterious vehicle or individual following you places. Today, however, it’s a lot harder to tell if you’re being tracked.
While old-fashioned “stalking” is still used by criminals and law enforcement agencies, it’s a lot more common for victims to be tracked by their smartphones. All it takes is a clever hacker, criminal, or undercover agent to embed a piece of malware or a tracking device on your phone. Before long, they’ll know everywhere you’re visiting and exactly what you’re doing.
Pretty scary, right?
The good news is that if your phone is being tracked, there will be some obvious tells that you can look out for. While these tells might not specifically tell you that you’re being tracked, they can let you know that something is out of the ordinary. When combined with your own gut feeling and intuition, you can usually tell if somebody is tracking you.
In today’s post, we’re going to explain how smartphones are tracked, how to know if somebody is tracking you, and how to prevent your phone from being tracked by using online safety protocols and a high-quality VPN service to keep your digital footprint anonymous.
How To Tell If You’re Being Tracked (Signs To Look Out For)
So, before we get into the specifics of how you might be being tracked, let’s take a minute to look at the top warning signs that you should look out for. While these don’t always mean that you’re being tracked, they could be evidence of malware or a phone virus that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible.
1. Your Phone Battery Dies Quicker Than Usual: If you suddenly notice your phone battery dying faster than usual, then it’s a good chance that something fishy is going on. Before you jump to a conclusion, double-check to see if you’ve recently downloaded any apps or disabled power saving (these are common reasons that your phone battery could be drained faster).
However, if nothing has changed on your end, then the most likely answer is that your phone has been infected with malware that compromises your privacy or location.
2. Your Phone Is Overheating: Most malware programs are sloppily designed without regard for your device’s processing power. This means that if your device has been infected with a large malware program (a GPS tracker, for example), then it will significantly tax your processor, resulting in frequent overheating. This often happens in correlation with your phone battery dying quicker than usual.
3. Coincidental Sightings: If unwanted people frequently appear in your vicinity, then this could be evidence that they’re tracking you. For example, if your ex just happens to show up wherever you are, then it’s probably because they’re tracking you.
In events like this, it’s best to directly confront the individual in a public place or travel with company until the situation is resolved.
4. Static or Clicking While Speaking On The Phone: This is probably the oldest sign that you’re being tracked. If you’ve ever watched old crime films, then you’ll know that phone calls can be transmitted through various pieces of malware.
If you notice mysterious static or clicking or hear third-party voices while you’re talking on the phone, then there’s a chance that your phone calls are being recorded and used to track you.
5. Higher Than Usual Data Usage: If you find that your phone is frequently going over data limits or that you’re paying more for data at the end of the month, then this could be due to the background data usage of the malware being used to track you.
How Are Smartphones Able To Be Tracked?
Smartphones are a dream come true for those who want the ability to easily track a victim. For one, all phones have built-in GPS tracking which allows hackers and other third parties to tap into your GPS to see your location. Snoopers can also monitor your phone activity or look at your IP address to determine your general location.
In some cases, you may even be tracked by people who have added you on social media and messaging platforms!
GPS tracking is one of the most accurate ways to track a smartphone. To track your GPS, the snooper will either need to tap into your GPS remotely or install a piece of malware on your phone that sends GPS information to the person watching you.
If somebody has access to your phone, browser, or your email/login information they may be able to track you by looking at your phone activity. For example, if you’ve recently Googled directions to a certain address or store, then the person stalking you could be able to estimate where you’re headed to.
Hackers may also be able to tell your location based on the posts or location-specific details that you share on social media.
IP/Cell Tower Triangulation
Whenever you’re connected to an unsecured wi-fi network, anybody else who’s on that same network can see your location and tell the general region (often down to the neighborhood or zip code) where you’re located.
The only way to defend against this is to connect to wi-fi by using a VPN service like NordVPN or ExpressVPN to encrypt your online data and make it appear as if you’re located in a different region or country.
Apps That Allow Tracking
The most common way that everyday smartphone users are tracked is by apps that allow them to be tracked. For example, if you’re using Snapchat, every single person you’ve added as a friend can see your exact GPS location. The same goes for the Telegram messaging app.
While these apps always allow you to turn the GPS tracking feature off, you have to manually go into the settings and turn it off if you want to keep unwanted connections from tracking your location.
How To Prevent Your Phone From Being Tracked
Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to prevent your phone from being tracked by unwanted third parties. You just have to be smart when it comes to your online safety and security. For one, you should leave your phone’s GPS service disabled whenever you’re not using it for a specific purpose.
Secondly, make sure that you go into your social media and messaging apps and make sure that location tracking is turned off! This will prevent unwanted “friends” and followers from telling where you’re located.
Thirdly, use a VPN service whenever you’re connected to public wi-fi networks (or even your home network!). This will re-route all of your internet data through an external server located in a different region, making it appear as if you’re located somewhere else entirely.
Lastly, keep an eye out for the warning signals that we’ve detailed above. If you notice any of them, attempt to fix them by restoring your phone to an earlier date or deleting new apps that you’ve recently downloaded. If this doesn’t work, then you should shut your phone off for good and try to purchase or exchange your phone for a new one that’s not infected with tracking malware.