GPS trackers are used very commonly across the world for various reasons. Parents use it to monitor where their children are at any given point in time, and employers use it to ensure employee accountability.
However, these GPS trackers can sometimes be put to malicious use by hackers who might be trying to track your location without your consent. They hack their victim’s phones and track their phone’s location without them knowing. As a result, it’s essential that you understand the signs that point to the presence of a GPS tracker on your phone and the steps you can take to remove such a program and prevent it from being installed in the future.
This guide will dive into five major signs that you must look out for and then list the precautions you must take to prevent such a situation from arising later.
The Signs of a GPS Tracker on Your Phone
Cybercrime rates are at an all-time high, making it absolutely crucial that you understand the signs that might point to your phone being compromised.
Your Phone Starts Heating Up For No Reason
Regardless of whether you use an Android or iOS device, a hacker can easily install a GPS tracker on your device in multiple ways. The first sign to look out for if you suspect that there’s such a tracker on your device is if it starts heating up for no reason. GPS trackers often pack other features that enable them to extract other information from your phone.
Due to this, these trackers constantly run in the background on your device and can cause it to heat up even when you’re not using it yourself. This can also happen when you’re commuting or traveling from one place to another. If you notice this happening more than once, you should consider this as a warning sign.
You Notice Strange Changes on Your Phone
One of our first instincts, when we think we’re being tracked by someone, is to turn off our device’s Location. However, if you notice that the location gets turned on without you even touching the setting, this could be a sign that someone is overriding your changes on your phone.
Additionally, GPS trackers sometimes also exist on the target device as an innocuous app. So, another thing you must always do is to check your device’s app drawer and scan through all the apps to ensure there’s nothing strange among them. If you notice an app that you never installed, chances are it could be a GPS tracker designed as a shopping app or a notes app. You must get rid of it immediately.
Your Device’s Battery Drains Out Faster Than Usual
You can also detect a tracker on a cell phone by checking the battery usage of the phone. If the battery drains quickly, this could be another sign that you’re being tracked. You can check the percentage of battery life by checking the usage of other apps. Tracking software will often run GPS in the background, wasting the device’s power. If your battery is always low, this is an indication that the tracking software is on your phone.
One quick solution to check whether or not your phone’s battery is actually being excessively drained is to check the device’s Settings. If you check the battery section and tally the total of the battery percentage used by all the apps since the device’s last charge with the amount depleted, you should get a fair idea. If the numbers don’t match, this could be a sign that there’s a hidden tracker that’s eating away at your device’s battery.
Your Phone’s Data Depletes Much Faster
Another sign of a tracker on our phone is if you notice that your phone’s data is running out much faster than it usually does. If this happens, especially when you haven’t been using your phone a lot, it could mean that a GPS tracker is relying on your data connection to constantly track your device.
Once again, you can check your device’s settings to check whether or not there’s a disparity between the total data consumed by all the apps combined and the total data used so far.
Your Phone Unlocks By Itself
A lot of GPS trackers are offered as part of more comprehensive spy apps that come with a lot of remote features. They allow hackers to remotely change certain settings or manage certain controls on your device without you knowing. As a result, you could start noticing that your device’s display turns on automatically, or it unlocks by itself without you giving any input whatsoever. This is the last straw and directly points to someone remotely controlling your device using a spy app that could also have a GPS tracker.
What Precautions Can You Take to Keep a Tracker Off Your Phone?
If you’ve started noticing all or even some of the signs mentioned above, it’s time to take action. Here’s what you can do –
- Install an anti-malware program – An anti-malware program is designed to scan through your entire device and detect any malware that might be present on it. Once it detects this malware, such as a tracker, it gets rid of it and also repairs any damage the malicious program might have caused.
- Install an antivirus program – Just like an anti-malware program, antivirus software also scans your device to detect and remove any kind of virus that might be present on it. These two programs are a necessity if you want to remove a tracker and keep your device safe from one in the future. A good antivirus program is Norton, and it’s available for Android and iOS devices.
- Never share your iCloud details or phone’s password – Another common mistake that a lot of people make is to share their phone’s password or iCloud or Google credentials with lots of friends or family members. The thing is, while you might trust them, you can never guarantee that they aren’t the ones who’ve installed the tracker on your device in the first place. As a result, the best thing to do is simply to never share these details with anyone.
As you can see, keeping your mobile device free from trackers is crucial. While these trackers are often used to track your real-time location, they can also be used to access other sensitive data on your phone. Websites like RealSpyApps.com show that these apps can log all the keystrokes on your phone, making them a serious threat.
So, you must keep all the signs mentioned in this article in mind, along with the precautions listed for your digital safety.