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Your cell phone is spying on you

Only A Couple Left. Best Deal We've Found. Tesla Model 3, S, and X will all get longer range and faster acceleration in software update By Yoni Heisler 2 days ago. This app gives your iPhone 11 Pro an awesome camera feature no one else has By Zach Epstein 1 day ago. Is Huawei spying on us? To try to answer some of these questions, I created a special Wi-Fi network which let me capture every packet of data being sent from a smartphone out to the Internet.

I wanted to see if any of my devices were secretly sending data to remote servers without my knowledge. Is my phone spying on me? Once I have full control of the network, I can monitor everything that goes in and out of the network.


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I imaginatively called it PiNet. Next, I connected the smartphone under test to PiNet and disabled mobile data to be double sure I am getting all the traffic. At this point, the smartphone was connected to the Raspberry Pi but nothing else. The next step is to configure the Pi to forward all traffic it gets out to the Internet.

This is why the Pi is such a great device, as many models have both Wi-Fi and Ethernet on board. I connected the Ethernet to my router and now everything that the smartphone sends and receives has to flow through the Raspberry Pi. It enables real-time capture and processing of every data packet flying across a network. Once captured, I could analyze it at my leisure. The first thing I noticed was our smartphones talk to Google a lot.

15 Clear Signs Your Phone Was Hacked

I was expecting all the servers to be something. I checked and verified every domain and every IP address the test devices contacted to be sure I knew who my smartphone was talking to.

How to Stop Someone from Spying On Your Cell Phone

Besides talking to Google, our smartphones seem quite carefree social butterflies and have a wide circle of friends. Something your smartphone often does is connect to Content Delivery Networks to get ads. Again, which networks it connects to, and how many, will depend on the apps you install. Most advertising-supported apps will use libraries provided by the ad network, which means the app developer has little or no knowledge of how the ads are actually served or what data gets sent to the ad network.

The most common ad providers I saw were Doubleclick and Akamai. In terms of privacy, these ad libraries can be a controversial topic, because an app developer is basically trusting the platform to do the right thing with the data and only send what is strictly needed to serve the ads. We have all seen how trustworthy ad platforms are during our daily use of the web.

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Pop-ups, pop-unders, auto-playing videos, inappropriate adverts, ads that take over the whole screen — the list goes on. Overall, connections to AWS should be considered innocuous. However, it highlights the open nature of connected devices. Android guards against this in several ways, including by enforcing permissions on apps, and with services like Play Protect. This is why side-loading apps can be very dangerous. Jailbreaking is a fancy term for getting full access to iOS so you can get around Apple's safeguards.

The process is different for every version of iOS and takes some time and knowledge to pull off, so Apple gear was always relatively safe.

Stay on target

If you have iCloud backup turned on, the person doesn't even need your phone. Granted, a non-jailbroken gadget won't give up as much information as a jailbroken one, but it's still a lot.


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So it's a good idea to keep your AppleID a closely guarded secret. On the plus side, if someone does use this method, you just have to change your AppleID password to lock them out. Still, there's the chance that your snooper might try the old-fashioned method of jailbreaking.

Getting a spying app onto a phone someone is using is tough - as long as they have a lock screen and other protections in place - but what if the app is on the phone from the beginning? There's no way to defend against that. So, if someone offers you a shiny new smartphone out of nowhere, definitely do some homework on where it came from before accepting. This is important : If you think a spy app is already installed, do a factory reset of your phone - after you back up your information, of course.

Cell Phone Spying Happens Around the Globe

It's inconvenient, but it will give you peace of mind. Want to have iron-clad app security? Click here to learn how to control your app permissions on both Android and iOS. When you sign up for a new app, you can often use credentials from social media sites like Facebook to automatically log in. That's scary because the apps that use your credentials suddenly have access to your name, photos, email address and more information that you'd like to keep private. The good news is, it's pretty easy to find out which apps are spying on you.

Click here to learn which apps are spying on you and how to stop them. Please share this information with everyone. Just click on any of the social media buttons on the side.