Is your mobile phone acting “funny,” or not as fast as it once was? Have you noticed that someone seems to know more about what’s going on in your life than they should? Do people say that they tried to call you, but your phone was busy (and you weren’t using it)? Does your battery seem to be sucking more juice than usual?
You can mark it down to coincidence, or it may mean that your phone has either been infected with a virus, or there’s a program running on the OS that is “listening” to, and/or, recording your email, text messages, logging your calls, and conversations. Both are different in use and theory, but in both cases they’re a security threat and nuisance.
Most people really don’t have anything to worry about, because, as the saying goes, “if you’re not doing anything wrong, why worry?” However, as mobile phones get “smarter,” and combine our lives onto a mini super-computer that we use for banking, work, and other tasks that require passwords, user names, and security questions, our digital livelihood is at risk. Cell phone surveillance is a growing industry.
At the current time, and partially due to open source applications, there aren’t any mandates imposed on free or purchased applications, and commercial apps designed to compromise cell phone security cost from $75 to a couple thousand dollars.
As noted above, they’re two different animals: viruses, or malware, “steal” information from your phone’s data storage. This information is collected by the company, or individual, who wrote the program and then sold or used for identity theft or theft purposes.
The other risk is actually a “logging” software that’s usually purchased and installed on a mobile phone. This type of threat is difficult to detect because it actually runs as a program on smartphones. Smartphone security doesn’t pick up on the program because, for all intents and purposes, it’s part of the OS. This “bugging” ware can allow others to covertly listen to phone calls, copy all messages (SMS, MMS, Chat, and E-mail), listen to your conversations or use the phone’s camera/microphone to remotely see and hear what the user is doing in real time. So, if you take your phone to lunch with a co-worker, another party can listen in to what’s being said in real-time.
These programs are usually installed by significant others, but can also be used to monitor business interactions. To avoid such a threat, and since the software has to be installed on your phone, it’s always best to make sure your phone is locked and password-protected.
If you think your phone’s been bugged, there are solutions. You can try to find the offending application or change your SIM card. Note, however, that some of the spying software will actually notify the person who installed the phone that the SIM card’s been changed. Another solution is to back up all you data (not programs or applications) and then reset your phone to the factory settings and restore the data. Finally, you can contact U-Spy Store, or similar companies trained in removing bugging software, and we’ll scan your phone for threats and remove them for you.