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Who's stalking: what to know about mobile spyware

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Do you think an abusive partner or ex is monitoring you through your phone? They might be using stalking apps (spyware) that secretly track your devices. Here’s information about what stalking apps are, how to tell if they’re on your device, and what to do if they are.

What are stalking apps?

Stalking applications are apps or software that someone can download onto your phone to track or monitor you. They can share detailed information about your phone activities – like phone conversations, text and email messages, photos, and account passwords – without your knowledge. Some stalking apps also advertise that they can turn on a phone’s microphone and camera remotely so that the monitoring person can see and hear what’s happening around the phone, even when it’s not being used.

How can I tell if a stalking app is installed on my phone?

If an abuser has installed a stalking app on your phone, your phone will probably look the same. No new icon will be displayed, and most anti-virus software won’t detect it. But these clues may suggest that a stalking app could have been installed:

  • The abuser has had physical access to your phone;
  • The abuser knows a lot of very specific information about you, including your exact locations, the content of conversations you’ve had, what you’ve texted and to whom, and what you’ve searched for online;
  • The phone’s battery drains faster, without any difference in your phone usage;
  • There are unexplained data usage charges on your bill; or
  • You have trouble turning off the phone.

What can I do if I think a stalking app is installed on my phone?

If there’s a stalking app on your phone, here are some steps to consider:

  • Get help. Law enforcement and domestic violence advocates can help you if you believe a stalking app has been installed on your phone. 
  • Check to see if your phone has been “rooted” or “jailbroken.” Stalking apps aren’t sold through typical app stores. In addition, they usually can be installed only on a phone that has been “rooted” or “jailbroken,” which allows a person full control over the phone’s operating system. If your phone is rooted or jailbroken and you didn’t do it, a stalking app could be installed. “Root checker” apps can quickly tell you whether a phone has been rooted or jailbroken. 
  • Back up your phone. Before making any changes to your phone, consider backing it up, which could help to save any potential evidence of abusive behavior. Local law enforcement may be able to help you to preserve evidence. However, do not sync your backup to a new phone, to prevent the spyware from reinstalling.
  • Reset your phone.  The only way to effectively remove a stalking app from a phone is to reset it and re-install the manufacturer’s operating system.

Remember that taking any of these steps could tip-off your abuser – especially if you use your phone to research your options, make a call, or have a conversation near your phone. If you are concerned your phone might be monitored, consider leaving it behind when you are seeking help. Do what is best in your particular situation.  

Want to learn more? Check out our technology tips for domestic violence and stalking victims and the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s technology safety tips. Additional help is available through the National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you think you might be in danger right now, call 911.

Tagged with: app, harass, mobile, monitor


All my phone's have been hard restart and clean from encryption from pc hard drives to sd . That's what anyone would say. Say if you had a new phone would you read all policies and terms. Would you check out the voip for different phone numbers that were packets getting send to you. Should which I can't see the txt like just now my phone I can't see the words you check if the txt fro. Website and select all to see the words are placed right or if it's not clear. Or why ppl have been getting random calls.

09/24/2016 @ 6:20 pm received a phone call from 000-000-0000, 09/25/2016 phone beeping, had to recharge it. How do I reset phone?

The instructions that came with your phone should explain how to reset it.

As I purchased prepaid phone cards at Walmart for my straight talk phone. I've noticed that they are shorting me seven days a month and since I'm totally really stinks..might suggest u look into it.

If you bought something that wasn't as advertised, you can report it to the FTC at The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Your comments here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

STOP!, getting into my personal matter for identify personal mobile or Internet and thank you!

How can I check my phone to see if it's stalking apps on THERE

I was being tracked by my ex. I changed my number. How can I tell?

Who should you contact if law enforcement has been notified and they do not seem concerned unless you are physically being threatened?

You can read the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s technology safety tips. Additional help is available through the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Awesome !!!! I'll be sharing this info

This is really fantastic info Thank you

True artist of cryptology will use a cycle U.I. OR OPERATING SYSTEM. BEST TIPS I CAN TELL YOU YOU IS HAVE UR WIFI N BLUETOOTH ALWAYS OFF. USE WI-MAXX COMPUTATION, USE A FAKE O.S. SO WHEN UR HACKED THERE IN YOUR MAZE... AMAZING, AMAZE THEM! P.S. FOR BEGINNERS USE AFASTER CPU BIT BY BIT COMPUTATION. PROTECT AND LEARN EVERYTHING REGARDING ISDN. P.S.S. AT THE END IF THE DAY ITS ALK electromagnetic waves don't throw away the other half of Maxwell's equations, analyse them. Bc even broken clocks are tight twice a day. Hint standard division is wrong, that's why you end up having to do an ad-hoc renormalization process

Your very smart. My x is stalking me. Somehow he can mess with my electrical of my home. Theres either a sonic nausea or hes hacked into the apartments n causes me to be very sick but only in certain areas of my home. Gmail me please. Please .please ty

We don't post personal email addresses on the blog.

You can read these technology tips for domestic violence and stalking victims, and the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s technology safety tips.

You can get more help from the National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you think you are in danger right now, call 911.

Hi, the comment about electricity got to me. I have spyware from my ex (can’t get rid of even through a phone reset). I also have my HVAC tampered with abs have found 3 different instruction manuals left for my Lenox HVAC when I had none. I know surveillance through HVAC engineering can be done but I don’t know how, I am not a computer engineer. Finally, I also have electricity that connects to my phone and WiFi. This has happened in two homes that are not smart homes — one is from the 1980s. In my case, my ex took everything, including my kids, and keeps stalking me. The end result is not going to be stalking, it’s going to be the end of me. Because it is so high tech, police (including FBI) think I have made it up. I have not even mentioned the HVAC or electricity connecting to cell to them. Not sure what to do. My kids were taken and they are now with this lunatic, who continues to aggressively but stealthily stalk, and aggressively destroy my finances and identity, and is now beginning to do the same to my 19 year old daughter. Any thoughts are appreciated.

Hi I can really use a good friend.. I'm going thru the exact same problems and I'm grateful to have come across your comment because everyone thinks I'm delusional I need help he took my son ruined my reputation gets me for child support stalks me harms me electroniclly abuses my systems manipulates me controls me by hiding behind several many false identities it's hard to explain the technology and master manipulation that goes on behind the scenes ,I'm in hell he broke me and now I feel unsafe I wish I could get my son back from this psycho I need help any advice

Wow! I need ur help!

I'm not concerned with being stalked by an ex, rather I'm concerned with being "stalked" by the US government. What is the FTC doing to get the NSA, FBI, and etc to stop spying on the American people?

I got a government phone like 4 days ago and after reveiwing the account online i noticed activity on the account before i got it. it was 4 sms 6245. was it spyware?

Wait, You're asking ANOTHER govt beaurocracy to spy on the spies, crazy

The govt has been spying on its citizens for decades. They've recorded EVERY cell call and EVERY text msg for nearly 20 years. Yes they can do it, are doing itand will keep doing it. Thank Edward Snowden for that info

The ONLY way to ensure online privacy is to not go online. Forget your TOR browser and do not track. The US DOD originally built the internet for military use. You really think they don't have a back door to about everything.

If you believe that, I've got some bridges to sell you

I have been spied on now for over 10 years, first it was my husband he is now dead and now it is me. My laptop. phone and car. The police do nothing. It is criminal gangs and govt.

How do you find out?

Privacy act of 74 means alot.

.....good to know.

Please fix this problem

This is very good information. Very helpful! Even though I'm not being stalked or anything, and even if you aren't this is useful information to carry around with you incase you know someone who is.

I was stalked by this method as well as other technology methods completely unaware!!! The problem began as far back as our dating, then well into our early marriage. I went to my local police and they were stumped of what to do. I divorced him and changed all devices including the car I drive. Everything was wired and bugged.

I've been stalk for over three years plus by Barbara brown last known workplace was at mc Donald's in fort mc Murray Ab she now as one of her male friends stalking my family and our mobile phones remotely they can change my password block my call and text email modify the phone os and so an the most disgusting part is when you are on a call and they hold down the dial tone button if there is any info how to get them behind bars please post the info thanks

Great article! Thank you for helping us stay safe on the internet.

Great information, Can someone please help me with this , I've complained and told everyone and I get no where. I dated a guy who works for IBM it ended this past May 2016, He did a remodel in my house , but didn't finish it, Since May every phone I purchase gets hacked , There is something in or around my house that hacks my stuff before I even know it, and its not detected, I wont bring my laptop home . The same thing happens at my mothers home 15 miles away.

If you think someone has hacked your devices, follow the steps listed in the blog post. The resources listed in the blog post may be able to help you or direct you to someone who can help you check your devices.

please help the same thing happens to me my husband girlfriend wiork in telecommunication use to at comcast and now at charter. Everythingthing in telecommunication fraud has happen to me . please contact me at            even know they get on everything. i change me passwords everything and it's hard to hide my phone number because we have kids tigerher

I believe my phone has some kind of spyware installed on it. My phone, however, was shut off when I believe this was done, Is it possible for this to happen when your phone is shut off?

If you think a stalking app was installed on your phone, you can follow the steps listed in the blog post. One of the resources listed in the blog post may be able to answer your question and help you check your phone.

Pls help me!! I have a exboss whom is stalking on me. I know it was him.. there r many time while chatting on whatsapp.. he would suddenly slip of his mouth by saying something that has total no link with him.! Is something personal of myself or between my group of Frens n the current company I'm working for. He know every single movement of me. I have change so many mobile phone and number too the past 1 years.. but nothing helps. I have done all like factory reset, antivirus hide ip, cell spy catches and stuff like that but none help. I'm doing research everyday and resencelly study alot on my phone log. There was something weird I don't understand. Any kind soul pls advice. The log was written of something like ~ Spybot Portable ~ image photo copying batch file ~ u trace netblock ~ satellite fiber ~ ota Above are the few I'm suspicious about yet I'm a technology idiot. Pls advice me of anyways I could stop all tis. I'm helpless and is really mentally draining for me.

OK... I read the article. The thing is I have a real cheap phone that I couldn't tell he did it. But I just synced my old phone with my new phone and on this awesome good phone it's showing up. It's his e mail and my phone number. He is tracking me and we have been broke up for over a year now! My question is: Now I know how do I get if off my phone without his password. He won't give me the password he just was laughing!!!!

I think that my ex is stalking me. He constantly starts calling me but only when I go out of town with my friends or new boyfriend. He was very controlling and mentally abusive. I am very scared of what he is capable of doing. We live in a very small town and the police are of know help. The system is not for the victim. I am at a loss. I can not have a concealed to carry permit. It is awful to feel this way.

It isn't my ex stalking me, there is a girl at work that is harassing me and stalking me and has other people doing it. I don't know what kind of lies she is telling them to get them to do this. This has been going on for about 2 years. She has seen everything on my phone and no doubt had the camera on too. She has seen and heard very personal things. I know this has to be against the law apps like this just were any psycho can get a hold of them and connect to your phone and listen, watch, and no everything you say and do, along with passwords and personal information. What can be done about this?

This blog has some ideas for you. If there’s a stalking app on your phone, here are some steps to consider:

  • Get help. Law enforcement and domestic violence advocates can help you if you believe a stalking app has been installed on your phone. 

Cops don't and can't do anything unless you can prove who.
My ex boss secretly installed monitoring software on my phone 2 years ago.
If any of you have a smart phone look for the MDM app also called smart device management,android for work. Go online and look up monitoring software for businesses.
If you have a computer/laptop at home do not plug your phone,SD card,or any other device into it otherwise your computer or laptop will be infected.
The hacker/stalker/weirdo will want to take out/destroy/ruin the only way to fix your phone. The only way to fix your phone is to ask the fruit cake responsible to uninstall it or jailbreak/root your device. I'm still being stalked and still working hard everyday for answers. Your stalker can see everything on your phone,they can locate you even if it's off and location is off,they can get into your tv,dish network,all and any online accounts,turn microphone/camera on,change passwords. Anything you do on your phone is being monitored. So if you decide to buy a phone..keep it to yourself because they can hear you and will be waiting to catch your signal as you walk out the store door.

The phone company in 1996 found "device"(bug) behind telephone wall Jack & another attached to my landline in the FTC/FCC? controlled switching secured space. When I asked for documentation of the incident, I was refused.

~6years Later, same story after I'd moved. The technician pled with me to not report the line (altho he did remove unauthorized "bugs").
Again, all documents refused.

Is it true (as I was informed by this provider), they/providers allowed to dispose of records after (6)months & they are not required to report to law enforcement, not required to give me any info -- although teks who removed listening devices said it was a Federal crime.

About 6 years later, I had moved to a new town & again the telephone landline was tampered with. A second line had been added to the

I am being followed and stalked 24 hours a day by the people who live across the hall from my former apt in NYC. Its been so bad I left the apartment and have been living in hostels,shelters and hotels for the past 5 months. I have no idea how they are doing this. I've made several recordings. I am followed in to showers, bathroom stalls, to my workplace, where my work is hacked and deleted or altered repeatedly. I have no idea what to do. It seems NYPD knows nothing of apps or whatever that enables these people to do this. Can somebody tell me how something like this is happening and where I can go for help. I am near homeless now because the hostels are getting way to expensive to live in. I assume I can't put my email address hear but can somebody reply to this message. Somebody has given these people access to something that they are literally using to terrorize people and my fear is nobody's not going to do anything until its too late. Thank you-

You may want to go online to this resource center for crime victims or call 855-484-2846. This FTC article tells what to do if your email was hacked.

Jmc My heart buy for you as someone who knows how you feel! There seems to be somewhat of a group of stalkers that get off on making others miserable. WHY, I truly wish I had a good explanation to give both of us. It is beyond my comprehension to think or believe someone I don’t know Hates me with what seems to be such passion. It is terrorizing! So for me I have to pray and pray a lot. I use to only pray they would stop. Today I also pray for there souls and for wisdom. Hang in

I got a text message from a number I didn't know and it had my name with a question mark. When I tried to call, it said it was invalid... What should I do?

I have a real problem. Accused of abuse that I did not do, I'm the 2 person accused. His name is David I don't know his last name, or where he lives in FL. Uses social media to have people make rude remarks, I am no idea what he tells people to make them act so cruelly "if you can here to hide forget it" Managers of stores following me. Employees "how could you do that" I go into places, and people look at their pads "it's her" so he must have a picture of me. I can go no where with a complaint as I do not know him nor his last name. I ask people and they have a scripted reply "I don't know what your talking about. I tried to help myself went to police took a lie detector test. I am a good person but after 18 years of this nut making puppets of people. David needs some serious help. Stalked with no way out

I would just like to say, if you believe that the one your dating, married too or whatever is the one that's doing this to you then leave. I have went through so much in the past 4 years with any kind of device I would get that now when I'm anywhere near him I draw up. I went from being a very happy person that stayed out of trouble and away from those that caused it to being very depressed and withdrawn. He has tried to convince me that psycho (although I probably am now to an extent), that I'm doing all this mess to any device I touch even his that I don't touch. He's stolen every email I've had, made websites under my name an name spelled almost the same as if I had online businesses over seas. He's turned family an friends against me making them believe I'm causing all the problems. Any phone number I get he somehow makes it to where I can only call certain numbers an only certain ones can call in. He has caused me to lose everything I've ever had, charised and loved. The only thing he hasn't taken from me yet is my life. I never thought in a million years that somebody could take a person as strong minded and independent as myself an break them down to nothing but it can and will happen if you stay around that person. I thought he loved me like I did him but I was badly mistaken and a person like him live to destroy what good people are in the world

OMG...Im not crazy. I have been in this degrading heartbreaking relationship for almost 6 years And you my dear have described it to a T!
OMG IT'S NOT ME! BabyGirl...Thats exactly what happens. What happened to me. I pray to God that I will recover and be whole again. Thank you

Someone has been calling my phone almost every night for at least 2 months. I started putting my phone on do not disturb from 11-4 am. Last night they left a very creepy text. I block every number they call me from. It obviously from one of them burner phone calling apps. I’m pretty freaked out and it takes a lot to creep me out. I’m going to the police department today. Will they be able to trace the calls? I have kids and this last text was very scary. I don’t want to change all my stuff and hide I want this person caught. Any other ideas?


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