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While the above signs can be good indicators of spyware, the only way to be certain is to run a scan with a spyware detection tool.
Use one of Certo’s apps to run an in-depth scan for spyware and other cyber threats.
But Spyware Isn’t Always Necessary
Sometimes, in order to spy on a victim’s device, hackers will make use of legitimate apps that are already installed. While this has limited functionality compared to installing fully-fledged spyware, it’s still possible to spy on someone using these methods.
For example, a hacker might change the account logged into an app such as Google Chrome in order to steal internet browsing data. Alternatively, they could change the settings in an app such as Google Maps or Apple’s ‘Find My (iPhone/iPad)’ to share the victim’s location with them so they can track their GPS location.
Can it spy without your knowledge? As you might expect, abuse of these apps is somewhat difficult to detect since the apps are already installed on your device meaning that their misuse can often go unnoticed.
For the above examples, visible signs could be the wrong account logged into the Google Chrome app or the GPS icon constantly showing in the top bar of the device, indicating the location is being tracked in the background.
Cloud synced data
If a hacker knows the login details to your iCloud or Google account(s), it’s possible for them to download data you’ve synced between your phone and the cloud. They may even be able to create a full clone of your device.
While this won’t give them access to your ‘live’ data, such as viewing GPS location or listening to phone calls, this will allow them to view and steal any data synced to the cloud. This may include messages, photos, contacts, notes and more.
Tip: To protect yourself from this type of hack, simply turn on two-factor authentication for your account and change your password.
Can it spy without your knowledge? This type of hacking is easily hidden from the victim, since nothing is installed on their device. But signs like two-factor authentication being turned off or syncing being enabled (if you didn’t turn it on yourself) can be indicators of this type of attack.