Signs Your Ex Is Spying on You

Sophia Taylor

By Sophia Taylor


In an ideal world, after a relationship ends both you and your ex will move on. But what if they can’t let go, and start spying on your phone?

Phone spying is more common than you might think, and people who are divorced or separated are twice as likely to experience it.

In one study, about 30% of people who had been cyberstalked reported that the stalker was a current or former partner. Exes might be interested in where you’re going, who you’re talking to, or anything else about your new life without them.

Modern technology makes it easy for people to install spyware on their ex’s cell phone. Often all they need to do is buy the software for around $30 and gain physical access to the phone to install it.

If you suspect that your ex is spying on you, there are a few telltale signs. Maybe your phone battery has been draining fast, or you notice unknown apps.

Read on to find out how to spot the most obvious signs of phone spying, and how to remove spyware from your device.

Think your ex is spying on you?

Download Certo for Android and iPhone to detect and remove the spyware in a matter of minutes.

Common Signs Your Ex Is Spying On You

There are a few obvious signs your ex may be spying on you. Do they always seem to know where you are and who you are with, without you telling them?

Maybe you’ve noticed them showing up “by coincidence” when you go to the store or to the bar, or maybe mutual friends have mentioned that your ex is taking an unhealthy interest in your whereabouts.

It’s possible that your ex is finding out information about you by spying on your phone. If you’ve noticed any of the following telltale signs, you may have reason to be suspicious.

Phone getting hot 🌡️

If spyware is installed, your phone will be working harder than usual to send information to the hacker. This can make it unusually hot to the touch.

Battery draining fast ⚡

Similarly, spyware apps can make your battery drain faster than usual. Although you should be wary of this, remember that it’s common for phone batteries to deteriorate over time—it’s not always a sign that you’re being watched.

High data usage ❕

Spyware apps often use up lots of data. If you think you’re being monitored, check how much data you’re using and investigate further if your data usage is unexpectedly high.

Unfamiliar apps 🕵️‍♀️

If there are apps you don’t recognize on your phone, it could be a sign that you’re being monitored. Unfamiliar apps with access to your microphone, camera, and location are a red flag. It’s possible that someone installed them on your phone without your knowledge.

What Information Could My Ex Find Out?

There are many reasons an ex might want to spy on your phone. They could be curious about who you’re spending time with now, whether you’re dating anyone new, where you’re going on the weekends, or anything else about your personal life.

Your ex might want to:

  • Read your text messages.
  • Listen to your phone calls.
  • Look at your photos.
  • Leak or share your private photos.
  • Find out your location.
  • Make fraudulent purchases using your bank details.
  • Access your online bank.

Depending on the circumstances of your breakup and your ex’s personality, their ability to access this kind of information could be damaging or even dangerous for you.

Can my ex use iCloud to spy on me?

Back in 2014, there were a series of high-profile cyber-attacks where hackers gained access to the personal information of celebrities via iCloud, Apple’s cloud storage solution. Private photos of stars including Rihanna, Jennifer Lawrence, and Kirsten Dunst were shared without their permission, leading many to question the security of iCloud.

Since then Apple has made it increasingly difficult for people to hack into iCloud. One of the most significant improvements is the use of two-factor authentication, which requires a verification code sent to the account holder’s phone, as well as their username and password.

Despite this, we tried out some spyware ourselves and found that gaining limited access to iCloud data is still possible. Depending on the spyware they use, hackers may still be able to access your messages, contacts, photos, and location.

The best way to protect yourself is to create new passwords regularly, and keep them a secret. Enable two-factor authentication for your iPhone, and don’t sync sensitive data to iCloud if you don’t need to.

Think your phone is compromised?

Download one of Certo’s award-winning anti-spyware apps and easily remove hackers from your phone.

How Your Ex Could Install Spyware on Your Phone

If your ex does decide to spy on your phone, it’s relatively simple for them to do so. There are many commercial spyware apps on the market, which cost around $30 and can be easily installed on someone else’s phone.

Once they’ve purchased the spyware app, they will need to physically access your phone to install the software. Remember that even though you’re not seeing each other anymore, they could have installed the spy app without your knowledge when you were still together.

After the spyware app has been installed it will send information from your phone to the person spying on you. Depending on the spy app used and what information the person is interested in, it could show them your messages, phone calls, location, photos, and more.

How to Identify Spyware on Your Phone

Whether you’re an Android or an iPhone user, the best way to detect spyware apps on your device is by using an app like Certo.

Certo allows you to quickly scan your device for threats and easily delete them.

The method is slightly different for iPhones and Android phones, so follow the steps for your operating system below.

Certo for Android

  1. Go to the Google Play Store and install Certo Mobile Security.
  2. Open the app. From the dashboard, click Scan.
  3. Your device will be scanned, and the results will be displayed. Any issues found will be listed in order of severity. For example, Red is for serious issues that should be dealt with immediately, Orange is medium risk, and Green means that no issues were detected.
  4. If any threats are found, click Remove to delete them from your device.

How to check an Android phone for a hacked camera

Certo for iPhone

  1. Install Certo AntiSpy on your Windows or Mac computer
  2. Open the app. Connect your phone to your computer via USB.
  3. Once your device details have appeared, click Scan Now.
  4. Your device will be scanned, and the results will be displayed. Any issues found will be listed in order of severity. For example, Red is for serious issues that should be dealt with immediately, Orange is medium risk, and Green means that no issues were detected.
  5. If any threats are found, you can click on them for more information and removal steps.

How to scan and interpret results


Interpreting scan results

Check app permissions

You can also try to identify spyware apps manually, although this is a little more complicated. You’ll need to search through all of the apps installed on your device to look for anything suspicious.

Remember to check app folders too, since hackers sometimes hide spyware out of sight. Spyware apps can also be disguised to look like legitimate apps, so be extra vigilant of any new apps you don’t recognize.

You should also check the app permissions on your phone to find out which apps have access to your location, microphone, and camera. If you notice anything unusual, you can remove the permissions or delete the apps.

How to Stop Your Ex from Spying On Your Phone

Prevention is better than cure, and there are some things you can do to stop your ex from spying on your phone in the first place.

One of our top tips is to use strong passwords and change them regularly. Use a combination of numbers, special characters, uppercase and lowercase letters, and don’t use passwords that would be easy for an ex to guess.

If you’re in a relationship, don’t tell your partner your passwords—if things do come to an end they might log in to your accounts without your permission. You shouldn’t share logins with anyone either, particularly for apps like iCloud.

If you’re going through a relationship breakup and you think that your ex knows your passwords or logins, change them before it’s too late!

We also recommend using two-factor authentication wherever possible. This is where you log into a website and it asks you to input a code sent to your phone, or use biometric (fingerprint or face ID) verification. This makes it much harder for hackers to access your phone since they need a code as well as a login and password.

Install Certo for Peace of Mind

The best way to stop your ex from spying on you is to use Certo for Android or iPhone. Use it to quickly scan your phone for potential threats, and remove spyware at the touch of a button.

Download Certo today

Relax safe in the knowledge that your private information is secure.


What are the telltale signs that your ex is spying on your phone?

If your ex always seems to know what you’re doing and who with, they could be spying on you via your phone. Watch out for unfamiliar apps on your phone, or any strange phone behavior such as high data usage, battery draining fast, etc.

Can my ex monitor my phone?

Yes. It’s possible to buy commercial spyware for around $30 and install it on someone else’s phone without their knowledge. Depending on the spyware they purchase, they may have access to your phone calls, text messages, location, and more.

What should I do if I think my ex is spying on my phone?

If you’re suspicious that your ex is spying on your phone, the best thing to do is download Certo for Android or iPhone. Our software will scan your phone for potential threats or spyware apps, and if it does find an issue you’ll be able to easily remove it.

You should also change your passwords and use two-factor authentication to make it harder for people to hack your phone.

If you feel unsafe and are worried that your ex could become a danger to you, inform your friends and family and speak to the authorities for help.