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How to Detect Android Tracking

written by: vishalseafarer•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/20/2011

You depend so much on your Android phone that you can't go through a day without it. It makes things so much easier. With such a smart system with you all the while, you should understand the risk of being tracked if someone installs a spy app on your Android. Here's how to detect Android tracking.

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    Simple Steps on How to Detect Android Tracking

    Installing a spy app on your Android phone is very easy and there are lots of apps available out there that can track your Android device. Apps like the FlexiSPY Android app and the Mobile Spy app are so good that you will have no idea that they are running in the background. They could be sending all your text messages, call logs, and even your location, to the person who installed the app. So how do you detect Android tracking? Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself in order to detect if your Android has any spy apps running in the background.

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    Have you left your phone unattended?

    In order for someone to track your Android phone they would have to install an app on it. If you keep your phone on you at all times and don't leave it alone with anyone else then you should be safe. You should also set up security on your Android phone. Set an unlock pattern to prevent others from being able to gain access. You might also consider some Android privacy apps.

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    Is your Android phone's battery draining fast?

    Android Logo In order to detect your Android phone's location, its Global Positioning System (GPS) has to be accessed continuously. Using the GPS will require more power from the Android phone's battery. Thus if any spy app has been installed on your Android, you will see an increase in the rate at which your battery power drains. Under normal circumstances, if your Android phone's battery lasts for two days, it will last for only one day if it has any spy app installed. Checking how long your Android phone's battery lasts is one of the simplest tests to predict or detect if your Android has any tracking app installed on it.

    Spy apps not only access the GPS system, they can also access other applications on your Android, like the phone book app and Bluetooth app, in addition to accessing the camera and the microphone. This will result in your Android phone's battery draining fast. Of course Android battery life is notoriously short if you use all the features of your smartphone so this is merely a possible indication.

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    Do you get high data usage bills?

    Spy apps that access all your data have to keep sending the data periodically. As a result, the amount of data transferred is much more than your usual Internet usage. If you see a bump in your data usage that you can't account for then perhaps a tracking app is the reason. This could be a good way of detecting if any spy app is really present on your Android phone or not.


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    Do you find any performance problems?

    Android is really fast. You shouldn't have any trouble navigating on your Android device. If you have a spy app installed on your Android device, then at times it will slow your phone down because it will take lots of memory to access the Android phone's resources. Thus you will find slow launching of apps and at times your Android phone might freeze. Slow launching of apps and freezing of Android phones happens when you have lots of apps running simultaneously. In order to check if your Android phone really has any performance problems, close all the apps and open two apps at a time, close them, open two other apps and keep repeating that for a few seconds. If the phone works fast (as it did when you bought it) then you probably don't have to worry about any spy apps being installed on your Android phone.

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    Do you see any unusual icons?

    Since the spy apps connect to the Internet, you may see a few notification icons at the top of your phone's screen that will tell you that your phone is connected to the Internet. Close all the apps that require access to the Internet, turn off Wi-Fi and check if that icon is still visible. If you still see those network icons there's a chance that your Android phone has some spy app running in the background.

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    How to Detect Android Tracking and Prevent It

    Perhaps the best way to detect Android tracking apps is to go the application manager and check which processes are currently running. You can kill unwanted apps that might be running in the background and also check for anything you don't recognise and look it up online. To do this go to Menu -> Settings -> Applications -> Manage Applications and you can see a list of applications that are running. Before you go killing applications be sure that you know what you are doing.

    If you have performed all the above basic tests and suspect that your Android phone has a spy app installed on it, you should take it to the place where you bought it and get it cleaned of all spy apps. You'll want to back-up all your data first so that you don't have to worry about losing it.

    With these tips on how to detect Android tracking you can be safe from those spying eyes that might be watching you without your knowledge.

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    • Source: Author's own experience.
    • Image: Android Logo,