How to Prevent People From Spying on Your Cell Phone

By Colleen Collins

Own a cell phone? Unfortunately, it’s easy for another person to download spyware on it, enabling others to monitor your every conversation (even when your phone is turned off), read your text messages, see your pictures, even intercept confidential transmissions of personal data, such as bank account information. Fortunately, you can prevent people from spying on your cell phone by proactively taking security measures, most of which are free.

How to Prevent People from Spying on Your Cell Phone

Step 1

Password protect your cell phone. It’s the simplest, easiest way to protect a cell phone. Nobody can physically download spyware on it without knowing your password.

Step 2

Never loan your cell phone to a stranger. For that matter, never loan it to anyone you don’t know well. It takes only a few minutes for someone to download malware into your phone.

Step 3

Don’t accept any connections you didn’t request. If you get a message from a remote device trying to gain access to your phone, refuse the connection.

Step 4

Don’t open attachments unless you have requested them. Spyware can be easily downloaded to your cell phone from a remote source if you open an attachment. Similarly, only download data, such as ring tones, from trusted websites.

Step 5

Don't transmit confidential data (such as credit card transactions or bank account information) from public Wi-Fis (or any type of public wireless network). Savvy hackers can intercept transmissions from such public hot spots, so play it safe and transmit confidential information from a security-enabled home computer or other protected computer.

Step 6

If you misplace your cell phone and a stranger returns it, don’t use it to transmit confidential information until after a cellular professional has checked it out. (For a cellular forensic expert, see References.) This security measure costs money, but it’s money well spent to protect yourself. After all, you don’t know what this stranger might have downloaded on your cell phone during the time it was missing.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your cell phone blinks unexpectedly, turn it off and take it to a cellular forensic expert to check it for spyware.