How To Know You Are Being Spied

Haseeb Awan
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April 5, 2023
Modified On
April 5, 2023

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The 20th century is very well known for the Technological revolution in which human minds have evolved so much, and there was a boom of Inventions and discoveries in this era. Efficiency and productivity are increasing with every day passing. New inventions are changing daily lives, Human interaction methods, and pro-social behaviors. In this era, communication methods are also revolutionizing and becoming more convenient. Every invention has concomitants that can not be neglected in this modern world. The aftermaths of every invention are becoming an enigma for humanity. Many technological shootouts are being used as an immoral or criminal offense. 

What Is Spying?

Spying, commonly known as espionage, is collecting information without the consent of others and using them for personal purposes; that purpose can be of positive or harmful use. Reconnaissance, infiltration, and undercover work can be referred to as spies. Spying can be moral or sometimes immoral; gathering intelligence or information with the consent of others can be said as moral, like CCTV footage; in contrast to this, gathering information without the consent of others is considered an immoral or opprobrium act, i.e. hacking. Many people mix spying and surveillance, surveillance is used for monitoring activities, and it is used for the security purpose of any Building, House, office, or shopping center to have a record of activities performed under a roof. This Is very useful for having a proper record of tracked activities that can be used in any emergency by the police and law enforcement agencies. Spying is a different concept; it is used for manipulating pieces of information, blackmailing, counters, damages, or threatening purpose. 

Common Methods Of Spying 

Many methods are used today for spying. This can include Human involvement, Electronic equipment, Cyberattacks, etc. Some of the standard techniques are 

  • Agent handling
  • Cyber spying
  • Impostor
  • One-way voice link
  • Surveillance
  • Concealment device 
  • Dead drop
  • Interrogation
  • Sabotage
  • Covert agents
  • False flag operations
  • Non-official cover
  • Safehouse
  • Covert listening device
  • Honeypot
  • Numbers messaging
  • Side channel attack 
  • Cutout
  • Impersonation
  • steganography

How To Know You Are Being Spied On?

There are infinite ways by which anyone can be spied on at any time or place without being noticed. It also includes the equipment, methods, techniques, and tools we discussed earlier. Physical spying and tracking others is the least common method used these days for spying because of technological advancements and the internet. A person sitting thousands of kilometers away from you can spy on you with a laptop or device. But there are many places where you can't get access or are unsuitable for electronic devices or equipment, so spies have to gather information personally.

  • Someone around you is wearing weird clothes that don't suit the weather. You saw them every day around you or your residential or working areas.
  • Investigating or interrogating your life from others, like marriage, divorce, and assets.
  • Following you repeatedly.
  • They can come to your house as a technician, plumber, internet service provider, gardener, stubborn salesperson, From the bank, or any organization.
  • Hearing some weird voices in your house, like beeping. 
  • Someone breaking your house or an office but didn't steal anything.
  • Damages, cracks, or any popups in the walls of your house. This can indicate some hidden device or electronic equipment used for spying.
  • Cracks in the ceiling can be a pinhole or a hole the size of a coin.
  • Any known wiring that can be hidden. 
  • Electric boards and chips popping out or slightly skewed.
  • Rearrangement of small items present in the house. 
  • Unknown parcels at your door steps by an unknown vendor.
  • Unknown letters, emails, phone calls, or messages.
  • Unknown debris on the floor or the slightly changed color of your wall paint. 
  • Unfamiliar vehicle parking near your house daily that seems to be unknown to you or others.
  • Phone calls experience interruptions, loud noises, and oddly behaving; this indicates that might be your phone calls are being tapped or listened.
  • Radio, FM, or television behave oddly; this can happen because of radio waves from a spy device. 
  • Unanswered phone calls.
  • Unusual device or wiring in your vehicle that may track your location via GPS.

We have discussed many ways in which you can be spied on. These are the ways that most people use. If there is a divorce case, your ex-wife/ex-husband knows everything about you. This information can be used against you. If you own a business, your opponent can de-track your plans or learn certain trade secrets. All of the above is how you must identify if you are being spied on. Look at the first three if someone is trying to ask you about something, then most probably they will harm you. Further, we will discuss some of the most common signs you must consider very keenly. 

Common Signs Of Surveillance:

Here are some common signs of surveillance. These most common signs can be in the form of microchips and microprocessors. God forbid, with the help of artificial intelligence, there are very little in size cameras available. They can target a person, and no one can know the real killer. This is the most crucial power any country has. They can use it for their own political or defense purpose. New technology is more dangerous than the fear of nuclear war. A sixth sense is present in females. 90% of females have this sixth sense of identifying things. If you are a female, don't worry. You will quickly identify the signs. If someone is following you, you will get the gut feeling of it. A report focusing on the sixth sense of females concludes that most females are more prone to focus on the environment than males. Let's have a look at common signs of surveillance:

Electrical Fixture Wall Plates: 

Look for the electrical wall plates if they need to be put in the right place. Find any signs of disturbance. If you are facing any threat of spying, then it's a must you should check all electric wires, electric wall plates, light switches, smoke alarms, bells, etc. The person may be in a hurry, so there will be installation problems. Check out any loopholes in those wall plates. Being a careful person is something everyone should have in daily habits. 

Check Your Vinyl Baseboard: 

Vinyl baseboard is where the floor and wall meet/ combine. The data transmission can be done by using spy devices, and the widespread place for hiding them is at the border of the vinyl baseboard. This is a common sign of surveillance which can be used frequently as a spying device. The spy might hide wires there. Check out any bumps, discoloring of baseboards, or ridges there. Check if the microphone or hidden wiring is present behind the board.

Look For Discoloration Of Ceilings And Walls: 

I am especially mentioning it because it is minimal and can easily be ignored. Look for signs like a small circle, a dot, uneven paint, or discoloring of walls. A small spot of a circle, more significant than a coin, is a sign that you are being spied on. Any video camera or microphone anything can be present in the ceiling. Look at the devices and turn them off at the very first. There is a method you can use to find out about the signs of any machines. Use the detection device like a magnet on walls and ceilings. You may miss that with just close watching, but with the device, you can't miss that. 

A Familiar Item In Your Home And Office: 

If you think you are being spied on, you must look at the everyday item in your home and office. Eavesdroppers will try to hide things behind the least obvious places. Fixtures like lamps, clock radios, under the table, behind the curtains, and behind the wall frames. You might be spied on if there is a sudden change in these places. Whenever someone is spying on you and trying to install a surveillance device, they are in a hurry always. In nervousness, something will always trigger you to think about it. Any item that has been displaced is your target to check about spying devices. 

White Debris Close To A Wall: 

White debris refers to a speck of dust from the wall or the ceiling. If there are moving tiles, it is easy to hide a camera. You can find it by looking at the tiles to see if they are damaged or if there is white debris on the ground. Look closely at gouges, cracks, chips, and sagging in tiles. White debris can help in finding that someone is eavesdropping on you. Someone in a hurry may need to clean up the dust from the floor. It can be in small quantities, so use the closer places wisely. 

The Locks Of The Doors: 

If the locks on the doors are easily stuck and don't feel right, then someone may have invaded the house in your absence. If the handle of the door is stuck, oiled, sticky, or even fallen on the ground, then there is an indication that someone is manipulating your house or invading it in your absence. There is a substantial security measure that you can use to confront this. And that is putting a camera outside the home. This camera will help you recognize the person's face. You can use all these common signs to know about spying if you fear being spied on. 

Your Files Appear To Have Been Disturbed: 

Look at the files and belongings in your office. If they are being disturbed and not missing anything, then there might be a reason that someone has been looking for something. Eavesdroppers often think that random things are quickly forgotten. So when they rummaged through files, desk drawers, or books, they forgot to put them back in place. It is effortless to find out about them. If you think you are being spied on, look for any disturbance in the files. 

New Items Appear From Nowhere: 

This is a clear sign that you are being spied on in your office or home. New things will appear from nowhere, like wall clocks, lamps, photo frames, and any decoration item. Ask about them and check if there might be a tracking device. To know you are being spied on, you must be vigilant. 

Your Home Has Been Broken Into: 

If your home has been broken into and nothing was stolen, then you might be spying on it. Look, there is always a reason for something. Burglars will never break into a house just for nothing. It will most probably be for eavesdropping devices. At night when you are sleeping and feel that someone has broken into your house, then don't be careless that everything is in its place. Just money is not the thing that needs a guard. You must check the places where these devices can be installed. There will be considerable physical evidence of it. Check for exposed imprints on rugs, carpets, under the tables, telephones, television, or pc and lamps.

Beware Vendors Having Electronic Gifts: 

If you have secret company files, you must be more careful with your home and office. There can be a person or competitor who wants that information. They can't attack physically, so they will use other people as a tool to get the information. If you are fond of buying electronics, buy them from credible resources. If a vendor is outside your house to give you a gift from any company, please check if it is credible. The gift can have a hidden microphone or camera, and it is not easy to suspect that it is bugged. These electronic gifts include desktop items, pens, calculators, and post-it dispensers for spying on anyone. If you check that it is bugged, you might avoid causing a massive loss to the company by giving sensitive information to the burglar.

You Receive A Copy Of The Conversation:  

If you receive a private copy, it is clear evidence that someone has been spying on you. Sometimes the eavesdroppers send you a copy of the conversation to tell you they have something on you. Your relationship is in danger if the conversation is very private, like with your wife. There might be a jealous person spying on you or anyone who is an enemy of your wife. But if the conversation is about the secrets of the company, then it harms not only your career but also the reputation of the company. In today's world, the main thing every company wants is to have a good reputation. This spying damages the person mentally and blackmails psychologically to undermine the target. Think about the place of conversation and check out devices with the help of the steps mentioned above. This tactic is frequently used in criminal cases to pressure opponents, in divorce cases to make evidence, and in civil suits to carry an advantage over the other. 

An Unauthorized Person Has Access To Confidential Data: 

Consider you are sitting in a meeting, and there is a competitor in the market who wants to contract with you. He is using a third party to refer to confidential or sensitive information of a firm. Then this is a clear indication that your competitor knows some aspects of your company. It will have dire consequences in terms of future market share. They can leak this information. They can pressure you to sign the contracts by blackmailing you about it. Check out your office, computer, or telephone, which can be bugged. 

Utility Service Providers Came Without Anyone Calling Them: 

This is a sign of surveillance if someone shows up at your home without anyone calling for them. This is the oldest method to spy on someone. Mostly they came as a plumber, electrician, or any service provider to install a device in your house. Most people never question the service providers. This habit can be an easy way to bug your office or home. These eavesdroppers use the truck or van to show their innocence. It is tough to know if they are real or not, but if the same truck or van is around your house or in your area for three or more days, then it might be a chance that you are being spied on. If there are frequently carrying out "repair work" in your area, then think about its innocence. Sometimes this disguise will feel natural. But if you are vigilant, you can know it. You can call the service company to know if there is anything in the street or if repair work is needed around the house. These utility companies can help you to find out the truth. 

Your TV Starts An Unusual Experience: 

If you are watching tv and an unusual channel appears on it, an unusual black and white screen, there might be a chance of surveillance. The bugging devices produce signals and can interfere with the Tv's reception then your devices might be spying on. Look out for any hidden places in the house and any tracking devices. It could be a microphone. The same is the case with AM/FM radio. Interference happens when the frequency of two devices is attached. The sudden interference in the radio will show that someone tampered with your antennae. Many listening devices use frequencies inside FM radio bands. If they are in the same room, then the radio will squeal. If you feel like the radio is squealing hard, there might be a bug near it. You can use the radio as a bug detector device. 

These are the standard surveillance methods that can be used to determine that you are being spied on. Finding bugs in your home and office can save you from harming your reputation. It would help if you were vigilant in your life. This is not about you but about the things associated with you. Among them, there are many other methods by which you can be spied on. The first and most significant thing in everyone's life is now the mobile phone. There are many ways you can discover that you are being spied on. Let's look at the signs that your phone is being spied on.

Signs That Your Phone Is Being Spied

There are millions of reasons anyone can spy on your phone and cause monetary, physical, or psychological damage. Multiple apps can spy on your phone by just clicking, and most of the most important thing is that they are free of cost and effortlessly available. Most of the time, these apps are installed physically in a targeted phone with some app's permission, but if this option is not available, you are still not safe because hackers can enter your phone. They can use malicious attacks via emails, text messages, or packages sent on a phone; clicking them or opening them permits them to enter your phone. Our phone is highly vulnerable because of the internet; the internet is the easiest and the most effective mode of transmitting any bug or virus in a phone that can cause severe damage to your privacy. Spying phones are usually used for location tracking, call tracking, contact access, text messages, your search history, or sometimes access to your pictures and videos. Some signs that can tell us that your phone is being spied on are as follows:

Phone Battery Behaving Abnormally: 

The most common indication is that your phone battery starts behaving abnormally because the apps and the software used for spying consume the battery constantly by working in the background. If you are not using your phone and the battery is still dying continuously or started behaving weirdly, it can indicate that your phone is being spied on. Other than software or applications, attackers may access your camera and microphone. This hardware also drains the battery when not In use. To know that your phone is being spied on, you must look out for the software if installed without your knowledge. Access to a camera or microphone can also pose a risk to your phone. Some applications demand access. You should decline the request if these applications don't need them.

Unusual Sounds In A Telephone: 

When your microphone is hacked, and your calls are being tapped, there are chances that it starts behaving abnormally. There can be sounds and sharp noises in phone calls, which might be echoes or beeps. If there is a faint or dull tone, then there might be a chance that your phone is being tracked. And your calls are being listened to. The chance of surveillance is high if you listen to a continuous beep on your phone. Someone might be hooked up to your device signal with a spying device. In that case, you have to look for unusual mobile phone sounds. The same is the case with the telephone. When someone connects two conductors to form a phone tap, they create a capacitive discharge. This wiretap can be a form of spying. Someone can use wires to bug your conversations. If there is a capacitive discharge, the noise will tell you that the phone is bugged.

Data Usage More Than Usual: 

Spyware used in spying and hacking sends data back to the hacker, and this process can eat a large amount of the internet. Suppose your data graph isn't typical or used more than average. In that case, there is a sign that your phone might have some malicious app or spyware, or malware operating in the device that is consuming data continuously. Consider you are using a package of internet and mobile data, and it is consuming very fast. There are applications on mobile which uses the data more than usual. Look out for data usage. If you open the phone and the wifi is on, but you remember closing it before, you must check the settings. There may be a connection with it being used in spying devices.

Spam Email Or Text Message: 

Special characters in the message can be a symptom of malware; these messages aren't from the authentic or known service provider. Their number will be weird and will not be understandable. It can be a spam email or a Text message. If you get an unknown message continuously and click on it and choose to reply to it, then you might be giving access to the phone to other people. If you think you are being spied on, look in the email account's spam folder. As I mentioned before, the message will come from an unknown number, and the number will be different than usual. It will not be understood easily because it is spam. 

Unusual Popups: 

There might be a popup on the screen while using the phone, and that popup will be weird because you haven't seen that before; it might be a permission popup asking for permission to access the phone. If you have a business phone and think someone is spying on you, then look out for any popups on the mobile. There might be spyware or malware in them. It is a straightforward method to spy on someone. Mostly, people are curious about anything that comes to their phones. This curious nature will make the work of burglars very easy. They need any loophole at the other end of the server, which the suspect himself is providing by clicking on the popups. If there are unusual popups, then it is dangerous. But this is not a sign if there are popups like random on mobile from WhatsApp or Instagram, Facebook, etc. 

Performance Declining: 

The phone's performance might reduce weirdly without any changes made by you. Background apps use CPU performance even when not in use; they might eat most of the RAM because apps work in the background. The eavesdropper may use any application to access the mobile. These apps will use the battery of the phone to decline. The RAM will be less than usual. The memory problem will indicate that the background apps are running. These background apps can be a source for burglars to track the use of the phone. It is very easy to spy on someone by gaining access to the phone. With the help of this action, you can get to know whom they are talking to and where you are going. You must check the phone if you think you are being spied on.

Rebooting Of Phone: 

Sometimes your phone can reboot itself; it can symbolize that someone is controlling your phone, and if they have the power to do that, they can access it a lot. In some scenarios, it becomes difficult to shut down the phone after giving the command. The phone might be suspicious if it is not responding to your commands. Rebooting means updating new terms and conditions without your permission. You can be easily spied on. Consider that if someone can access the settings, he might have access to anything. Private messages, calls, documents, and the company's confidential data can be accessed. So, check the changes regularly. 

Excessive Heating: 

If you are not using your phone at extreme levels, like gaming or some bulky software, and even after that, it is heating from the back side, it can be a symbol that someone is trying to access your phone when not in use. This is the least effective sign because if the phone is heating, there might be an issue with the software or hardware. It is only sometimes that someone is spying on you. But for precautions, you must know that excessive heating will weaken the phone, which can pave the way for eavesdropping. 

Extra Blinking Of Phone: 

Abnormal behavior can arise with the display, and your phone can blink, or the screen can turn on and off while you are not using it. This can be an indication that someone is trying to penetrate the device. If you are using essential data on your phone and your phone starts blinking, then look out for any deep things. Someone trying to penetrate your device will have the attention of using it against you. Spying is an act that is always negative. Even for a positive purpose, it is a hostile act. 

So, to know that you are being spied on, you can learn the above signs of surveillance. 

Solutions For Mobile Phone Spying

If the problems are increasing these days, there are also many solutions available regarding everything. Mobile phones can be made safe with a thorough check after some time and giving full attention to every minor behavior. Here are some solutions that can be made to avoid any unnecessary events.

  • Always keep your mobile phone with you so no one can target your phone physically because that's the most common and the easiest method used in spying. If you ever forget your phone in any public place or with any suspicious person, always check your phone thoroughly and analyze its behavior.
  • Keep your phone updated with every security minor or significant update given by the company. They should be addressed because these updates can help your device stand against these attacks, and its security improves with every software update.
  • Try to use your Internet connection or data bundle to avoid malicious attacks, but if you have to use public Wi-Fi or any personal hotspot, you should use a VPN. 
  • Check your phone settings to see if they are on default mode or have customized themselves; if so, disable the unknown apps installation, microphone, or camera access to the different apps.
  • When using browsers, surf in authentic, recommended browsers and in incognito mode so your search history and passwords are safe.
  • Try not to keep any personal information in your phone, like passwords, pin codes, or any series of numbers that are sensitive to share with others. It is better to memorize them or write them in any personal diary or file, which is not easily accessible to everyone.
  • Do not install local and underrated applications on your phone which ask you for camera and microphone access. Avoid using apps with bad reviews and bad ratings to protect your phone from attackers.
  • Do not try to open every mail or link to check what's inside or what it can do; they are the best source of malicious and harmful viruses that can even damage your phone.
  • Most malicious and spying attacks happen with the help of the internet, so when not in use, turn them off. When your phone is idle, disconnect it from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
  • Check your device folders and delete every unnecessary file or document with no use or affiliation with your device. Clean your phone weekly or monthly to remove these kinds of junk files.
  • You can use trusted and paid antivirus software for your phone to protect you against any harmful or malicious things. Some highly effective anti-malware and spyware are also available on the google play store, which can help you a lot against all these odds.
  • If your phone is not behaving well, then factory reset your phone, which can make your phone back to the default factory settings.
  • Do not try to jailbreak or root your devices because it can make them vulnerable and less protective against attacks. 


Technology is getting better day by day. With the advancement of the internet, there are new ways of doing everything. Spying is invading information without consent. This is an unethical act, but people do. So we need to address it. There are many ways in which spies can be done. Imposters and surveillance are the most common. We have to be vigilant about them. There are common signs that you can use to assess the surveillance. These common signs include dust, bugs, signal distortion, fake vendors, placement of things, an electrical fixture of wall plates, removed baseboards, and fake service providers. As there are many signs, there are solutions available for them. The easiest way to access anyone and to get any information is through a mobile phone. It is in the hand of almost every person. Spying on a person through his mobile means sending them malware links, producing interference in the signals, and accessing background applications. These are the signs which can help the person in knowing that he is being spied on. The one thing I want to add especially is there is the sixth sense that can be used to assess that you are being spied on. The sixth sense is the best tool.

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Haseeb Awan
CEO, Efani Secure Mobile

I founded Efani after being Sim Swapped 4 times. I am an experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of working in the crypto and cybersecurity industry. I provide Secure Mobile Service for influential people to protect them against SIM Swaps, eavesdropping, location tracking, and other mobile security threats. I've been covered in New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Hulu, Nasdaq, Netflix, Techcrunch, Coindesk, etc. Contact me at 855-55-EFANI or for a confidential assessment to see if we're the right fit!

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