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7 Signs to Tell if Someone is Tracking Your iPhone

How to tell if someone is tracking your iPhone - blog header banner

Stalkers can use your iPhone to track your whereabouts or snoop on your personal information. Tracking your iPhone location using GPS on your phone may appear to be innocent, but hackers can use this location data to learn where you live, your buying patterns, where your children go to school, and much more. They can sell your information or use it to steal your identity once they have it. You may also have a suspicious family member, acquaintance, or partner who is keeping tabs on you.

Nobody wants their mobile devices to be tracked, especially if it is done without their knowledge. That is why there are rules in place to safeguard the average consumer from an invasion of cell phone privacy. But how can someone still trace your phone? This is covered in more detail below, along with how to tell if someone is tracking your iPhone.

How To Tell If Someone Is Tracking Your iPhone?

You may simply determine whether or not someone is tracking your iPhone using a spy app if you understand the indicators of the iPhone’s location tracking.

Sign 1: Compromised Apple ID

Protect Your Apple ID From Prying Eyes

If someone has access to your Apple ID through the iCloud password, then they will easily be able to track your iPhone using a spy app. 

First and foremost, it is proven that your Apple account information has been altered if you receive the following notification-

  • An email claiming that your Apple ID sign-in was recognized from a new device, such as an email stating that your Apple ID was used to check in to iCloud on a Windows PC.
  • An email from Apple Inc informing you that your account password has recently been updated.
  • If your smartphone is locked and set to lost mode without your knowledge.
  • If you discover deleted SMSes and files
  • You’ve been charged for iTunes that you didn’t buy.
  • Your password is no longer valid.

If any of these apply then it is safe to say, your phone is being tracked. You need to follow the protocol to regain access to your Apple ID to prevent anyone from tracking you. It also helps to get a strong password that cannot be easily guessed.

Sign 2: The iPhone is Jailbroken

This is a little more complex, but if you’ve discovered some strange apps on your phone that weren’t there before (specifically, an unverified app called ‘Cydia‘), it’s possible that your iPhone has been jailbroken and you’ve been hacked. Spy apps usually work with jailbroken devices.

Cydia is an app that needs physical access to the iPhone in order to be installed, and if you did not install it, it is likely that someone else did. 

Jailbreaking a gadget gives hackers a slew of new ways to install spyware and access data and remotely monitor your phones.

It’s also worth noting that hackers may be able to hide this spy app even if the phone is jailbroken.

Sign 3: Blue GPS Sign-in Status Bar 

This blue GPS symbol shows you that your location services are active. Although some applications on your device may be accessing the location, this can also be a sign that someone has installed tracking apps on your iPhone. 

If you aren’t allowing access to your location, and usually have your location service toggled off, you may want to investigate further and locate the GPS tracking app that is using your location services. To access your location service you need to go to > Settings > Location Services > Location

Sign 4: Unknown Device In Family Sharing

If you use family sharing the chances are you don’t check the devices linked often. This is because once it’s set up you put it to the back of your mind and trust that you will be notified, or only need to use it in cases of emergency. For example, if your children don’t arrive home on time you may access it to locate them. However, you should check it more often, if any unknown devices appear in the list, it could be a sign that someone is tracking your location without you knowing. You need to go to Family Sharing > Unknown Device.

Sign 5: Significant Locations 

View Significant Location History on iOS

Significant locations stores any places you have visited here. 

Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Significant Locations. 

Even if someone has a moment of access to your iPhone they are able to see your whereabouts from the above phone’s Settings. If you don’t want this to happen, you may want to consider turning this off.

Sign 6: Compromised Microphone/Camera Permissions

Hearing background noise while making or receiving a call can be caused by a faulty connection. However, it could also be an indication that spy software has been installed on your device. This is due to the fact that some spy apps can record phone calls, which can result in the noises you hear during a call. These noises can include beeping, static, clicking, and even human voices.

Certain malicious apps will request rights that they clearly do not require—for example, why is a note app requesting camera usage permission? Why is a culinary app requesting permission to record voiceovers? Be alert if this occurs. If you have a cell phone with a pop-up camera and your camera appears without your intervention, it signifies that some spy apps are secretly collecting images.

Sign 7: Tracking-URL Received on SMS 

There are someone services that people can access to track an iPhone by phone number. To use these services a text message will be sent to the number they wish to track in order to gain access. 

You will usually receive a message that lets you know someone is asking for permission to track your location with a link to follow to confirm. This is a clear sign that someone is attempting to track your iPhone location. If you weren’t expecting a message like this you should avoid clicking on the link and report it. 

How Do I Stop Being Tracked?

If you notice any of the signs above you will want to know how you can stop your iPhone from being tracked. Use some of the following tips: 

Disable Location Sharing or Keep an Eye on Which Apps are Using These Permissions

One approach is to disable the “Share My Location” option on your iPhone.

To stop sharing your iPhone location with family and friends, you must disable the Share My Location feature on your iPhone. This is an easy approach to stop sharing your location with them while remaining anonymous. 

Most of the time, individuals closest to you want to know where you are. As a result, carry out the following steps:

  • Go to your iPhone’s settings app and scroll down to find the “Privacy” option. Select it.
  • After you’ve chosen your privacy settings, look for a button labeled “Location Services” and click it to continue.
  • Following the selection of location services, the “Share My Location” option will appear. Tap it to activate it.
  • To disable location sharing, click the enable button on the “Share my location” option.

You should also consider looking at the Find My Phone app. 

Turn OFF Location Sharing on Find My iPhone App

The “Find My” program is available on iOS devices for easy location sharing among iOS devices. When you enable the option, you will be able to share your current location with other devices. This app can also be used to track down a misplaced smartphone. If you’ve lost your iPhone, you can choose another iOS device to find it by utilizing the “Find My” app.

  • To stop sharing your location, first, activate the “Find My” app from your home screen. Your iOS device already has this app installed.
  • When you begin the program, select “Me,” which is normally located in the bottom right corner of the screen. Once you’ve selected “Me,” you can deactivate “Share My Location.”
  • Furthermore, if you have a large number of users with whom you share your locations on the program, you can choose to stop sharing your location with a certain member or user. By tapping “People,” you may select the user from the list. A menu will display, from which you can choose “Don’t Share” or “Stop Sharing My Location.”

Don’t forget to also check which apps are using your location services on a regular basis. Use may find any malicious app if you scan through this on a regular basis.

Ensure iPhone Is Not jailbroken

Jailbreaking or rooting your iPhone’s operating system may allow stalkers to install spy software on your cell phone without your permission. So, either exercise extra caution when installing apps after rooting or jailbreaking your phone, or don’t do it at all to avoid being observed.

Use Passcode or FaceID

This is something that many people now use on their smartphones. It’s highly recommended as it prevents someone from picking up your phone and having instant access to your phone. Remember for a person tracking your phone, they need physical access to install certain apps that can spy on your activities. 

Of course, if you have shared your passcode with anyone they will still be able to have access to your location, however, FaceID should help to eliminate someone accessing your phone without your permission. Using the same password on multiple devices like your Android device or Gmail can make it possible for you to be tracked from different places.

Keep the iOS Updated

Software updates are often released on a regular basis by device manufacturers. The major goal of these changes is to improve security. As a result, always be sure to apply the most recent device updates to ensure that your device is not vulnerable to spy apps.

Often, someone will use iOS flaws to monitor an iPhone. To prevent this from happening to you, keep your iPhone’s operating system up to date.

Use A VPN

If your device establishes a connection, it has an Internet Protocol address, sometimes known as an IP address. This one-of-a-kind string of digits can be used to identify not only the device but also its location.

You may not want this information widely apparent to outsiders, allowing you to conceal your identity. However, because an IP address is required to access information online, you cannot just delete it. Instead, you should conceal your true IP address with a different one.

Installing a virtual private network on your iPhone is one of the simplest ways to accomplish this. A VPN enables you to send and receive data through shared or public networks as if you were connected to a private network, so concealing your actual location.

Enable 2FA on your Apple ID

Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is a method of protecting accounts that require both something you know ( user name and password)  and something you have, which may be another device capable of receiving one-time password (OTP) codes or a dongle that produces these codes.

Apple employed two-step verification, a little simpler technique, to protect Apple ID accounts for a while, but the business has now shifted to its own 2FA solution. Apple’s version of 2FA makes use of the Apple chain of trust, authenticating a new device or new sign-in to an Apple service via a web browser with a single Apple device.

When you authenticate on a device, it is added to the list of your trusted devices, and it can receive OTP codes when you sign in on another device. Even if you just have one Apple device, you must enable 2FA to get codes.

Use a Security iOS App Like Malwarebytes

Using a security or antivirus program can help you reduce the dangers of downloading spyware or malware on your device. These will automatically detect and notify you of any harmful apps that have been installed on your phone. This is one of the best ways you can protect your iPhone is by using a Security iOS App like Malwarebytes. It will: 

  • Protect you from malicious sites and online scams
  • Block ads and ad trackers on Safari
  • Filter suspicious fraudulent texts

It’s free to download and there are various priced packages to choose from. 

Reset Your iPhone

Factory reset your iphone to erase all contents and settings from your device.

A factory reset on your iPhone, as the last option, will delete any foreign apps, software, or code on your device. Unfortunately, it will also delete any other programs, contacts, photographs, videos, or other data that you have stored on it.

Follow these simple steps to factory reset an iPhone:

Step 1: Make sure you have an iCloud or iTunes backup of your device’s data. If you don’t have a backup, spend a few moments to make one. Before tapping “Back Up Now,” go to “Settings” > “iCloud” > “Backup” and make sure iCloud Backup is turned on. Alternatively, connect the gadget to your computer and generate a backup in iTunes.

Step 2: With a backup of all your data, navigate to “Settings” > “General” > “Reset,” and then select “Erase All Contents and Settings.”

Step 3: When prompted, enter your passcode and then tap “Erase iPhone.”

To finish the process to perform a factory reset, you may need to enter your Apple password. When finished, the iPhone will return to the Setup screen. Set it up as if it were new, and then restore it from a backup. Any tracking app should be removed from the device.

FAQ

How do you stop someone from tracking your iPhone?

There will be moments when you want to leave the house without anybody noticing, whether you’re running errands, heading to the park, or simply driving out to the country for some alone time. 

Your position is always tracked by the iPhone, and the availability of Find My iPhone and Family Sharing means people may always be aware of your location. You can, however, stop this by: 

  • Turning off ‘Share my location 
  • Stop sharing location on the ‘Find My’ app
  • Turn on airplane mode
  • Turn off location services 
  • Use a VPN
  • Use a Security iOS App
  • Just show the approximate location

Can iPhone be tracked when turned off?

Yes, it is possible to track your iPhone even if it is switched off or not connected to the internet. The ‘Bluetooth location’ feature on your iPhone means you can locate an offline iPhone when switched on and you can use the ‘Find My’ app to locate an iPhone when switched off using the last known location. 

Can someone track your location from a text?

Yes, someone can track you through a text message, however, there will usually be a link for you to click to allow permission for this to happen. 

How to tell if someone is tracking your iPhone text messages?

Using a tool such as Malwarebytes can help you to: 

Use Text Message Filtering to detect questionable texts and routes them to your Messages app’s garbage folder. It detects links to dangerous websites by comparing the number to a list of known scammers. Concentrate on important messages while ignoring obnoxious schemes.

Conclusion

As you can see there are many ways signs for you to keep your eye out for when it comes to noticing if someone if tracking your iPhone. There are also many ways for you to protect yourself from it happening and quickly put a stop to it. 

One of the best things you can do is to use a service such as Malwarebytes to protect your iPhone, if you would like to know more you can contact them here

Lauren May