How to stop someone from tracking you on your phone - CyberGuy (2024)

How would you feel if someone was spying on your every move, possibly listening to your conversations, and maybe even accessing your personal data without your consent? Would you even know if this was happening to you? We recently received this intriguing email from Marybeth of Wilmington, Delaware:

Is there a way to determine if someone has installed tracking software on your phone?

Marybeth, Wilmington, DE

This is such a great question because the last thing you want is for the wrong person to know where your every move. Sharing your location with people from your cell phone should happen with your consent and only with people you trust, not creeps who have found sneaky ways to track you.

How to stop someone from tracking you on your phone - CyberGuy (1)

Detecting tracking software on your phone

First, let’s answer Marybeth’s question right off the bat. Yes, there are some ways to determine if someone has installed tracking software on your phone. Here are some signs that you can look for:

Could someone be tracking me on my cellphone?

The truth is that, yes, your phone can be tracked. Sometimes unsavory characters will find ways to hack into your device to see where you’re going. Other times you might have apps on your phone that are tracking your location in the background without you even realizing it.

Whatever the case may be, there are ways that you may be able to tell when someone has hacked into your device and is tracking you.

Common signs someone has hacked into your device and is tracking you

Strange or inappropriate pop-ups: Nonstop pop-ups, especially bright, flashing ads or X-rated content, are a big indicator that your phone has been compromised

Texts or calls not made by you: If you notice texts or calls from your phone that you didn’t make, you may have had your phone hacked

Higher than normal data usage: If your phone behavior has stayed the same and your data usage has skyrocketed, it’s time to investigate

Apps you don’t recognize on your phone: If you notice new apps popping up once you already own the phone, there may be malware involved

Battery draining quickly: If your phone use habits have remained the same, but your battery is draining more quickly than normal, hacking may be to blame.

Seeing an orange or a green dot appear: These orange or green dots would show up at the top of your phone screen, indicating that someone could be listening to you or recording you. To find out more about this, click here.

What to do if you think you’ve been hacked

If you think your phone has been hacked, there are some steps you can take to address it.

  • Contact law enforcement for assistance if you think you’ve been hacked and believe that that hacker is tracking your location
  • We recommend letting your contacts know that your phone has been hacked and that they shouldn’t click any suspicious-looking links they may have received from you.
  • You can also delete any suspicious apps that came from a third-party source (in other words, not the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store)
  • You can also check for any unauthorized GPS tracking by reviewing the list of apps that have access to your location.


How to stop someone from tracking you on your phone - CyberGuy (2)

What can I do to prevent my phone from being tracked?

The good news is that although your phone could be tracked, there are plenty of steps you can take to significantly reduce the risk of this happening. Here are some of my best tips for you to follow.


1. Use antivirus software

Keeping hackers from tracking your devices can be prevented if you have good antivirus software installed. Not only can antivirus software may be able to block malware that can track you, but it will prevent you from clicking on any potential malicious links in the first place that would allow hackers to gain access to your personal information.

My top recommendation is TotalAV. Not only does it offer antivirus scanning, but it also offers ad-blocking and a feature called Safe Site which can block intrusive trackers in real-time. And when it comes to spyware, which has the sole purpose of gathering information about you to share it with other entities that can financially benefit from it, TotalAv can provide Spyware Removal for you.Special for CyberGuy Readers: My #1 pick is TotalAV, and you can get a limited-time deal for CyberGuy readers: $19 your first year (80% off) for the TotalAV Antivirus Pro package.

Read my review of best antivirus protection software here

Best Antivirus Protection 2024

2. Use a VPN

Consider using a VPN to protect against being tracked and to identify your potential location on websites that you visit. Many sites can read your IP address and, depending on their privacy settings, may display the city from which you are corresponding. A VPN will disguise your IP address to show an alternate location.

My top recommendation is ExpressVPN. It has a quick and easy setup, is available in 94 countries, and will not log your IP address, browsing history, traffic destination or metadata, or DNS queries.

Right now you can get 3 extra months FREE with a 12-month ExpressVPN plan. That’s just $6.67 per month, a saving of 49%! Try 30 days risk-free.

Best VPNs for browsing the web privately 2024

3. Don’t use a public WiFi network

If you’re not using a VPN, then you should definitely not be using a public WiFi network. This is one of the easiest ways for a hacker to break into your device and start tracking your location because you have little to no protection. Scam hotspots historically are easily identified by generic names like “Free WiFi” to lure people to connect to their networks. Cybercriminals have gotten savvier by using similar names of popular legitimate hotspots.

This is a huge reason why having a VPN is so important because it will give an extra layer of protection that will make it much harder for a hacker to break into your phone. For more information on why public WiFi is not a safe bet click here.

4. Turn off location settings for certain apps

As I mentioned before, certain apps on your phone could still be tracking your location even if you have location tracking turned off within your phone’s settings. To prevent this from happening, you have to make sure that location services are turned off for each app that you don’t want tracking you. Here’s how to do it.

How to turn off app tracking on an iPhone

  • Go to your Settings app
  • Scroll down and click Privacy & Security
  • Select Tracking 

A list of apps that you have permitted to track your activity will appear here. You can turn off ones that have no use tracking you by toggling off, like Twitter or Instagram.  However, apps that actively use location services like Uber and Door Dash should be left on so that you can be located when using them.

How to turn off app tracking on an Android

Settings may vary depending on your Android phone’s manufacturer

  • Swipe down twice from the top of the screen to reveal quick settings
  • Touch and hold Location
  • Tap App permission
  • Find the apps that use your phone (i.e. Facebook or Instagram) location under:
    • Allowed all the time
    • Allowed only while in use
    • Ask every time
  • Tap the relevant app to change the permissions

And if you want to learn more about how you can stop sharing your location with others, you can click here.

5. Check your Google account

No, it’s not an individual, but you don’t want big tech tracking you either. Your Google account could have a history of devices that are tracking you, and Google has been known to collect tons of data about your location history, web and app activity, and more. However, you can make sure that your location settings are adjusted so that this doesn’t happen without your consent.


How to stop someone from tracking you on your phone - CyberGuy (3)

How to adjust the location settings in your Google account (iPhone)

  • Open the Google app
  • Click on the profile picture icon in the top right corner
  • Click Google Account
  • Click Data & privacy in the menu bar at the top
  • Scroll down and select Location History
  • Any devices tracking you will be listed. If you do not want this, select Turn off or Turn off and delete activity

How to adjust the location settings in your Google account (Android)

  • Open the Google app
  • Click on the profile picture icon in the top corner
  • Tap your email
  • Click Manage Your Google Account
  • Click Data & privacy in the menu bar at the top
  • Scroll down and select Location History
  • Any devices tracking you will be listed. If you do not want this, select Turn off


6. Use a strong password

You should make sure that your phone is always locked when you’re not using it. Create strong passwords for your accounts and devices, and avoid using the same password for multiple online accounts. Consider using a password manager to securely store and generate complex passwords.

7. Enable biometrics and 2-factor authentication

Along with a strong password, you should also have facial recognition or fingerprint enabled depending on what your smartphone offers. This prevents unauthorized access to your phone and the installation of tracking apps. Plus, be sure to enable 2-factor authentication or 2F, which is a security method that requires two forms of identification, as an extra shield that will prevent a hacker from getting into your accounts.

8. Keep your phone updated

Make sure you’re always checking for software updates on your phone if you don’t have automatic updates turned on already. You can do this by going into your phone’s settings and checking for software updates. These updates often have important security and bug fixes that can further prevent your phone from being hacked. You should also be regularly checking for updates to all the apps on your phone as those will get security and bug fixes as well.

9. Use a more private browser

Google is the default browser for tons of people on the internet. However, the tech giant has also been known to keep track of people’s data so that they can send more targeted ads. That’s why there are some great alternatives for your desktop and laptop browsers as well as your mobile devices that you can use to browse freely without having to worry about your data being taken.

Kurt’s key takeaways

The big nightmare that we all want to avoid is having someone tracking our every move. It’s an invasion of privacy and can be incredibly scary and anxiety-inducing, so make sure you’re following my tips carefully and keeping those criminals out of your business.

Should apps that don’t need your location even have the option to turn it on? Let us know by commenting below.


Copyright 2024 All rights reserved. articles and content may contain affiliate links that earn a commission when purchases are made.















How to stop someone from tracking you on your phone - CyberGuy (2024)


How do I block someone from tracking my phone? ›

What can I do to prevent my phone from being tracked?
  1. Use antivirus software. ...
  2. Use a VPN. ...
  3. Don't use a public WiFi network. ...
  4. Turn off location settings for certain apps. ...
  5. Check your Google account. ...
  6. Use a strong password. ...
  7. Enable biometrics and 2-factor authentication. ...
  8. Keep your phone updated.
Mar 16, 2024

Can you stop your cell phone from being tracked? ›

Turn off location settings

Turning off the location-based features of your phone can prevent GPS tracking. Switching to airplane mode will do this for you, but you can also turn off GPS tracking as an isolated feature on many devices, allowing you to still use your phone to make calls and access the internet.

What does ##002 do to your phone? ›

Code to turn off all forms of phone redirection: ##002# Code to check if phone is tapped: *#21# Code to show unknown connections and tracking (for Android): *#*#4636#*#* or *#*#197328640#*#* Code to show unknown connections and if someone is tracing you (for iPhone): *3001#12345#*

How can I check if someone is tracking me? ›

10 Signs to Tell If Your Phone Is Being Tracked
  1. Unknown Apps Installed on Your Phone. ...
  2. Your Phone Gets Overheated. ...
  3. Higher Data Usage. ...
  4. Increased Battery Consumption. ...
  5. Your Phone Is Jailbroken or Rooted. ...
  6. Sudden Performance Deterioration. ...
  7. Unusual and Peculiar Permission Requests. ...
  8. Unusual Noise During Calls.

How to make a phone not trackable? ›

  1. Open your phone's settings.
  2. Scroll down to and click on Location.
  3. Switch the location services slider to Off.
May 26, 2022

What is the 3 digit number to see if your phone is tapped? ›

Fortunately, there's a code (netmonitor code) that helps you identify whether or not you're being tracked or tapped. To confirm this, dial any of the codes below for your phone's operating system: For Android devices, dial: *#*#197328640#*#* or *#*#4636#*#* For iPhones, dial: *3001#12345#*

Which code can I use to stop tracking my phone? ›

##002# ➡️ To Turn Off Phone Redirection

This resets all redirection options to the default settings. It's wise to do this whenever you suspect someone may intercept or monitor your calls without permission.

How do you remove someone from tracking your iPhone? ›

Tap People at the bottom of the screen, then tap the name of the person you want to remove. Tap Remove [name], then tap Remove.

What does *#21 do to your phone? ›

Dialing *#21# on a GSM network like AT&T or T-Mobile will tell you whether your calls and messages are being diverted to another number. Call **21* if you use Verizon, US Cellular, or another CDMA network to discover any unconditional call forwarding settings that may be used to tap your phone.

What is *# 62 used for? ›

The MMI code *#62# is used to check the number to which all calls are being diverted when there is no response (no answer) or when the phone is busy. This is the forwarding number for call forwarding when the line is busy or there is no answer.

How do I cancel phone monitoring? ›

Disable location tracking for a specific app on your phone

Tap on App location permissions (for a Pixel) or App permissions (for a Galaxy). You'll find here a list of all your current apps that have permission to access your location either all of the time or only while in use. Tap on any to change the permission.

Can I block someone from tracking me? ›

Fortunately, there are several ways to stop someone from tracking your phone. You should use a VPN with an ad blocker, remove suspicious apps, get an antivirus, and turn off all wireless connections. Continue reading to find out exactly how to implement these methods and keep your device safe.

Can someone track my phone without me knowing? ›

Can someone spy on your phone without you knowing? Yes, if they had physical access to your phone and installed monitoring software.

How can I detect a tracker on my phone? ›

You can check for trackers that are separated from their owners and currently near you at any time.
  1. On your device, tap Settings.
  2. Tap Safety & Emergency Unknown tracker alerts. Scan now. Your device takes about 10 seconds to complete a manual scan.

Can someone track my phone if my location is off? ›

The answer is yes, it's possible to track mobile phones even if location services are turned off. Turning off the location service on your phone can help conceal your location. This is important if you don't want third parties knowing where you are or being able to track your movement.

Can a GPS tracker be blocked? ›

So, vehicle tracking using GPS technology can be blocked using jamming devices that interfere with these transmissions. For instance, wrapping things like aluminum foil around the GPS receiver creates a Faraday Shield, which blocks the GPS signals.


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