Warning Signs that your mobile device may be compromised

  • Your device is warm to the touch and you haven't been using it
  • Your webcam indicator light is randomly blinking on and off
  • You experience trouble when shutting off your phone. It seems to just sit there when you try to power down.
  • Your phone continues to stay lit up for several seconds to a minute after you've shut it off.
  • Your phone lights up when you're not using it to make a call, or when no one is calling you, or when you're not using any of the phone's apps.
  • Spyware has to "call" your phone to get information.
  • Strange background noises or clicks when you're on a call.
  • Increase in GPRS activity. This indicates spyware is tracking your location.
  • Icon showing the Internet connection activates several times a day for no reason. Again, spyware is gathering information.
  • Check your phone bill closely. Notice whether it lists many more text messages than you remember sending.
  • Ask your partner or someone else close to you whether they have borrowed your phone to install a software program they say you'll like, or a wallpaper, or a ringtone.

Email Accounts

  • When setting up an e-mail account or profile for a web community, do not list your personal information (full name address, etc.) in the personal profile section. Only provide information that is required and already in the public domain (including photos and images). The web is never anonymous! Your personal information is accessible to anyone who wishes to see it and can make you the easy target of a cyberstalker.
  • Use a genderless name for your e-mail and other web accounts. (Ex., hhawk@hotmail.com instead of HerkyHawk@hotmail.com, or profile name as hhawk instead of HerkyHawk)
  • Do not use the year of your birth or graduation. This provides personal information.

Social Networking Sites

  • When using Web communities such as Facebook, Craigslist, Myspace, Xanga, LiveJournal, Friendster, Mi Gente, and Match.com, be aware that these online social networks are hotspots for stalkers. Set the security on your profile, allow only "friends" you know. Protect your privacy - know what is being posted about you and get an okay before posting anything on anyone else.
  • Be aware that many online social networks such as FourSquare, Flickr, Picasa, Facebook and others capture and share GPS data regarding your location and movements over a period of time.
  • Use a free e-mail account such as Hotmail (www.hotmail.com) or YAHOO! (www.yahoo.com) for social networking, like web communities, newsgroups/mailing lists, chat room, IMs, e-mails from strangers, message boards, filling out forms, and other online activities. Have two email accounts, one for business and one for personal.
  • Create passwords that people can't easily figure out and do not share your passwords even with close friends.
  • Observe web communities, newsgroups, mailing lists and chat rooms for a period of time before "speaking", posting messages, sharing photos and journals.
  • When you participate online, be careful - type what you would say to someone's face. What you post on line stays on line - forever!
  • When finished working on your computer, be sure to enable password protection and/or shut down. With high-technology there are cellphone and computer hardware/software which put us at greater risk to stalkers - keystroke logging, spyware, webcams, surveillance and cell phone cameras, and GPS (global positioning system). These gadgets allow stalkers to access your database and intrude into your personal life.
Article number: 
Last updated: 
May 25, 2021