smart phone with application iconsIn any given day at the offices of , the phones ring with inquiries about cell phone spying. The conversation starts out that the caller suspects someone is listening to her conversations and she wonders she needs cell phone spyware detection services.

We ask about the common signs that spyware has been installed on a mobile device:

  • Is the battery warm when not in use?
  • Is the battery life noticeably diminished each day?
  • Are there small pauses in audible communication when talking?
  • Are there noises; light beeps, tones or clicks, throughout conversations?
  • Is there any sign of flickering or flashing on display or change of brightness on the phone?
  • Is the Internet access slower than usual?
  • And the big question: have you opened any emails or attachments from people you did not know recently? And did anything change on the phone afterward?

There are a few things that people don’t readily understand about cell phone spying.

  1. The bad guy does not necessarily have to have physical access to your phone to install spyware. It can be installed remotely by opening an email or a picture.
  2. The spyware can be remotely uninstalled without your knowledge.
  3. The only way to positively determine if spyware has been installed is to conduct a mobile phone forensic analysis. And you can’t do it yourself at home.

There are only two private labs in the United States. in Indianapolis is home to one.

The phone must be in the lab for a cell phone analysis. But since the phone will be “inactive” for a few days, preventative steps must be taken before the phone is shipped.

We suggest the phone be wrapped multiple times in metal foil. This creates a Faraday Cage so the phone cannot be accessed remotely. Even if the bad guy suspects cell phone forensics are being conducted, he won’t be able to remove the evidence. That is critical because it can take up to 8 days to run the mobile phone analysis.

If spyware is discovered, the cell phone forensic lab can usually identify the bad guy. Many spyware software programs send a text notification to the bad guy when your phone is activated. That way he knows to listen in. Those communications can be traced to the recipient.

It is not paranoia that is sweeping the nation. It is indeed cell phone spyware illegally being installed. The incidence of finding spyware has increased dramatically in the ’ lab in the last several years. Not only is it annoying, in some instances it is the prelude to a dangerous situation. Don’t take chances. If you are fearful, find out the truth.

-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations