We take our smartphones with us wherever we go - Of course even when we are out and about without a partner. For many, this is a good reason to secretly watch the other person using a spy app or free monitoring software. In addition to the fear of potential infidelity, there are other reasons to monitor a cell phone: Some bosses use espionage software to monitor their employees and many parents want to know at all times where their children are. We have summarized here which monitoring apps are available, what is allowed and when it becomes illegal.
Anyone who has access to a smartphone, tablet or an unsecured computer, for example because they know the PIN of their partner, can install spy software there in a few seconds. Once a monitoring app is set up and active, it uses an invisibility mode to collect personal data without the owner's knowledge and send it to a server. Third parties can then use this server via the web interface to see exactly when their target person was at a certain location and which mobile phone functions they are using.
The smartphone, tablet or computer owner himself can usually not recognize the monitoring because there is no visible icon for the respective monitoring app. In some cases, the spy apps are only listed as "device management" so that if they are found by chance, they are perceived as system - Relevant software instead of as an additional app.
For example, espionage apps can monitor:
Monitoring apps are usually offered for both the iPhone and the Android operating system. With an iPhone, however, it is much more difficult to carry out secret surveillance. Because to install a spy app on an iPhone or iPad, a jailbreak is required first. That means: The specified usage restrictions must be deliberately overturned.
In the case of Android monitoring apps, rooting may be necessary, especially for WhatsApp monitoring. Tools such as Kingo Root subsequently expand the administration rights for the user. However, if done incorrectly, rooting can mean the complete failure of the smartphone. In any case, the guarantee is void.
An account with the WhatsApp messaging service is surprisingly easy and free to hack. All you have to do is go to web.whatsapp.com on your computer and scan a specific QR code in the settings of the desired WhatsApp account. This synchronizes your own PC and the WhatsApp account. Access of a few seconds is enough to be able to read along permanently. If you have the feeling that you are being spied on, you should click on "WhatsApp Web" in the settings of your WhatsApp account and see whether there are any unknown devices listed. If this is the case, you should select the option "Log off from all computers" to be on the safe side.
In addition, there are also many spy apps that enable WhatsApp monitoring. As a rule, however, at least brief access to the smartphone must be possible. An account can usually not be hacked simply by specifying a name or phone number.
It sounds too good to be true: Check your partner's cell phone remotely at any time or keep an eye on the children's smartphones - All for free. If you are considering using free monitoring apps, you should question their motives. After all, the programming and maintenance of such a tool requires time and money that no provider would want to pay out of pocket. In addition, free monitoring apps are often infected with viruses, full of annoying advertisements, or their functions are faulty. If you still want to try a free monitoring app, you can try some of the offers of some popular providers for a few days free of charge.
There are many providers of cell phone monitoring apps. Not all of them are serious. Users should therefore take a closer look in any case. Otherwise, instead of landing on the desired device, the data could quickly circulate unprotected in the network.
We have put together monitoring apps from providers that are also classified as secure by experts and clearly listed their functions, prices and technical data in the following table.
Important: There are many free riders online who call themselves similar or even offer fake apps under the same names. We do not accept any guarantee for damage caused by downloading the apps presented here or similar.
Most surveillance apps are not available for Windows Phones. Some surveillance apps are only available for iPhones, others only for Android phones. Once the desired operating system has been selected, the following criteria will help to select the right offer. The more the offer contains, the better:
Invisible monitoring app for private users: The MSpy app is currently particularly popular with private users. Because it is not visible to the monitored person and is easy to use.
Comprehensive professional variants: According to insider information, detectives and other security experts often rely on the high - Priced espionage apps Spyera and Flexispy.
For all four there are also significantly cheaper booking options instead of the annual subscriptions mentioned here, some of which have a shorter term or only have basic functions.
The following video shows how to install a surveillance app:
Classic surveillance apps are often installed on their children's cell phones by parents. For example, they show when a child is leaving school. In an emergency, for example, users of the Familonet app receive a push message on their smartphone that shows the exact location of their child.
The same function is fulfilled by GPS trackers for the wrist, smart watches or special key rings with which even small children without their own smartphone can be located anywhere. Some of them also contain an SOS button, with which the children can ask for help themselves. Such systems can make children safer, provided the children know that their parents are keeping an eye on them digitally and why they are doing this. Without knowledge of the offspring, the parents act in a legal gray area.
In contrast, extensive espionage apps for adults violate the privacy of the smartphone owner by secretly monitoring other people. So anyone who intends to secretly control his partner is a criminal offense and can be jailed for up to two years. Incidentally, it is just as illegal to slip espionage software on employees or customers in order to obtain personal data. In addition, information collected using surveillance apps cannot be used in court against an employee. If, on the other hand, the boss hires a private detective after the spy software has made him suspicious, the secretly monitored people can get into serious trouble.
In summary, it can be said: A smartphone may only be monitored if the owner has been informed about it and has consented to it. Some people install such features, for example, to be able to find their own cell phone again if it is lost or stolen.
Simply giving someone else an app, on the other hand, is both morally questionable and legally questionable. Accordingly, the providers of espionage apps usually point out in their terms and conditions that clandestine use is not permitted in order to protect themselves from legal consequences. Apart from that, surveillance of loved ones, if discovered, can lead to an extreme loss of trust.
Tracking down a spy app is usually made more difficult by the fact that many providers give their monitoring functions an invisibility mode and either do not show app icons at all or display them under misleading names (e.g. device management) on the display. This clearly contradicts the notification of the smartphone owner when using it, which is usually required in the terms and conditions.
How to detect and remove spy software on a hacked Android phone is shown in the following guide.
Signs of cell phone manipulation or espionage:
If several of these factors occur at the same time, this is a sign of unwanted external access. Then the following countermeasures will help.
Find espionage software:
Remove cell phone monitoring mode:
Important: Some apps camouflage themselves so well that even experts can find them difficult. Therefore, only completely resetting the smartphone to the factory settings is absolutely safe.
A jailbreak is almost always necessary to manipulate an Apple device. This is the only way to use apps that do not come from the Apple Store. Whether such a jailbreak was carried out secretly can be found out, for example, via apps such as Icy, Absinthe or Cydia.
In the event that good monitoring software disguises the jailbreak, deactivation is only possible by first backing up your own data and then performing an iOS update.
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