Do you suspect your partner is spying on you? Privacy and trust are important in a relationship. So if you think that there’s been a boundary crossing, you should know how to protect yourself and how to find out if there’s spying software installed on your device.
Maybe in your relationship you consider it normal to share passwords, and it’s okay to share them if you want to. But when your partner takes advantage of that to spy on you, it’s not only unhealthy but can also be illegal.
Smartphone Spy Apps or Stalkerware
Your wife, husband or partner can spy on you with stalkerware or consumer-grade spyware, software that is downloaded on your phone. Usually marketed as “child monitoring software,” they are often used by spouses to monitor their partners without consent.
This type of software can monitor calls, text messages, photos, browsing history, GPS coordinates and even turn your device into a microphone.
A 2021 survey by Kaspersky Security Network showed that 33,000 users were affected by stalkerware, with 50% of them through mobile apps.
Reasons Why Your Partner is Suspicious
It’s hard to guess what drives someone to spy. Your partner might suspect you’re cheating on them, or lack trust in you, or they might even be abusive and controlling.
4 most common reasons your spouse is spying on you:
- They suspect you of cheating – whether you’ve done it in the past or not (to them, or a previous partner)
- They are cheating – this usually makes a person more paranoid, or prone to gaslighting
- They are controlling – this is a form of abuse and you should work on establishing clear boundaries for an emotionally safe relationship
- They are concerned about you – your partner might suspect you are putting yourself in harm’s way through bad habits such as drinking or gambling.
“There are different reasons why your partner is spying on you but, the most common one I’ve encountered is suspicion of cheating,” says Private Investigator Richard James of Rivica Investigations. “It’s important to trust your instincts. If you suspect they are spying on you, there’s a high chance they are.”
Signs that your partner is spying on you
If you start suspecting your partner of spying, trust your gut and pay attention to unusual behaviour.
- Your partner is more insistent in asking you about your whereabouts, questioning you and wanting to know what you’re doing every moment. If it makes you feel uneasy and you feel like you’re being interrogated, then you have reason to believe they are not trusting you.
- Your partner knows more than they should. Pay attention to what they are asking you. They might mention things that they shouldn’t know and that’s one way to catch them red-handed. Or they could drop in very specific, random questions – “when did you become friends with this person on Facebook?”
- Your phone displays odd activity. After trusting your gut and paying attention to your partner’s behaviour towards you, you should direct your attention to your phone specifically.
Common signs of spy software on your phone include: overheating, slowness, fast battery drainage, sudden malfunctions, unexpected peaks in data usage and background noise when you’re making phone calls.
How to Protect Yourself from Being Spied On
If you think that your husband, wife or partner is spying on you, you should do the following.
- Install antivirus software on your device. Antivirus software is an effective way to detect spy apps on your phone. But if you suspect someone is spying on you, choose your antivirus software wisely. That’s because some spy apps such as Flexispy are not considered viruses, so you should look for an antivirus program that detects this type of app.
- Use a password. Setting clear boundaries with your partner such as not sharing your passwords helps. Make sure to make your passwords unique and hard to guess.
- Don’t leave your devices unattended. As a best practice, make sure you always lock your phone when you’re not using it. If you return and you find apps opened on your device that you haven’t been using, that’s a clear sign that your partner is spying on you.
- Reset to factory settings. The finite way to get rid of malicious software is to reset your phone to factory settings. You won’t need to change your SIM card or even device, but you will need to backup your data.
From glancing at your phone when you’re texting to interrogating you and installing spyware on your device, spying is not the sign of a healthy relationship. Whatever the underlying reasons, you should address any concerns with them, or seek specialist advice and services if you’re feeling unsafe. Whatever is going on in your relationship, you have the right to feel safe. We hope this article will help you see the signs and protect yourself from a spying partner.