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Can Parents See What You Do on Your Phone?

Are you worried that your parents are spying on you through your phone? Unfortunately, spying apps are becoming easier to use, and parents can mistakenly see them as a way to keep tabs on their kids. This huge invasion of privacy often causes more harm than good. In this article, we’ll explain how to tell if your parents are spying on you and what you can do about it. In the meantime, use Clario AntiSpy to protect your devices from prying eyes.

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How to tell if your parents are spying on your phone?

There’s no single way to tell whether your parents are spying on you. However, by paying attention to the following red flags, you can get a feeling for whether they’ve installed a tracking app or not.


Here are some warning signs that someone is spying on your phone:

  • Your iPhone has been jailbroken without your knowledge. Many spy and tracking apps require iPhones to be jailbroken to work. If your iPhone has been jailbroken, but you didn’t do it, it’s a good sign that your parents are tracking you. To find out, check whether the Cydia or Sileo jailbreaking apps are installed on your device.
  • Your battery life runs out very quickly. If you notice all of a sudden that your battery life runs out quicker than usual, it’s a sign that a tracking app like Life360 or Find My has been installed on your device.
  • Your device runs hot or freezes a lot. Keep an eye out for sudden changes in your phone’s behavior. Tracking apps use up a lot of your phone’s system resources to keep an eye on you—this means that your phone will be hotter or slower than usual.
  • There are unfamiliar apps on your device. If you notice apps on your phone that you never installed, they may be tracking apps that your parents have put there. Perform a Google search to see what they are and how to get rid of them.

If you know that your phone is being monitored by your parents, should you do something about it? Below, we’ll discuss your options.

Should you stop parents from monitoring your phone?

Monitoring someone else’s phone is a huge breach of privacy, even if it’s a parent spying on their kids. Not only does this negatively affect the relationship between the parents and their kids, but it can have other serious consequences, too.

Here are a few reasons why you should stop your parents from monitoring your phone:

  • It causes distrust between you and your parents. Parents tracking your phone activity can increase your anxiety levels, make you feel guilty (even if you don’t do anything wrong), and damage your relationship with your parents.
  • Many spy apps collect data and sell it to third-party companies. Often, spy apps (and parental control apps) like Life360 sell the data they collect for profit. Usually, they sell it to advertising agencies and data brokers.
  • Your data could be leaked. Because your personal information is being held by a company (and potentially being sold to many other companies), the chances that it’s leaked are much higher. If these companies suffer a data breach, your personal information could be used to steal your identity, scam you, and more.

As you can see, there are several reasons why it’s important to stop your parents from tracking your phone. And it’s important for your parents to realize that the feeling of constantly being watched isn’t good for your health.

How to stop your phone from being tracked by parents?

If you’ve discovered that your parents are tracking your phone, it’s time to do something about it. Here’s what to do:

  1. Have a conversation with your parents
  2. Look for apps that parents use for tracking
  3. Turn off geolocation on your phone
  4. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  5. Use an anti-spyware app
  6. Use a private browser

1. Have a conversation with your parents

While it can be tempting to try and kick your parents off your phone as quickly as possible, it’s worth reaching out to them first. This is an emotionally-fuelled topic, and with an honest conversation, you might be able to convince them that you don’t need to be watched 24/7.


Let them know that you think you’re being tracked, and tell them how it makes you feel. In all likelihood, they’re tracking you because they care about you and they’re worried about you. By chatting about it, you can help them see how they’ve breached your trust and how it’s not healthy for your relationship.


Next, explain how you can alleviate their fears in other ways. For example, you could promise to message them more often when you’re out to let them know where you are and how you’re doing.


If you reach out to them and they continue to track you without your permission, you can use the tactics below to regain privacy.

2. Look for apps that parents use for tracking

The next step is to remove any tracking apps that your parents have installed on your phone. If they aren’t very technologically minded, this should be as easy as uninstalling the app from your device. However, some apps are a little harder to find.


First, scroll through your app list and remove anything suspicious that you don’t remember installing. Keep an eye out for the usual culprits like Life360, Find My, FamiSafe, Qustodio, mSpy, and so on. Even Instagram now has new parental control features that enable spying.


Spy apps often hide under inconspicuous or generic names to avoid detection, so be sure to research any unknown apps. If you don’t find anything right away, check which apps are using an abnormal amount of network data or system resources.


On Android:

  1. Go to Settings > Connections
  2. Here, navigate to Data Usage
  3. Select Mobile data usage
  4. Scan the list of apps for any that are using a suspicious amount of data.

On iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings > Mobile Data > Cellular
  2. Scroll down and check the list of apps to see which ones are using up the most data.
  3. If all else fails, you can always factory reset your phone – just make sure to save your data first.

3. Turn off geolocation on your phone

The next easiest way to stop your parents from tracking you is to turn off location services. This won’t prevent them from tracking other information about you (depending on the app), but it will stop them from knowing where you are.


To turn your location services off on an iPhone or Android device, swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the location services icon. It looks like a location marker.

4. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

You can use a VPN to mask your location so that it seems like you’re somewhere other than you are. A reliable VPN will also encrypt your internet activity and protect your identity from spying eyes.


Clario AntiSpy has something even better for you. Our new feature, Virtual Location, lets you set your device’s location anywhere in the world. Clario’s Virtual Location protects you online and masks your actual location if someone is paying for your GPS parameters.

5. Use an anti-spyware app

A powerful anti-spyware app can help protect you from cyberstalking, whether it’s spying apps, site trackers, adverts, or hackers.


While parents can use parental control apps to their advantage and spy on their children to be aware of every single step they take, it does remain a breach of privacy. If you are over 18 and you feel like your parents might install a parental spy app or spyware on your phone, try using anti-spy solutions like Clario to maintain your privacy.

6. Use a private browser

Using private browsing tools is the final way to prevent your parents from spying on you. By using private or incognito mode on your web browser, you can effectively prevent your parents from seeing your site data and browsing history.


Here’s how to use private browsing with the most popular browsers:

  • Google Chrome: Select the Menu, then tap the New Incognito tab
  • Firefox: Press the Tab icon at the bottom-right of the screen, then select the Private tab and select + Private.
  • Safari: Tap the Tabs button, then tap the Downward arrow > Private > Done.


Unfortunately, with more and more spying apps on the market, it’s getting easier for people to track your location and activity. To stop your parents from tracking you, start with a conversation. If that doesn’t work, remove the spyware from your phone, then use a combined anti-spy app like Clario to protect yourself in the future.

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