iPhone and iPad Security

The Dangers of iPhone Spyware

Gavin Phillips Updated 10-12-2019

Nearly all smartphone spyware promises to log everything a phone does while remaining undetectable. A compromised device is traceable via GPS, can have its incoming and outgoing text messages and call logs stolen, and even have remote access to photos, videos, and browser history.


Installing spyware on an iPhone was once no mean feat. Apple’s stringent security settings and iOS architecture made installing spyware difficult. That hasn’t changed—but spyware developers have learned how to circumvent many of these iOS spyware defense mechanisms.

Think someone has compromised your iPhone? Wondering how to detect iPhone spyware? Here’s what you need to know.

Is There a Legitimate Use for Spyware?

Spy software, by its very nature, is designed to snoop on people. It is for this reason that anyone reading this who is contemplating installing such software probably doesn’t care what I have to say about any aspect of doing so. If you’re already thinking about doing this, you’ve probably already ethically justified the practice in your head.

Whatever your reasoning for doing so, it’s always worth considering how you would feel if someone did the same to you.

ios spyware xnspy home page


Most spy software is marketed in a very broad way. Not only is it advertised to snoopers who want to track the location of an individual, or spy on someone’s smartphone usage but it’s also marketed as a legitimate security tool. This is ethically questionable at best, and a massive breach of privacy at worst.

Unfortunately, we can’t change the minds of those who are already engaged in the practice, but we can try to redress the balance for those drawn in by dishonest marketers.

Parents should reconsider using spyware to trace their children. There are free and safe ways to share the location from an iPhone (and other iDevices), which you can find at the bottom of this article.

At times, spyware marketing targets employers. Employers should not use spyware to keep tabs on your workforce. If you want to use a Mobile Device Management (MDM) policy on your employee’s hardware, don’t use a BYOD policy alongside it.


There is no doubt MDM policies are important. But a personal device should remain private and installing MDM software compromises device privacy.

Is It Difficult to Install Spyware on an iPhone?

For a long time, no spyware in the world could do all it claims without voiding the target iPhone’s warranty. That includes spying on any activity, tracing any location, uploading video and camera images, and so on.

Parents installing iPhone spyware void the warranty on their kid’s devices. Paranoid spouses and partners invalidate their other halves’ iPhone warranty, and the same goes for employers and so on.

“Unauthorized modification of iOS is a violation of the iOS end-user software license agreement and because of this, Apple may deny service for an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that has installed any unauthorized software.”

That is because the most potent forms of iPhone spyware require a jailbreak before allowing access to the full gamut of private data. Not all legal interpretations of jailbreaking and warranty provisions agree with Apple’s interpretation. But if something happens to the device while jailbroken, Apple can use that against you.


Jailbreaking will also void any AppleCare after-sales warranty AppleCare Warranty: What Are Your Options and Is It Worth It? AppleCare+ protects your Apple device, but is it worth the cost? Here's what AppleCare+ offers and whether you should get it. Read More . Jailbreaking is fine if it’s your iPhone and you understand the risks involved in doing so. Even a jailbreak gone wrong is unlikely to “brick” your iPhone. But jailbreaking someone else’s device without their knowledge isn’t very nice.

iPhone Jailbreaking Spyware Installation

In comparison to Android, installing iPhone spyware is difficult. Apple takes a commendable hardline approach to security and privacy. The iPhone isn’t designed to run non-Apple software which is seen as a security violation. Tampering with system-level software isn’t illegal, but Apple can and will detect any changes, even if you take your device in for a basic repair.

flexispy ios spyware

Whereas, Android does things differently. Unchecking a box in the Settings allows the installation of non-Google Play apps. The process is instantly reversible, too, but allows those apps to remain.


Jailbreaking involves loading custom firmware onto the iPhone. Jailbreaking allows greater freedom on the device, allowing users to run unsigned software. The most advanced spyware is always unsigned, for two reasons: the spyware would breach iOS permissions, and Apple would never allow that level of spyware on the App Store in the first place.

Is Jailbreaking Easy or Quick?

In the early days of jailbreaking, new vulnerabilities were found frequently. It was relatively easy to jailbreak iOS, allowing for the installation of custom apps (and in this case, spyware). It is possible to jailbreak an older iOS device in minutes, with a little preparation.

More recent versions of iOS are more secure and have taken much longer for jailbreak developers to crack. At the time of writing, jailbreaks exist for iDevices running up to iOS 12.4. The jailbreak process is remarkably quick, too. The latest jailbreak method (at the time of writing) takes a couple of minutes to complete and doesn’t require you to connect the iPhone to a computer at any point.

There was a long period during which jailbreakers could not find a new vulnerability to exploit. Installing and updating the most invasive forms of spyware during that period was difficult. Unfortunately, through Apple’s internal incompetence, iOS version 12.4 introduced a vulnerability that jailbreakers pounced upon, quickly releasing a new option.

Are Unsigned iOS Apps Safe?

Unsigned apps can potentially include malware. If the root SSH password remains unchanged once the jailbreak is complete, malware could run riot on your phone. With no Apple guardians to oversee software, you must rely on third-party developers to be the judge and jury. If you think about it, spy software is malware marketed as valid software.

Jailbroken iPhones and other iOS devices can sometimes have problems running legitimate App Store apps. Developers have ways of detecting a jailbreak and can now prevent jailbroken devices from using their services. One example would be DIRECTV which delivers streaming video and another reported app is Skype for iOS.

Many banking apps are also restricted for obvious reasons, as is PayPal. Getting these apps working again involves playing a game of cat and mouse between developers and the jailbreak community.

Jailbreak-Free iPhone Spyware

The period of time where there was no option to jailbreak the latest iOS version sent spies toward different spyware options. A raft of jailbreak-free spyware apps are now available. The jailbreak-free iPhone spyware apps cannot provide the same level of data as spyware installed using a jailbreak exploit.

mspy ios spyware

Jailbreak-free iPhone spyware uses the iCloud credentials of the victim and exploits the data found there. The spyware app can then use integrated iCloud services such as Find My iPhone to track the target device, or read through the victim’s iMessage history without alerting anyone. The spy is not only violating the privacy of the target, but they are also handing over the password to the target’s entire Apple identity

How to Detect iPhone Spyware

There is no guarantee you will find evidence of the iPhone spy software. As you might expect, developers design spyware to remain hidden from view and to operate without leaving a trace.

Instead, you are more likely to encounter other issues with your iPhone relating to spyware. For example, you might find the evidence of a jailbreak, rather than a spyware app. You might also note your device using more battery, or your data allowance drops faster than usual.

The biggest telltale sign is the Cydia app. The Cydia app installs during the jailbreak process and is the portal to jailbroken unsigned apps and unofficial iOS tweaks. Even if the spy hides the Cydia from the home screen, you should still find it using the iOS home screen search function.


There is no guarantee of finding Cydia, and the careful snooper will probably try all they can to hide any signs of a jailbreak. Other apps to search for that might suggest a jailbreak include Installer, Icy, SBSettings, Absinthe, and Installous. Similarly, installing an app like PayPal (mentioned above) might reveal an issue if the app refuses to run.

To find out more methods for spotting iPhone spyware, check out how to protect yourself from illegal spying How to Protect Yourself From Unethical or Illegal Spying Think that someone is spying on you? Here's how to find out if spyware is on your PC or mobile device, and how to remove it. Read More of all kinds.

How to Remove iPhone Spyware

Jailbreaking is a game of cat and mouse between Apple and the jailbreak community. Keeping your iDevice up to date and performing all iOS updates reduces the chance of installing the most invasive forms of iPhone spyware.

Apple is quick to patch security vulnerabilities and jailbreak exploits. Rolling your iPhone back to an older firmware version is rarely an option. As such, even if someone has jailbroken your iPhone, reversing the issue is simple.

If you suspect spyware is on your iPhone, a factory reset is the easiest option to restore your device—and your privacy. Even though Apple keeps track of the unique identification numbers (UDIDs) of jailbroken devices via the App Store, it seems restoring your phone “as new” removes all traces of the jailbreak.

iphone xs restore iphone itunes

To restore your iPhone on a macOS or Windows PC, first launch iTunes. Then, head to Summary > Restore iPhone. You can opt to Back Up Now before the firmware restore process begins, which will save your personal data.

If you do choose to backup and restore, there’s a chance some evidence of the jailbreak will remain, but the jailbreak itself will be gone. If your phone needs attention from Apple (either as part of a 12-month warranty or the extended AppleCare package) an Apple technician may refuse you service if they detect evidence of a jailbreak.

Should Parents Install Spyware on Their Kids iPhone?

There are two easy to use iPhone spyware alternatives for concerned parents.

Find My Friends works across Apple devices and uses Apple IDs to connect friends and family. By authorizing a friend or family member to view your location in Find My Friends, they will be able to see where you are whenever they like. If you have young children you can enable location sharing within Find My Friends, then use iOS restrictions to prevent changes How to Hide and Restrict Apps on iPhone Looking to lock down apps on your iPhone to control your children's access? Here's how to restrict apps using Screen Time. Read More to Location Services.

The Find My Friends app works best with the consent of the user. You can use Find My Friends as an opportunity to establish a system of trust with your children. The app will not record messages, phone calls, or camera activity because it is not spyware. It is a tool for staying in touch that you can also use to open a personal safety dialogue with your kids.

find my phone

The second way to share location between iOS devices is via the Messages app. Simply open a conversation on the device, hit the “i” button in the top-right corner, and hit Share My Location or Send My Current Location. You can choose to do so for an hour, for a day, or indefinitely. You can then stay in touch by opening the same conversation on another device and hitting the “i” button.

iPhone Spyware Is Invasive and Dangerous

iPhone spyware is dangerous, for a multitude of reasons, including data theft, malware, fraudsters, and more. It’s also a lesson in ethics and trust between you and your kids; it might lead to a conversation with your employer regarding personal space and respect.

Remember, spyware isn’t the only iOS security issue you should know about. Despite a superior security record, your iPhone is still susceptible to malware How an iPhone Vulnerability Allowed Websites to Hack iOS Devices iPhones have been hacked by websites distributing automated malware attach chains. Find out how to fix a hacked iPhone. Read More and other vulnerabilities.

Related topics: iPhone Tips, Jailbreaking, Online Privacy, Smartphone Security, Spyware, Surveillance.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Lana
    January 11, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    I agree with you 100%. I think ALL spyware is wrong and there is no place for it anywhere, anytime. It is disgusting that it is allowed to even exist let alone be used legally. I wish people would stand up for privacy rights.

  2. Michelle
    April 24, 2019 at 6:11 am

    Is it legal to download spyware on my child's iPad while he stays with the other parent? There is emotional and psychological abuse and I suspect some physical.

    What are the consequences of being caught?

  3. Dan
    January 9, 2019 at 9:50 am

    What about certain spy apps that now say “even works on phones that are NOT jailbroken”? How does that work?

  4. Anna
    November 26, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    My ex used spytomobile app on my phone . I could not detect it so I changed the phone

  5. S. Peterson
    May 23, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    Just a thought for those who believe in morals, as determined by God... If our Heavenly Father is our best example of who we should be and what we should do as a parent, then it is perfectly moral to monitor every thought and action of our children. But, He TELLS us we are all being monitored, and TEACHES us why. It is not for the purpose of control or force, but to help, protect, remind and encourage us to do what is right as we learn to make choices.

    God does not take away our agency, but He does enforce consequences (good and bad ones).

    As parents, we should TALK to our children, TEACH them what to avoid and how to be safe. We should set reasonable boundaries, based on their ages and maturity, and inform them of the consequences so they can choose. And then let them face the consequences they chose.

    The battle we face is that there are scary things and people in this world, trying to convince them that there are no consequences. Companies who give addictive substances to children without disclaimers. Criminals who corrupt and abuse the mind, body, and spirit. It is our job to protect and educate our children so when they are grown and gone from our homes they can take full responsibility for their own choices.

    So, yes, I believe in monitoring, but I do not believe in deceiving, trapping, and lying about the monitoring.

    So, be careful. Just like this author is trying to educate you on the consequences of jail breaking a phone or buying a product from a company who has not fully disclosed the consequences, you are all grown up now. It’s now your job to educate yourself, because you are choosing a consequence. That consequence may be the loss of trust from someone you love, or it may be the life you save. Either way, it’s your choice, and don’t forget, God is always “monitoring”.

    • Lana
      January 11, 2020 at 4:36 pm

      You put parenting controls on their devices, then you don't need to monitor (spy) on them!!

  6. Sad Dad
    April 20, 2018 at 12:54 am

    I am actually looking for some help. more than a year ago I provided my son with an iphone. He lives primarily with his mom but when he is with me, I pick him up from school. Having a cell phone allows him to notify me in changes to his schedule, pickup times, locations, .... The usual teenage things.
    I am disturbed to learn that it appears she (or her husband) have taken steps to forward or otherwise monitor our communications (specifically text).
    This is illegal! She could do it if she owned/provided the phone OR with my permission but just being his mother does not allow her to do the equivalent of wiretapping. Even the parental agreement dictates that our phone calls are to be private.
    Aside from the typical things I have found searching the internet, is there ANY way I can get absolute proof? Regular backups won't help and I have done a search on the device for "cydia" and other key words such as "spy".
    This action, combined with the knowledge that she had him seeing a psychologist without my permission despite the judge specifically stating she could not unless I agreed. He is asking to spend more and more time with me (beyond the scheduled amount) more and more frequently and his grades are slipping at an alarming rate.
    He would like me to petition the court for a change in custody and I want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row.

  7. jo marty
    December 11, 2017 at 4:14 am

    "If you’re already thinking about doing this, you’ve probably already ethically justified the practice in your head. Whatever your reasoning for doing so, it’s always worth considering how you would feel if someone did the same to you".

    The person I have in mind gave up their morals a long time ago, and besides, I would never do to anyone what this person did to me...so there, I'm justified!

  8. Quentin mueller
    October 13, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    I’ve been having my phones screwed with for the last 3 years. I now have an iPhone 7 Plus and it’s being screwed with hard. I know who’s doing it. I just need proof. I spoken with law enforcement & the FBI. Even the DAs office. If I can get proof they will prosecute to the fullest. I believe he’s using Mspy or Spyera. He’s a computer hacker and he has a Mac pro air. I found when I discontinued my Gmail account I had a Mac Pro air connected to my Apple ID. I need this creep stopped & put behind bars. Any idea? I called a digital forensics investigator. But, it too expensive.

    • SJS
      January 12, 2018 at 12:28 am

      Hi Quentin, I have an iPhone 7 Plus and I’m facing the same issue. Someone has synced my iPhone and I know who it is. I’m in want to proof. This fellow can listen to every phone call and read every WhatsApp message of mine. He has complete access to my photos and tracks my geo location.
      If that’s not spooky enough, he has access to audio and camera too. He can hear everything I say when the phone is near me. He can tell who’s around the phone and he stops acting up when someone other than me is around the phone.
      He’s hacked my iPhones and laptops as well.
      I’ve DFU restored my phones but he’s back.
      He’s gotten so brazen about it because he’s recently moved to the UK and is working with FB and I’m either in the US or India.

      He’s now outsourced this to his friends who are also experts at hacking. This makes him even more fearless as he knows his reputation and job is safe.

      If you do find someone who can figure a way around this, please do let me know. Also, if you know the right authority to contact in FB or WhatsApp, please share the contact information.

  9. Micheal
    August 14, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    I clicked on a Facebook link and I came out on a blanc Facebook page without something text etc only in the left top it Saïd : like 1.5M+

    I dont trust This link because Some peoples thought it was a malicious software but I didnt downloaded anything and my iPhone isn't jailbroken I guess. Am getting keylogged on my iPhone please help

  10. Kris
    July 4, 2017 at 5:06 am

    What's best way to track usage of porn with an IPhone????

  11. Kris
    July 4, 2017 at 5:02 am

    Ok, dumb question: what's the best way to check if significant other is viewing porn on IPhone????

    • Lana
      January 11, 2020 at 4:37 pm

      Ask them

  12. Lydia
    June 28, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    My Whatsapp activities are being tracked by my boyfriend. He knows every second I'm online and claims he could read my chats too if he wanted. I feel like a prisoner. My iphone has never been out of my hand, but he gets some sort of report of when I'm online on Whatsapp and whom I'm writing too (he showed me). How is this possible? I'm really desperate.

    • Tim Brookes
      July 4, 2017 at 3:00 am

      This isn't right, have you tried changing your password? It sounds like he has logged in to your account somewhere, say perhaps through the web or a third party application. If you reset your password then this should sign you out of all other sessions. I'm not super familiar with WhatsApp as I don't use it, but have a poke around the privacy and security sections at WhatsApp.com and see if you can revoke access from other locations.

      Please let us know how it goes, we'd love to help you out here.


    • Tim Brookes
      July 4, 2017 at 3:01 am

      You can also try contacting WhatsApp directly. Tell them what is happening, and they will be able to suggest the best course of action. You should not be made to feel like this!

  13. Jordan
    February 16, 2017 at 9:43 am

    I use Mobile Tracker Free, it's free and with many features.
    You can follow the WhatsApp and Facebook messages without the phone being rooted.

    • mark
      June 7, 2017 at 6:01 am

      iKeyMonitor is the best spy app for iPhone/Android i've used. it provides free trial.

  14. Joeblo
    October 10, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    I suspected my wife of cheating based on 2 tiny, flimsy pieces of evidence and might have ended our beautiful marriage (or cheated myself if the opportunity presented itself) if I had not been able to confirm that she wasn't. Obviously there are ethical questions to be asked before increasing ones scrutiny of someone, but the option that does less harm is only dismissed automatically by Simpletons seeking to signal their own virtue.

  15. s
    October 7, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    ethics, you never have had a child try and kill themselves

  16. Rob
    July 28, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Has anyone tried Certo iPhone? Apparently it can detect Jailbreaks and spyware on iPhones and iPads.

    • Kat
      October 7, 2017 at 3:52 am

      Hey im desperate bc i have 2 small children and an abusive husband, but not fir long. He is furious i filed for divorce and has unlimited resources and people. He took my phone "accidentally" last week afyer Apple wiped it of "corruption" and said I had to repoulate via NON CLOUD. I did but now i have many idd atributes, i calked my suste 3000 miles away and she had them: phone cutting off with 3 beeps anf 5 bars randomly, phone showing window at half way, 5000 of 39000 photos reload everythime I open "alphotos"and today I found that about 25 short videos that I shot last night off my security camera, showing him constantly abusing my children, some of these same videos are in group of 39,000 total photos that do not populate for The first 2 minutes i open photos. Can this person help? What state bc I have some similar security issues with other devices. Thanks WWS

  17. DH
    November 19, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    ThanQ, we have an iphone that is second hand and wanted to make sure it wasnt "jailbroken". so i will be doing a search and restore mission. thanks again for the help!

  18. k3ff
    November 13, 2015 at 7:57 am

    maaaan u want root for the love of....

  19. Anonymous
    November 1, 2015 at 1:10 am

    If I was not monitoring the kids, I would be the only one. If they have a smart phone they are being monitored by corporations and governments so I think it's best I keep an eye on them as well. Mostly to make sure their activity is what I feel acceptable for them to share with the strangers already tracking them.

    • ua2020
      July 8, 2016 at 3:03 am

      you are disgusting. you should never spy on your children without their consent. that is a violation of trust, and leaves the child feeling hurt, and like they can't be trusted. and one day this will come back and bite you in the ass when you push it to far. eventually they separate themselves from you and ultimately you will end up never speaking again. this happened to my parents and I and they tell me constantly how they regret that violation of my trust. think twice, please.

      • BS
        August 4, 2016 at 12:42 am


        BS..It is good to monitor and watch your children's activities. There are children that although they are brought up right, they still go off and do the wrong thing. Monitoring your children's activities and where abouts can save their lives if need be. When your child does something stupid and hurts or kills themselves, It won't be me who says "I didn't know my child was doing that" as is often the case when something happens. My kids actually feel safer knowing that I know what they are doing and where they are through the use of software.

      • kidztaxi
        January 3, 2017 at 11:46 pm

        Ua2020, we have always done random phone checks where we take up our teens phones and go through texts and social media. We have good kids that work, make good grades, have nice friends and have never been in trouble before. However, after several years of checks we became complacent and went several months with out following up. Recently we took up phones to do a check and were horrified to find one of our kids had begun a sexual relationtionship with a coworker (both are in their teens) and had been lying to us about how often/long she was at work so she could be out with said boy and other friends. We would never have known about this had we not checked her phone. In addition, you would be absolutely SHOCKED at the content of some of the chats and group texts that went on with several of (what our small town considers) the "good kids" from "good families". Kids that we regularly see in school activities and at church. We feel we really let our daughter down by not doing our due dilligence. Don't get me wrong, she is responsible for her choices and is now suffering the consequences but we did her no favors by assuming she had the maturity to handle such freedoms as an unmonitored smartphone. In fact we are partly responsible for being one of those parents that said "not my kid", because guess what, one of our three kids DID and we never saw it coming.
        After all this we are searching, with her consent, for spyware to more easily check her texts and app usage. She would rather have the spyware on her phone than not have a phone at all. We want her to have a smart phone so she has access to apps like google maps when she drives to unfamiliar areas as well as her banking info, etc. So before you start berating parents for trying to protect their teens consider the horrible consequences that can happen when as parents we bury our heads in the sand and say "Not My Child".

        • Tim Brookes
          January 17, 2017 at 2:40 am

          I'm not sure that spying on your teenagers is going to stop them being teenagers and doing teenager things, like wanting to hang around with their friends and have relationships. I also think that putting people in boxes like "good kids" (and inversely "bad kids") is setting your self up for a fall. I'd urge you to have open discussions about the kinds of things that affect teenagers — safe sex, the dangers of posting certain things on social media, the virulent nature of digital media, and so on — rather than simply spying and hoping things aren't happening because you can't see it.

          On a much more practical level, if you'd read the article you'd know that "spy software" only works on jailbroken devices. In order to jailbreak you'll need to void your warranty, run outdated (and likely insecure) versions of iOS, and open the device up to tampering from third parties. Certain legitimate apps may not work either. These measures you put in place could also be easily defeated simply by updating to the latest version of the software.

          This really goes hand in hand with the idea of confronting the reality of what teenagers get up through honest dialogue.

        • Lana
          January 11, 2020 at 4:44 pm

          You're all putrid. How would you have liked your parents following you around when you were a kid, spying on you. Going through your diaries and reading everything, searching through your rooms?? My kids are grown and I never ever went through their rooms or their things to "check on them". They now have university degrees, they don't smoke, take drugs, or do anything illegal, and they stay away from those who do. So no there is no justification ever for spying . You're all just nosy control freaks

      • D
        July 25, 2017 at 4:46 pm

        seriously? I spy on my kids all the time because kids CAN'T be trusted to make the right decisions, they are KIDS. To call a parent disgusting for wanting to keep track of their kids is insane. It's not a violation of trust, it's called parenting! I am open and up front about my spying, but I keep track of EVERYTHING they do, where they go etc. This world is a scary place for kids and you'll understand every sentence I just typed when you're a parent. You're not supposed to understand, and that's ok, but I do take issue with you calling a parent disgusting for caring enough to keep track of their child.

        • KB
          September 6, 2017 at 6:02 pm

          And I did understand every sentence being also a parent. I am disgusted by the people who try to impose their morals on others. When it comes to kids, I want the first hand information about where they are and what they do. And it should be me having it and not Google or Apple.

        • Tim Brookes
          September 7, 2017 at 1:07 am

          Oh the irony in the statement: "I am disgusted by the people who try to impose their morals on others."

          Google and Apple both provide methods to physically track (consensually) devices already. Try having an open discussion with your children about these features. Try considering their point of view, knowing you can read every text message and view every photo taken. Have a think about the boundary issues you're likely fostering with such an intrusive heavy-handed approach.

          If you're thinking "but my kids can't be trusted with a smartphone!" then why did you give your kids unhindered access to a smartphone in the first place? You might also want to consider limiting certain functions, using parental controls: //www.makeuseof.com/tag/lock-childs-iphone-access-hide-apps-ios-restrictions/

  20. Anonymous
    October 5, 2015 at 2:48 am

    Teensafe is a monitoring service you can use on iPhones and you do not have to jailbreak the target phone first.

  21. Anonymous
    June 24, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    i do not consider spying apps to be a problem.. while it can be detected by a good antivirus software.. it will appear as a kind of malware.. however there are modern tracking apps which do not need jailbreak.. for instance you can check mSpy http://www.phonespyapps.com/mspy-review Good or bad such softwartes are widely used by busy parents, who want to control their kids.

  22. Anonymous
    June 23, 2015 at 9:35 am

    As I know you cannot avoid being monitored by this unless you never use a iPhone. Of course the smartphones provide us with great convenience, but also brings us with danger. There are many monitoring software such as the iKeyMonitor, it can log whatever typed on your phone and send it to the present email.Wish you good luck.And if you suspect that your phone was monitored,then you can have it factory-setting.

  23. Madison Massey
    June 4, 2015 at 2:41 am

    First, let me be clear to everyone that I am a parent to a son that is on the precipice of entering his teenage years, and I have also had my heart broken as a victim of infidelity that was happening behind my back for two years, on and off, in my first "serious" relationship, post-divorcing my son's father. That being said, I'm sure people's initial reactions are something regarding how stupid or blind was I to be unaware I was the mere mark of a slimy cheating scumbag for two years. The answer is simple. I am a trusting person, who wants to believe and see the good in people first. I am probably too trusting, and am fully aware that giving blind trust to new people in my life, or what some refer to as "the benefit of the doubt", might be foolishly naive to a fault. I have felt the sting of humiliation from being taken advantage of, lied to, and my extension of trust to someone being exploited and taken for granted. However, as long as I live by the "fool me once..." rule, then the offender is voted off my island (no second chances), and believe me, my island is a paradise that should not be disrespected! Like most though, the exiled ones never think about what they had until they can't ever have it again. I digress, but here is my point. I do not believe in snooping or utilizing spyware under any circumstances, be it your children, your employees, or your significant other! Invasion of privacy and an individual's right to have their personal life remain just that, personal, is one of the main civil liberties this county was founded on. I was raised (with heavy handed consequences as motivation) that if a piece of mail doesn't have my name on it, then it is not for me to open and read. I still believe in the right to privacy today, and the people commenting here that believe themselves to be justified in their spying might as well go fill out a job application down at the NSA. You the U.S. governments version of Big Brother? Notorious for the highly publicized controversy regarding the excessive snooping their office has done through the American public's cell phones. They attempt to justify their spy games as a necessary part of preventing terrorist activities that could threaten us on our home turf. For anyone that believes that tripe, please hear me now. THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT IS RUN BY THE MOST CORRUPT GREED AND POWER MONGERS ON THE PLANET. DO NOT TRUST ANYTHING A POLITICALLY AFFILIATE TELLS YOU. IT IS MOST CERTAINLY A LIE THAT IS MERE RHETORIC DESIGNED TO EARN YOUR TRUST SO YOU WILL SUPPORT THEIR AGENDAS, WHICH ARE ALWAYS LITTERED WITH ULTERIOR MOTIVES AND ARE HIDDEN UNTIL AFTER THEY'VE GAINED YOUR VOTE. (On a side note, I would like to remind all those affiliated with our national government that the famous novel "1984" was meant to be read as a fictional story, not a user's manual.) The bottom line is that the truth always comes out in the end. I didn't need spyware to figure out that dip shit boyfriend was cheating, and if you are suspicious your spouse is up to no good, forget wasting time and money to find out the painful details about what your gut instinct is already trying to tell you. Instead, spend the money on a makeover or vacation with your friends, tell the cheater he better call Tyrone, and move on to better things. For the spying parents out there, it's as simple as this. If you haven't formed a relationship with your kids based on trust, meaning there are boundaries that are always to be respected on both sides, combined with creating an environment where your kids feel safe having an open dialogue with you about their personal lives and coming of age issues. That entails not being psychotic with rules, overly protective against the dangers of the big bad world that is waiting for them no matter how hard you try to shelter them, and treating them with basic human respect. Trust me, if your teen finds out even once that you snooped through their room or phone, that's it. You will have broken the circle of trust for good, and they are going to start hiding everything from you, and they are better at hiding shit than the worst terrorist groups of our time. Besides, I was about as horrible a teenager as they come. I was sneaky as heck, a great liar in a pinch, partied constantly, and generally risked my life as often as I could as I fledged the nest. But, guess what? I lived. I also learned. And, most importantly, when I ran into bumps along the way, I felt I could, and I did many many times, call home to mom and dad for advice or help. I can't say I would have felt the same way about talking to them if they had been spying on me behind my back early on. Trust is an extremely delicate block amongst the other elements that form the foundation of a strong healthy mutually beneficial relationship. Just one crack in the trust block could crumble the whole thing to the ground for good. Honesty is the best policy, albeit cliche sounding, it is an adage as old as the golden rule, and both sayings hold water under any contextual circumstance that calls upon their use. I can't think of a single phrase, adage, rule, or saying that is used to give merit or justification to spying on another person. Just saying....

  24. Kat
    May 19, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    I just want to reply to a comment by a Cjones. I know it's old and I haven't read all the other replies/comments after (there's a few) so sorry if this is already mentioned.
    You can get limited access via spyware that is remotely set up to view things such as sms and call log etc. it however relies on iCloud back up and so the person using spyware must know the iCloud username and password that is being used on the phone in question. But this is not something you need to download on the target phone to do.

    Also Bluetooth and wifi can be turned on without unlocking a phone. Although physical access is required. As long as Siri is active she will turn it on for you. As well as read you any unopened messages and show your most recent call and with a bit a finnesing even show most recent calls to and/or from a specific contact or number. You can post to Facebook or Twitter check the notes add to calendar and make calls or send sms all without unlocking the phone via the passcode. This is on the current iOS software. Just something to be mindful off.

  25. Anonymous
    May 9, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks for the article. We have a serious and legitimate concern for the safety of our teenager (someone wanting to contact her with harmful intentions- an actual someone- not a perceived threat).

    My daughter is not fully aware of the consequences of her actions. We were considering a nanny-type software to use it as a learning tool. We wanted to monitor her activity and then talk to her about anything concerning or dangerous (such as giving out personal details to people on activities and whereabouts). But when I would do my searches, they would always come up with the word "spy" and that was bothering me. That's not what I'm wanting to do.

    Thank you for the information and clarity on this. I will see if there is something less intrusive we can do to help protect her but still let her have her privacy.

  26. Shannon
    March 29, 2015 at 1:16 am

    Also, when you check through your apps in the way that you showed for Cydia....what does it mean if 3 apps have the word "extra" all the way on the right?
    For instance the compass app says "compass" but to the right side of the screen, the word "extra" appears.

    • ua2020
      July 8, 2016 at 3:06 am

      that's what folder the app is in.

  27. Monica Brown
    March 18, 2015 at 12:48 am

    How I Got My Husband Back...........

    My Names is Monica Brown ,AM from United states .i never believed in love spells or magic until i met this spell caster once when i went to Africa in June last year on a business summit i meet a man called Dr kokotemple, is powerful he could help you cast a spells to bring back my love s gone misbehaving lover looking for some one to love you bring back lost money and magic money spell or spell for a good job i am now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 8weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 5 year i really loved him, but his mother was against me and he had no good paying job so when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him at first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try and in 3days when i returned to taxes my boyfriend (is now my husband ) he called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and
    family and he got a new job interview so we should get married i didn’t believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid and my husband also got a new job and our lives became much better in case anyone needs the spell caster for some help his email address:dr.kokotemple@gmail.com

    • Sam
      March 22, 2015 at 2:50 am

      Thanks Tim,
      This people who attempt to rationalize this type of behavior need to take a few steps back and take a good look at themselves....

      What they and all iPhone users should really be worried about is how easy it is for the government to snoop on THEM!

      Take note.... By design, Apple's API makes it extremely easy for the government to eavesdrop on YOU!

  28. Sam
    March 15, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    As far as I'm concerned, any parent who is spying on their children in this way are engaging in clearly illegal and immoral activity. Imagine when you were growing up.... Did your parents listen in or record your phone calls? Did they rip open your mail and read it? Or read your diary? How would you have felt? Betrayed. right? All these actions are clearly a violation of ones "Right to Privacy". And this goes for you people doing this to your spouse as well! Anyone who attempts to justify these actions are kidding themselves.... In complete denial!

    • Tim Brookes
      March 16, 2015 at 1:31 am

      At last, some sense! Most of the comments I get on this article these days are from the tin foil hat brigade who completely forget about small inconsequential things like the law and upstanding moral behaviour.

      Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the concern that parents and (to a lesser extent) suspicious partners have, but your inability to rationalise doesn't put you above the law.

      • Anonymous
        November 1, 2015 at 1:22 am

        I didn't know the Right To Privacy was a right children have with their parents. News to me. Teenagers can make dumb mistakes and in a world where the government and corporations think it perfectly fine to listen in or track my minor children, I think it's wise that parents do as well. Not to spy on the kids but to assure they don't do things or provide information to strangers who shouldn't have the information. Teaching our kids that on the internet if it's free then you are the product is important. Am I invading their privacy, Yes, but I love them and I do it to make sure the strangers that track them without my permission don't overreach the uncomfortable boundaries we have all already accepted.

        • Donna
          October 27, 2016 at 1:05 pm

          Not justified to me! You shouldn't ever break that trust! If and when your child finds out, it's ALL on you! Wrong on so many levels!!!

      • Lana
        January 11, 2020 at 5:20 pm

        Tim, I agree with everything you have said on here. There's no point trying to get through these stalker parents. They've all justified their violations. I'm certain every single one of them would have objected to their own parents invading their privacy as they do to their kids. As I read once "People who snoop (and spy) are miserable and paranoid individuals who don't respect others privacy and who are looking for bad news. "

  29. coh
    March 7, 2015 at 7:58 am

    On the other hand, I'm safety concerned from an ex. He had access to my iphone4s. If I restore, but then load the backup, is there some possibility that if there is a spy program it would still be there (as part of the backup-? Same concern if I get a new phone.

  30. MJ
    February 10, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Hi! I have been thinking to purchase one of this spy app to monitor my husband
    Activities because I feel like my husband is cheating on me. There is no way I could follow him cause I don't drive and when I check his text messages they all deleted even his email and his voice mail. He always leave home early and sometimes he brings extra formal shirt with him to work. One time I came down to the garage watch him soon as he pulled up and he was deleting his messages but sometimes maybe he forgot to delete his message to his boss , he called her sunshine . She is actually boss of my husband boss. My husband wanted her to do something and she is very nice to my husband. She gives him a lot of uniform and she gives whatever my husband wants. As what I know she get to the office at 8 am and my husband time is 8:50 but my husband leave home at 7:50 am and the work place is just 8 min from home. ...is there any spy app that can help me ? Please!! I just need to know what's going on. I am very tired .

    • Ivie
      March 1, 2015 at 10:42 am

      MJ, I'm in the same boat. I would like to know what spyware can I download on an IPhone so I can catch the devil :(

  31. Anonymous
    February 3, 2015 at 4:06 am

    Once my iphone started behaving really strange. It became v v slow n was getting stuck. Someone told me to check for spyware. Turns out my partner had jailbroken my phone and installed a spyware. All my msgs chats and call logs were being emailed to him. So i just restored my phone and upgraded it to the latest ios. Seemed to solve the problem apparently

    • jenermy.K
      February 3, 2015 at 7:49 am

      Yes, you are right, if the spyware was installed on your iPhone and is working, all logs will be restored on your iPhone, it will run more and more slowly.

  32. jenermy.K
    February 2, 2015 at 8:56 am

    To be honest, it is dangerous to some extent to use iPhone spy software, however, you also can't admit it is useful to help someone who wanna track activities. I know one iPhone spy app iKeyMonitor- no call interruption, people can see it to log SMS, keystrokes, website history... Whatever spy app we use, we should think both the bad and good aspects!

  33. Steve
    January 9, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Two points regarding the "morally reprehensible" angle:

    (1) I use spy software on my OWN phone so that my conduct can be monitored by others I have asked to hold me accountable. Modern technology makes it easy to live in isolation. Isolation removes consequences thereby lowering natural obstacles to poor & unhealthy choices. If, on the other hand, I chose to live my life on a billboard, I'm far less inclined to make bad choices.

    (2) Regarding children, monitoring internet activities is not solely a trust issue. It's about my responsibility to my child. And it's about the adolescent brain. For those who don't have teenagers (and have forgotten their own teen years), to put it mildly, their brains cease normal function around 12 and do not resume normal function until around 20, if they're lucky. It's not that I don't "trust" their judgment, it's that I know their undeveloped frontal lobe inhibits their capacity for judgment. They just don't have the ability to fully comprehend or appreciate the consequences of their actions.

    And the consequences are too great. I know the lengths that I (and every other 12-year-old boy) went to in order to see the mild porn available in 1980 (playboy, etc). The nature and accessibility of today's internet porn is a force greater than most any pubescent boy could hope to resist. And with the mounting evidence of long-term, potentially permanent damage of habitual exposure to porn in adolescence is alarming. It would be no less irresponsible of me as a parent to allow my children unfettered access to the internet than it would be to allow them I unrestricted, un-monitored access to a meth house.

    On the other hand, I tell my children when they are being monitored. I'm not sneaky about it. I tell them it's like training wheels. Once you have demonstrated a reliable pattern of healthy choices, I will ease back on the restrictions until the training wheels are off. But I won't hesitate to put them back on if find you in lying in a pool of blood in the driveway with your femur sticking out. You don't blindly toss your child the keys to an 800-HP dragster his first day driving, right? Does that make you morally reprehensible? Of course not. It make you responsible and loving. You given him grandma's '83 Buick, with you "monitoring" him from the passenger seat until you're convinced he can operate the vehicle safely. Only then do you let him drive alone. If he can avoid accidents and (too many) speeding tickets, then, perhaps, you allow him the sports car. Is that because you don't trust him? Perhaps. But isn't it more about your obligation as a responsible parent?

  34. Hilda
    December 29, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Tim, you are obviously not a parent to a teen. You must not remember being one either. Parents can be very open, but in the end, kids will make stupid choices. I would like to know what my kid is doing when he tells me he is just going for coffee downtown.

    • Tim Brookes
      January 2, 2015 at 3:37 am

      So illegal surveillance is the answer? If your son discovered you were monitoring him because you don't trust him (and there are few other reasons you'd choose to do so), do you think he would be hurt?

      I would be hurt. It would make me question the validity behind being honest about my actions in the first place. If nobody believes you, why tell the truth?

      This is before we get into the material reasoning behind installing a jailbreak, like voiding warranties and non-working apps. Want to teach your son responsible banking using a mobile app to manage his money? Too bad financial institutions block jailbroken devices!

  35. l33t_sh1tz0r
    October 10, 2013 at 4:11 am

    to the know-it-all who wrote this, a legitimate use for that software is to learn information pertaining to the well-being of a minor. consider being the partner who is cheated on; they've used every trick in the book to do u on all fronts and YOUR one-off effort to sort it out and learn simply the truth (whatever your purposes for it may be....), is not the equal of you being morally or otherwise sub-standard in any way. like i said above, the interests of a young child ought to compel any rational, say, PARENT, to want to learn whatever truth may be found in order to look out for the child's and dare i say their own well-being.

    since when is looking out for yourself a sub-standard way of going about "existence"? hmm? what line must be crossed to achieve this sub-standard status? yes? who are we to even consider judging this upon ourselves personally, let alone complete strangers...

    nice arty-cool though, ty =D

    • Tim B
      October 10, 2013 at 6:39 am

      A rational parent doesn't give a child free reign to do what they like with a smartphone. A rational parent doesn't give their child unhindered access to the Internet. A rational parent sits down with their child and teaches them the boundaries when it comes to social networking, contacting strangers and responsible use of 21st century communication methods. A rational parent does not teach their child that spying on people is ok, because it's not – in fact, it's illegal!

      Similarly, spying on a partner because you yourself suspect they are cheating on you is just as illegal. Two wrongs don't make a right, not to mention the fact that it breeds a mentality of suspiciousness, jealousy and destroys the boundaries that keep a healthy relationship healthy.

      Looking out for yourself is making the right decisions in life. Any semblance of moral high ground is removed when you use these techniques to "reveal the truth". What if the truth isn't what you thought it was? Would you tell your other half "sorry I have been illegally monitoring everything you do on your phone for 2 weeks cos I thought you were cheating on me lol" – how would that go down? It would destroy my relationship, and I hope that many other people would react in the same way. Because it's not right.

      Not to mention the act of jailbreaking puts your phone at risk of non-working apps, malware and all manner of this sort of software. I'd be just as pissed off about that. Anyone concerned about someone installing such software on their phones can sleep easy if they have iOS 7 installed, as it has yet to be jailbroken.

  36. Anonymous
    October 6, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    Thanks a million! For an idiot like me, this was very informative. Please don't stop educating us about these devices.

  37. Dani
    October 4, 2013 at 3:44 am

    Thank you. I've got anxiety now about spyware, oy! My bank account was compromised today and my battery is acting Crazy! Cheers to the weekend.

  38. Dani
    October 4, 2013 at 3:02 am

    Ok, can someone use my banking app through spyware, and again confirming this is only possible if my phone has been jailbroken?

    • Tim B
      October 4, 2013 at 3:12 am

      People cannot use your banking app using ANY of these methods, even jailbreaking.

  39. Ang2013
    September 29, 2013 at 9:55 am

    My husband and I had what I thought was a happy marriage with 3 beautiful kids.  He was good to me, I frequently met people who would tell me that my husband talks about me constantly and boasts about how happy he is.  Even on social media I get embarrassed by the way he talks about me as if I'm the best thing ever.  One day while his phone was charging, a message buzzed in.  It was the secretary from the office.  "Hi Hun.  Call pls".  The word "hun" puzzled me.  I asked him and he offhandedly said oh we just all call each other that at the office.  I flew into a rage about how inappropriate it was and he promised to deal firmly with this insubordination. The red flag wouldn't go away, so I decided to install spy ware.  My goodness.  Turns out he was having an affair with this secretary since before our 3rd child; a third child he pressured me into having and planned coming up with names and buying things for the baby before I even conceived. Through the app I read some sick things they did together.  Worst of all, she would even remind him of our wedding anniversary and help him choose places to take me and order flowers.  I got endless info of how they arranged things. Favorite time to meet was 6.30am at her apartment.  My husband always often left home early because he wanted to be home by sunset to spend time with me.  I read messages by him to her like, "did you enjoy what I did to you this morning?". Her reply, "omg it was amazing, I can still feel it".  I don't need sympathy.  Just need to say that this app saved my life.  It helped me discover who my husband really was.  Even if any of you met this "wonderful Christian upright man" you would think I was lying.  To cut a long story short, I confronted without revealing app and during the "deny to the grave" stance most men initially have, I still saw messages from him to her like, "deny it, but when we meet I want you to cry uncontrollably for maximum effect etc"!!!  
    If I had taken the moral high road, I wonder what would have happened to me.  As far as I'm concerned, I wasn't just spying on him, I was protecting my emotional investment.

    • pat
      October 8, 2013 at 2:24 am

      what spy app did you use? I am going through the same emotional torment.

    • Eric
      December 29, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      I am having a similar problem only it is my wife having the affair. I need to know what you used to catch him? We have iphones and everyone keeps saying they have to be jailbroken to work with spyware. I do not wish to do that but do wish to install something that will let me know of my suspicions (which have been confirmed).

    • ash
      March 9, 2015 at 7:59 pm

      i have a similar problem. please share the app info. i know how it feels to go through that torture.

  40. bellak
    August 14, 2013 at 4:10 am

    the most amazing spyware i know in the market is the the keylogger BOSSPY because this application is really invisible. i dont find yet the way how to detect this app.
    anybody can use this freeware to spy anybody and the most terrible its free using

  41. maggiebear
    July 23, 2013 at 2:11 am

    hi - i just recently gave my friend my iphone to get fixed and they went to jailbreak it. I have suspision that there might be some spyware on it when it is returned to me, can someone please help me and tell me how i know if it has spyware on it and how i can detect it... and if they are infact spying on me how i can remove it from my phone? thank you

  42. Danny D
    June 19, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    How about this analogy... I work on a computer where I am employed. I do not own it and do not expect privacy when I am using it. It is clearly stated by my employer that it is being monitored. I know that they don't take the time to look at each and every email or website visited etc., but they have the capability and the right to do so. I have no trouble with that.
    Similarly, I own and pay for my child's iphone. It is my phone that I am allowing them to use. I make is clear that the phone is being monitored and that any activity on that phone is available for me to see if I so choose. I am not trying to trick them. I have no interest in looking at every little message they send or recieve, but I want them to understand that I have the capability to do so. Just as I can go into their room at any time.
    As long as everything is out in the open, as long as they understand they are being monitored, is that immoral or unethical? What do you think?

  43. Toni
    June 12, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    I was worried my iphone 4s had spyware on it. The battery runs down very fast, even when I'm not using it. I have to charge it all the time. I tried your examples above for searching out Cydia and the others ... and I do not see obvious signs of a jailbreak. Just so I'm reading this right... there is no way to put spyware on the phone without jailbreaking it first? Thank you for your time.

    • Tim Brookes
      June 13, 2013 at 12:21 am

      Correct - you need to jailbreak in order to run non-Apple approved software. No spyware is Apple approved, ergo jailbreaks are required.

      You might want to have a look here for some tips for saving your battery: //www.makeuseof.com/tag/7-ways-boost-cell-phone-battery-life-iphone-android-smartphones/

      Otherwise perhaps consider a portable battery/battery case from someone like Mophie, they help at the expense of portability.

  44. Colin J
    June 8, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Are any of the "remote install" spy software packages legit? If so, could they be used to track and record activity on a non jailbroken iphone4? I know this question sounds crazy, but I would just like a definitive answer so i can stop worrying about it...

    • Tim Brookes
      June 9, 2013 at 12:38 am

      No they are not. No iPhone spy packages are legit without a jailbreak, if someone wants to install something on your phone then they have to do it by jailbreaking.

      People who can track you with an iPhone are: those you approve on Find my Friends (unmetered tracking at all times) and anyone who has your Apple ID password (as they can login to iCloud and use Find my iPhone). A few other third party apps (Google Lattitude) might also share location, but there's no chance of anyone being able to view your calls, messages and so on without a jailbreak.

      • cjones
        June 9, 2013 at 8:20 pm

        Thank You,

        1 more.....is it possible for someone to remotely turn on my iphone4 bluetooth...my phone is not jailbroken...

        • Tim Brookes
          June 9, 2013 at 11:48 pm

          No it is not possible.

          If you have an iPhone, with standard Apple firmware on it (iOS) and you haven't gone out of your way to jailbreak or authorise others to view your location (via a means like Find My Friends) then you have nothing to worry about :)

        • Cjones
          June 11, 2013 at 5:08 pm

          Ok cool....as far as the non remote install...the kind that have to be installed on the target phone...do any of them actually relay exact screen images of the target phone to the spying phone in real time? For example if I took a picture or sent a text or visit a website would it pop up on the spying phone's screen?

          Thank You

        • Tim Brookes
          June 11, 2013 at 11:18 pm

          I do not know exactly what the non remote install packages do and do not capture, but I believe they create logs of information - so logs of texts, logs of call durations and recipients etc... rather than relaying a live image or via screenshots.

          This would probably be in the form of plain text files, probably fed straight into their online control panels.

    • JD
      July 1, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      Teen Safe is a remote monitoring site. I used it for my son's iPhone. Morally wrong or not, it gave me the information I needed to confirm he was still using drugs even though he swore he wasn't. In today's world, it's not always possible to trust that the things you taught your kids will stick, especially if they get involved with the wrong people.

    • Mike
      September 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm

      Smart Parent JD....

  45. Leonard
    June 7, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    How can you say it's morally wrong to install spyware on a phone? Is it morally wrong to cheat on your spouse? Yes! What's good for the goose is good for the gander. I don't buy what you're saying, if someone is cheating on their spouse then they have no grounds to complain if their phone has spyware.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 7, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      You can't compare apples and oranges. Just because you suspect (!!!) that one person does something that is wrong, doesn't give you the right to wrong them, even if that helps you confirm your suspicion. It's not how morale works and it's also not how the legal system works.

      If you put spyware on a person's phone without their knowledge, you not only do something that's morally wrong, you also violate their privacy and that could be turned against you in court. So yes, they have every reason to complain!

      • 2 cents
        July 5, 2013 at 5:31 pm

        If someone does cheat and gets a std or worse HIV and in turn gives it to you shouldn't that b against the law? That Person is putting your health at risk. Stds can give a women scar tissue which can lead to infertility or a ectopic which could end in DEATH and worse case u can get HIV. I'm on the fence on spyware. I understand the legal laity of spyware if that i but I also know how your life can change due to a cheating spouse and the reality some are left with after the fact.

        • Tina Sieber
          July 5, 2013 at 6:22 pm

          Well, you have the responsibility and ability to protect yourself. If the relationship has eroded to the point that you suspect your partner might harm you, then you need to either end the relationship or work on it because it's seriously broken. Spying on your partner won't solve anything, it will only make things worse.

    • Tim Brookes
      June 9, 2013 at 12:39 am

      Tina's answer says it all, though what you've just said is "two wrongs make a right" and I don't believe that is true.

  46. Benji
    May 24, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    If you EVER have problems with your iPhone listen up. Ok let's say that you leave your iPhone out in the rain and you think it's ruined we'll listen to this trick. Try putting it into a bag of rice (completely bury it). Then over night, the rice attracts Asians that will fix your electronics for you. ????????????????

  47. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    April 30, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Parents should keep healthy communication with their children. It's much, much better than trying to spy on them. Trust me, they wouldn't respect you doing that, which will strain the communication even further. You don't want that, do you?

    • Tim Brookes
      April 30, 2013 at 1:15 am

      Children learn by example first and foremost, and so installing such software on their devices is only going to teach them that doing such a thing is acceptable when really, it's not. I didn't want to get too preachy about this in the article as we're a tech site, not a parenting site, but this is a definite concern of mine.

      Add this to the whole rip-off/security nightmare side of things and you've got a very compelling argument not to do this to your kids. On another note, I'm not sure how many employees would like the idea that their boss is monitoring every text, website visited AND where they are via GPS outside of work. I'm guessing there's some legal repercussions to be had here, though I don't think we've had a landmark case yet?

  48. Jack
    April 27, 2013 at 1:57 am

    Why do you hide the name of the company? You feature all the details and specifically leave this key information out!????

    • Tim Brookes
      April 27, 2013 at 2:21 am

      They were all found on page 1 of a Google search for iPhone spy software.

      I didn't want to give these companies any free publicity to be honest, I wouldn't like this article to help such companies gain customers as it will probably show up in search results before long and attract both those looking for info about spy software and those looking for the software itself, how detectable it is etc...

      I've re-blurred one of the images that featured a name now for uniformity. I don't think leaving the names out detracts from the message here.

  49. BDG
    April 26, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    You left the vendor's name visible in the first graphic (over Features) while blurring it everywhere else.

    • Tim Brookes
      April 26, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      Yeah I noticed that after but have you seen how many times it occurs? I figured a name and shame wouldn't go amiss just this once ;)

    • Tim Brookes
      April 27, 2013 at 2:23 am

      After more thought I've removed the name now, FYI.

  50. Scott M
    April 26, 2013 at 10:54 am

    With ever more slotting of consumers sorted into their tiny little exact buying trends through less than honest Public sites and third party cookies etc. this is very useful info for me.I have no doubt that some items are being sold to us that monitor our activity for market research and are sold to the highest bidder.Canada was going to allow the Chinese telecommunications system to help us with building an important leg of a new system.It was only stopped when news of Chinese manufacturers pre-installing tracking code witch allowed for accurate retrieval of data and info on some of their computers and phones that were assembled there and sold here.It was decided to stay with N.American and European methods for beefing up the specific part of the system.
    Not a paranoid rant just what happened.I'm not blaming China in particular just letting others know that certain high tech products and systems built in Foreign Countries have potential to data gather and spy.For large Corporations it must be very tempting to build a code to allow for analysis of consumer buying habits and to gain inside info on competitors or info on what they could add,based on spying,to make their product more specific to consumer wants at the expense of other honest players.Its a bad old world we live in sometimes.

    • Tim Brookes
      April 26, 2013 at 11:24 pm

      Actually that's very interesting, and while it's a bit of a leap away from the article subject I have also heard similar things. Particularly about Huawei, a Chinese government-owned (or part-owned, at least) telecommunications giant who are probably most famous for their cheapo Android smartphones.

      In actual fact Huawei make most of their money selling telecommunications gear to the rest of the world. They have the industry to produce this stuff faster and cheaper than everyone else, and so many countries have no option. I forget where I saw it but one installation was stopped over fears that installing Huawei network switches which would eventually serve confidential/sensitive data posed a threat "just in case". I also don't blame China as a whole, but there's no arguing the government is incredibly shady and manipulative - brazenly so. I also despair at the environmental wrongs occurring, but that's an entirely different topic!

    • lisa
      September 9, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      You said if these apps are installed on your phone you may have trouble running them? When I typed in these apps they got weird. I had a feeling someone put spyware on my phone I am trying to detect this. Apple nor attt will help they say they aren't that tech...Spy store says it will cost 3000 bc it is forensics... Can you help me see if it is on my phone with any further tips? If I restore my iphone can I get it off? I have the Iphone 5
      Thank you!

    • Tim B
      September 10, 2013 at 2:36 am

      Lisa – if you type in "Cydia" to Spotlight, does anything come up? What makes you think something has been installed on your phone, does it act up at all? Has your phone been outside of your possession recently?

      Restoring your phone in iTunes should indeed remove any traces of jailbreaking and spy software, so if you're really concerned then that wouldn't be a bad idea. Make sure you have a copy of your Camera Roll (photos and videos) first! Also make a backup of your phone in iTunes, which you can then restore afterwards.