Elevate GFX

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Author: Neal Mattos

How to Tell If Your Cell Phone Has Been Tapped with Spy Software

Are you worried that your phone might have been hacked or tapped by someone without your knowledge? You get the feeling something isn’t right – feel like someone is spying on your communication? You are not alone I’m afraid – this is becoming a very worrying reality for many people.

In this article I will help you find out for sure if someone is spying on your cell phone using spy software – then you can do something about it and protect yourself.

Cell phones are man’s new best friend. They are always in our company and know most if not all our secrets. A whopping 6.8 billion people worldwide today have a cell phone subscription – now think about the fact that there are only 7.4 billion people on this earth and the fact that it only took us 20 years to arrive at this figure and you’ll see where I’m coming from.

Your cell phone is one of the only things you never want to forget when leaving home. Whether it’s to use the GPS feature, send messages or post pictures to Instagram of your night out, your cell phone is a must have.

Why does this matter? Well stay tuned if you’re curious!

While I hate to be the bearer of bad news, your cell phone isn’t really a good friend – especially when it comes to keeping secrets. With skills and resources at their disposal, anyone can tap into your cell phone to access your ‘secret” messages and even your location without you being aware of it.cell phone security

Sure they’d be doing it against the law but this never seem to stop hackers and cyber criminals. Luckily, the situation isn’t completely helpless.

Below I’ll discuss ways in which you can tell if your cell phone (or any mobile device you might be using) is being spied on, hacked or tapped without your knowing.

Has Someone Hacked or Tapped My Cell Phone Without My Knowledge?

It’s entirely possible that your mobile device might be tapped or hacked without you knowing. Someone might have felt the need to gain access to information sent from and received to your phone – your jealous spouse, a hacker looking for his next target or your boss, eager to catch you wasting time while still on the clock.

Maybe you’re a famous person – and in most cases that’s enough reason for the paparazzi or someone looking to blackmail you to overstep legal boundaries. In fact, these situations are very common today – they happen more often than not!

If your phone has been hacked or tapped, your text messages and even voice calls made from your phone are no longer private. In fact, that might be putting it nicely, your contacts, communications, EVERYTHING on your cell phone is no longer private. Oh and do not forget – once your phone has been tapped, the person behind it will be able to track all your movements with your phone. Sounds scary, right?

If you’re an avid reader here, you’ll know that I have covered a number of cell phone spy applications available today. If you have not seen them, I suggest you take a look for a good understand of what these programs can actually do. And don’t be surprised if you’re in complete shock – most people are!

Flexispy is one option that I haven’t mentioned quite a lot, specifically because of it’s one of kind advanced features. mSpy is also another popular option that offers a program that does not require users to jailbreak the target device, making it easier for anyone to tap your phone – of course they’ll need your Apple ID and password but it does make things a little easier.

All these applications are easily accessible all around the world and can be sold legally despite what the buyer intends to use it for.

Monitoring Programs Can Be Difficult to Spot

Technology is constantly advancing, which means spy applications are now more sophisticated than ever, making it harder for you to detect them on your mobile. Many giveaway signs that could tell you if a spy application has been installed on your phone are not more discreet. Most quality applications will not display any of these signs once installed properly to a device.

Nonetheless, there are still a few ways in which you can detect if someone is spying on your cell phone. Below I’ve listed a few signs that will help you to tell if your phone has been tapped. However, it’s important to know that in most cases these signs won’t be obvious so there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to tell that you’re being spied on – but being prepared never hurts.

is phone tapped or hacked

Changes in Your Cell Phone’s Behaviour

There are a number of things that can cause your cell phone to act up – from application updates to bad signals. Regardless, you know your phone – simply noticing strange behaviours in your phone is your best bet at telling if you’re being spied on.

For instance, if your phone starts making strange noises, lighting up or turning off with any technical issues, this might be an indicator. In fact, these signs are common on mobile devices with a hidden spy software.

If your phone starts acting like this abruptly without any technical problems, you should definitely consider checking if a spy app has been installed without you knowing.

Does Your Battery Overheat?

A hot battery was one of the easiest ways to tell if your phone has been hacked or tapped without your consent. Today, you won’t find this happening with most quality spy applications, however, if your phone warms up if it’s not being used, this might mean that there’s someone else “using” it.

Most phones tend to warm up when in use but this is not common if the phone is not in use. So, if your battery gets hot without you using it, I suggest you take a look at it.

Battery Stops Holding Charge

If your battery abruptly stops holding charge this could also mean that a spy software is installed on your phone. This is especially true is your phone is fairly new and does not have a battery problem.

Monitor your battery usually closely if you have reasons to believe your phone is tapped. Your cell phone battery usage is likely to increase if a spy application a been installed. If your cell phone is old, it’s only natural to expect changes in the battery life, hence what you should look for are significant changes.

There are many apps available today such as Battery LED and BatteryLife that you can use to monitor your battery life. I suggest you install one of these apps on your respective devices.

Difficulty Powering Off Your Device

If you’re cell phone starts acting up whenever you try to power it off, there might be someone spying on you. For instance, if it starts taking too long to turn off or the backlight remains on when it’s off, your phone might be tapped. Try to be on the lookout for strange activities on your mobile at all times.

Sure these signs will not always mean that your phone has been tapped. Your phone is made up of software and hardware, so this means it’s likely to malfunction when there any major changes. – but as I mentioned earlier, there’s no harm in checking.

Weird Text Messages

If you start getting weird text from strange numbers containing unreadable characters or symbols, this could mean that your phone is being spied on. Many spy applications work by sending coded SMS text to the target device. Many of the times these text will not be visible but if there is a problem with the software the messages may show up.

Judge how often the messages are received on your phone and this should give you an idea of whether or not something is wrong – although there’s bound to be some spelling errors when you’re having heated conversations with friends.

Strange Noises When On Calls

If your start hearing weird noises in the background when you are on a call, this could mean that someone else is listening in on your call. Now let’s not get too paranoid – I’m not talking about regular sounds here.

Generally, it sounds like an echo, static or clicking in the background that may come off as bad reception. You might even hear these strange sounds coming from your phone when you’re not on it. As always, look for repeated signs before moving on.

Nearby Electronics Become Distorted

If your mobile has been tapped it may cause nearby electronic devices to become distorted. If you start noticing that your television becomes distorted whenever you are on the cell phone this could mean that there is a spy application hidden on your phone. As always, there are many other things that can cause your television to become distorted.

All The Signs Mentioned Above!

You may have come here looking for definite answers – NO, there’s no one spying on your mobile activities, or YES, you’re being watched. I hate to disappoint you but it not that easy. Your best bet is being on the lookout for weird changes in your mobile that might indicate that it has been tapped.

Follow your instincts – there might be a solid reason for you to believe that your phone is being monitored by someone. Try not to be too paranoid though.

Can My Antivirus Tell Me If My Phone Is Being Monitored?

Simply put, no. While antivirus can defend your mobile against a number of things, most times they are unable to tell you if a spy application is on your phone. In fact, some of the best antivirus are only 60% accurate and this figure gets smaller as these programs become more sophisticated.

These programs are designed to stay hidden on your cell phone – some will stay hidden without leaving a trace. Some spy applications will even change the names of their hidden files regularly to further deter any anti-spy applications on your phone.

Most spy detection applications and antiviruses will only identify programs that they are designed to detect. Spy applications are constantly changing and antivirus and spy detection apps just can’t seem to keep up.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

secure phone

The only way to be certain that your cell phone is not being monitored is to take the necessary measures to prevent it from being tapped in the first place. And the solution is simple actually – just try to keep your phone out of the wrong hands and set a password that is difficult to figure out.

The spy software will need to be installed to your phone physically. So if the person does not have physical contact with your phone, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to install a spy app. The only exception is monitoring programs that are available for iOS devices and does not require the device to be jailbroken.

Try to utilize encryption apps and take other protocols to make it almost impossible for anyone to tapped your phone.

How Can I Get Rid of the Spy App?

If you’re phone is displaying all the signs I’ve listed above and you have reason to believe that your phone has been tapped – or simply just want to check – what can you do?

Contrary to what you may believe – these programs can be removed.

In most cases spy applications/monitoring programs can be easily removed from your cell phone by factory resetting it – it’s that easy. If your cell phone is an iOS device additional protocols may be required.

Just bear in mind that once your factory reset your mobile, you will lose all the information stored on it – including all data.

I hope this post has been of some use to help you determining if your phone has been hack. Spy applications are more sophisticated now, so it’s almost impossible to give you a definite YES or NO on whether or not your phone has been tapped. The only way to know the definite answer is to get inside your phone settings.

If you have reasons to believe your phone is being monitored and cannot verify it, I suggest that you do a factory reset. Also, take a look around the website on your way out – I’ve discussed a number of topics related to spy software that may be of use to you. Good Luck!

Reasons Why PC Desktops Will Never Be Replaced by Tablets

While desktop, and even laptop sales are on the steady decline, smartphones and tablets are growing more popular. This kind of occurrence usually prompts “experts” to announce that PC is dead, either immediately, or in 5 years, depending on who you ask. We’ll let them cool down for a bit, while we analyze why desktops will never go away, nor they should, because we need them.

Despite all the fancy bells and whistles that tablets bring to the table, and the smug satisfaction we get from swiping the touchscreen, as if we are in “Minority Report”, they still cannot replace desktop or laptop PCs. These are some of the reasons why PCs are here to stay.

Power

While there are some seriously powerful components tucked away inside the tablet or laptop casings, their power is dwarfed by the power of the equivalent components found inside desktops. Yes, tablets keep on getting more powerful, but so do desktops, always several steps ahead of the mobile pack.

Desktop are irreplaceable among graphic designers, photographers, software developers, and last, but not least, gamers.

Difference in Apps

Although there are hundreds of millions of apps available for both Android and iOS, among which some are exceptional, they are nowhere near their PC counterparts in terms of complexity, desktops will not be replacedcapabilities and sophistication. This difference is so clearly visible when you compare mobile versions of massive software suites, like Office or Photoshop, with their PC equivalents. Tablets and smartphones have a long way to go before they can catch up.

Keyboard

One of the most frequently listed aspects in which traditional desktops have the edge over tablets is the keyboard. Of course, tablet devices also have a keyboard, although theirs is a virtual one. What’s the problem with it?

Well, the problem is that it’s not actually there. People prefer physical keyboards and for a good reason. They are much faster, since you can use both hands, and more accurate. Why abandon them for something that’s worse? Until tablets are equipped with something better than a virtual keyboard, desktop still have the edge when it comes to typing.

No Business Can Run Without Them

The business world has been quick to adopt tablet devices, as it makes some things a lot easier, but for the important bits, they still turn to Windows, and we’re talking about the PC version. There are Windows tablets, sure, but so far, they barely made a dent in desktops armor.

Security

Security was one of the things that tablet champions often pointed out as an improvement over PC desktops, and it was true, at least for a while. But, along with the rise in popularity and the ever growing number of apps available came the hackers, which turned Android into a premiere breeding ground for malware and viruses. While PCs are no better in that aspect, tablets no longer have the edge when it comes to security.

Making Modern Technology Work for Us

Technology has made a lot of things more accessible to us. With just a touch of our fingertips or one click of a mouse, all the information we desire is readily available. Moreover, being up-to-date with the latest information on any subject you find interesting is almost a necessity and it’s nearly addictive. If we’re not in the loop 24/7, we feel like we’re missing out on something, as if we’re going to be left behind if we’re not connected to the internet all the time.

To be fair, out of all the information and data out there, we use just a fraction for something that is useful and/or educational. It all comes down to putting up our latest snapshot on Instagram, tweeting our latest clever thoughts, chatting on Facebook or sharing on Google Plus etc. While all that stuff is somewhat necessary, since social life has shifted toward the digital realm, there is also so much more we can get out of this.

nursing site technology use

Let’s consider one example. In the past, if you were to do some research on a subject, your best bet would have been the library. Most people would have given up at that very moment. For those who were braver, well, they were looking at countless hours of research, flipping through dusty, moldy books, while fiercely monitored by the equally dusty and moldy librarian. That’s just one example we were able to think of on the spot.

If you were looking to find more information about a certain job, because you were interested in pursuing it as a career, you would have had your work cut out for you as well, since most people avoid talking about the financial side of things, and in all likelihood, you would never even ask about it, even though you need to know such a thing. Today, however, thanks to salary websites – some quite broad like http://nursesalaryguide.net/ which covers salary data for a range of nursing careers, you can get hold of any information about a certain job, all the ins and outs, the possibility of further education and advancement, as well as exact salary details, not only in general, but in each state.

This simple WordPress website is just one example specializing in nursing salaries and training. Some go even deeper in what appears to be tiny specialties. There are many other WebPages like it, dedicated to providing information on jobs and careers, not limited to the medical field.

And while we’re on the subject of jobs, an increasing number of people are taking their talents online. If you have a product that you want to sell, or if you provide a unique service, you can make a living online. If you are a programmer, software developer, web designer, architect, photographer, writer, manager or an artist, working online might be the best thing that’s ever happened to you. The list of professions does not end there.

The point is, the World Wide Web offers so much more that we even realize, and even if we do, in most cases, we do not take advantage of that. But why? Just think about. While looking for something online, you are the consumer of the content provided by other people. People like us. Why not try and see how it is on the other side of the fence? You’ll like it, we promise.

What’s The Difference Between Viruses, Worms, and Trojans ?

Some people may use terms like “virus,” “trojan,” or “worm” interchangeably, but they should not. Each term has its own definition, and they operate in certain ways. For instance, the term “malware” refers to any program that is malicious. Thankfully, antiviruses remove all types, from malware to trojans to worms.
With that said, what are the differences between these three?

Viruses

A virus has one purpose, and that’s to infect files. Think of it as a real virus, which will infect cells. By running a file infected by a virus, it will spread to the files on your system. It typically spreads to the .exe files, so when you run the programs, the virus will run. Viruses infect other file types, including Office documents with macros.

So how do they harm your computer? By doing quite a bit. They may overwrite your program files with themselves instead of attaching to the program, or they may delete your files. Viruses are memory hogs, and this can lead to constant computer crashes. With real viruses, they’re dangerous because they spread. A simple transfer or click can spread the virus everywhere, and you can’t stop it.

Worms

A worm, meanwhile, doesn’t need to be executed to spread. They don’t infect other files, but copy themselves instead. Worms may worms virus trojans-03email themselves to everyone in your address book, such as the Mydoom worm, and they may come in through vulnerabilities in the systems.

These are typically not updated and have their firewalls off.
These worms can typically cause a lot of traffic if they transfer through a network, causing immense slowdown. It can cause the same amount of damage as a virus, so they need to be eliminated as soon as possible.

Trojans

A trojan is named after the myth of the trojan horse. You probably are familiar with this story, but if you’re not, here’s a refresher. The Greeks needed to take over the city of Troy, and to do this, they made a giant wooden horse and gave it to the citizens of Troy as a gift.

However, inside the horse were Greek soldiers. The horse was taken into the city, and at night, when the city had its defenses down, they came out of the horse and opened the gates, allowing them to attack the city when they least expected it.

So trojans do the same thing. They will pose as software that seems like it has a use, but while you install it, it allows a backdoor to be opened, letting risks in. The person who created the trojan then can use your connection to do horrible activities that can be contributed to you, or install anything they want onto their system. But trojans can only work if you execute them.

Misc. Threats

Here are a few other types of malicious programs.

Spyware-As the name implies, it will spy on your computer. These include keyloggers, which will record every keystroke you make in order to steal your information, or it may include adware that will monitor your browsing and send you personalized ads. These are made to make money, and many antiviruses do not remove them. However, Windows Defender for Windows 7 will do just that.

Scareware/Crimeware-Scareware, well, scares you into downloading their malicious software. It may pop up on a page and claim that you have hundreds of viruses on your computer, and only their antivirus can protect you. Their antivirus will tell you the same thing, and it will say to buy the program to remove it. Once you pay them, the scareware goes away. Of course, you can remove it and not give them a penny.

Overall

No matter what it’s called, these threats pose a danger to your computer. Therefore, you should keep your antivirus up-to-date, use a firewall, and make sure you don’t click on anything suspicious. While it won’t prevent you from getting a malicious program completely, it will greatly reduce the risk.

The Lifespan of Storage Devices

Nowadays, there’s something out there for everyone when it comes to storage. Some can store massive amounts of data, some can fit into your pocket, and some are fast. But are they reliable? We should know that DVDs and CDs can easily fail, and that’s why they’re going out. But is your hard drive, solid state drive, or SD card safe? Can they store your data indefinitely, or will they fail? In this article, we’ll give you all the answers.

Hard Drives

You should know that if you delete something off your hard drive, it’s not gone for good. Many people will collect old hard drives and show how much data they can get off them to make a point. If you don’t securely delete your data, people may be able to recover it. Even then, recovery isn’t impossible. Only destroying the hard drive can delete it for good.

However, your hard drive shouldn’t be looked at as a permanent way to archive. The hard drive is composed of plenty of moving parts. Moving arms, spinning disks, and so many other parts. With time, those parts may break down, destroying your hard drive.

One way these hard drives can fail is due to head crashes, where the storage devices 03head of the hard drive scrapes the disk. All it takes is a power outage or surge, or a physical blow to it to do this. Your hard drive will most likely fail because of a head crash. If not, it can begin degrading.
According to a 2013 study by BackBlaze, a cloud storage organization, five percent out of 25,000 hard drives fail by the first year and a half. These are mostly defects, however. Most are stable, but by the fourth year, they have an 11.8 percent chance of failing. Three-fourths of hard drives will last four years or more.

Of course, this is mostly due to excessive use. If you copy your data to it and then store it, unused, your data will last for years. Just keep it away from magnetic sources, as they do store data magnetically.

However, the magnetism can decline over time, but you can fix it by turning on the hard drive and write the data. Do this every other year if you want a reliable way to store something for years to come.

Solid State Drives

Solid State Drives, or SSDs, are a new way to store. They don’t use those moving parts, and are more like USB drives. They are more expensive than hard disk drives and offer less storage, but they can make your computer much faster. To store, they use flash chips, and don’t need any disk or head.

In other words, the SSD isn’t going to go through a head crash, so if you shock or hit it, it’s not going to wipe the drive. Also, magnetism doesn’t affect an SSD.

But what you should remember is that SSDs have similar parts to hard disk drives, and they may fail over time. Also, if there’s a power failure, it may lead to the failure of the drive, or cause data corruption. Also, since SSDs are new, there still haven’t been any huge studies that have revealed how long they’ll last. So don’t use it for permanent storage until you know how long they’ll last.

When it comes to repeated use, the memory blocks in an SSD has a certain amount of write cycles to it. In other words, if you store data on it a certain amount of times, it may die. The cycles are typically a couple thousand. While this seems low, it’s nothing bad. Hard drives write their data to the closest free block, but SSDs will use each block before beginning the cycle again.

To put this into normal terms, you should be fine unless you’re writing chunks of data to your SSD for years. You won’t reach its limit, and if you did, you could still read it, but you couldn’t overwrite it, so your data wouldn’t be deleted.

SSDs are a great way to store if you prefer performance to storage, and it may not be good for long-term storage. The length of how long your SSD can store data without being powered can depend on a lot of factors. Many can last up to ten years, but some might fail in only a few months. Look at the manufacturers, as they will list how you can store your data.

Flash Drives

Flash drives, thumb drives, USB drives, jump drives. They go by so many names, but you know them as the convenient way to store. Just put it into a USB, write it to the drive, and then put it in your pocket. They have many problems as an SSD, such as a certain amount of write cycles. They are also cheaply made compared to SSDs, so they may be less reliable.

You probably won’t reach your write limit, however. If you use the flash drive to move files to different locations, then you have to worry about physical damage more. Also, you can put your data at risk if you don’t eject it before you remove it from the USB slot, so don’t pull it out unejected.

However, if you use it as an archiver, it’s not that great. While some drive makers claim that you can store data for nearly a century if it’s in the right environment, it is probably lower than that. Data retention depends on the memory blocks’ health. If you buy the drive, back it up, and then store, it can last for years. However, if you use it a lot, don’t use it for storage.

Overall

So what you should remember in this article is that storage drives are not perfect. While it can hold data for years under the right conditions, you should check it to make sure constantly. One thing you should do is to copy it off the drive and onto it again. You should also make sure that you use more than one way to store data. Rotate your storage methods and make sure you have it backed on many devices, and you should keep your data for good.

Designing Orange Buttons Horizontal Web Navigation Photoshop Tutorial

Today we are going to learn How to Designing Orange Buttons Horizontal Web Navigation bar in Photoshop CS5 with the help or Marquee Selection Tools, Brushes and Texts. Se lets begin.

STEP 1:

First of all create a new Photoshop Project for 1280×1024 pixels resolution. Fill the background color with Black color.

Now create a new layer, select the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and make  horizontal shape filled with #FC3826 color as showing below.

STEP 2:

Again select the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and make another selection shape over the horizontal bar as showing in next screenshot.

STEP 3:

Next Right Click on its layer, click Blending Options and select Gradient Overlay and set the color properties similar like following screenshot.

STEP 4:

After you have done with the above shape button over horizontal bar, duplicate the layer 4 times more and place it over horizontal bar.

STEP 5:

To add some effects and have more attractive look for horizontal menu buttons, select a blur Brush Tool (B) with 200 px diameter and apply  it over Menu buttons as showing in screenshot.

STEP 6:

For Active or Home Button, select Text Type Tool (T) and type Home text in dark color.

STEP 7:

Finally for other buttons, select Text Type Tool (T) and type buttons text for other menu buttons.

FINAL RESULT

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and learned creating Buttons and Navigation Menus for your templates in a different way. We will appreciate if you add your comments for improve our quality in future tutorials.

PHP: Basics Of Working With MySQL

In this tutorial I will be teaching you how to work with MySQL when programming in PHP. MySQL is something that every good PHP programmer has to know and this guide aims at teaching you all the basic functions for working with MySQL databases and maybe a few other little tips.

<?php
$server = ‘localhost’; // Usually you can leave it as localhost.
$user = ‘username’; // MySQL User
$pass = ‘password’; // MySQL Pass
$dbname = ‘database.name’; // Database Name
?>

This will be used by our next 2 functions which will connect to the MYSQL server and then connect to the correct database.

$server = ‘localhost’; // Usually you can leave it as localhost.
$user = ‘username’; // MySQL User
$pass = ‘password’; // MySQL Pass
$dbname = ‘database.name’; // Database Name
mysql_connect(“$server”, “$user”, “$pass”) or die(mysql_error()); // Connect to MySQL server or display error.
echo “Connected to MySQL server.<br />”;
mysql_select_db(“$dbname”) or die(mysql_error()); // Connect to our database.
echo “Connected to database.”;

Now that you can connect to your database its time for us to create a table (tables store data in a MySQL database). You run MySQL queries by using the function mysql_query(). In the next example we are going to learn how to create a table.

mysql_query(“CREATE TABLE users(
id INT NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
PRIMARY KEY(id),
username VARCHAR(28),
password VARCHAR(40)”)
or die(mysql_error());

Theabove code will create a table called “users” in your selected database with the columns “username”, “password”, and an automatically updating ”id” number. The reason why we made the “password” column 40 characters long is because as SHA1 hash (encrypted password) is exactly 40 characters long.

For our next step we will be adding 2 users to the table. Adding data to your tables is also accomplished through the mysql_query() function however your query would be an INSERT one instead of CREATE. Below is an example of me adding our two users to our table.

REMEMBER: Never store an unencrypted password in your databases. (At least sha1() them first.)

mysql_query(“INSERT INTO users
(username, password) VALUES(‘mysql_real_escape_string($username)’, ‘sha1($password)’ ) “)
or die(mysql_error());

The above code will securely add a user to your table while encrypting the password and also guarding against MySQL injection at the same time. Always remember to use mysql_real_escape_string()  when your handling a variable a user controls to block hackers from performing a MySQL injection. Now last but not least I will show you how to retrieve data from your table. The following code will show you how to retrieve all data in a certain table.

$result = mysql_query(“SELECT * FROM users”)
or die(mysql_error());
$row = mysql_fetch_array($result);
echo “<br>Username: “.$row[‘username’].”<br>Password Hash: “.$row[‘password’];

Thats it for now! I hope this guide helped show you all how to work with MySQL databases and tables when working with php.

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