Back in the days of yore (say before the mid-1990s), we depended on our five senses to find signs that our significant other was cheating — lipstick on the collar, suddenly paying more attention to grooming, spending more time at the office, etc. Ironically, in this digital era, technology seems to be giving the cheater more cover than the cheated.
It’s not difficult for a cheater to hide his or her digital tracks. Luckily, while technology has changed, human behavior hasn’t. You can still feel something’s wrong and your spouse or significant other is acting weird.
If you’re wondering whether your spouse or significant other is cheating on you, we have assembled a list of digital telltale signs. If you’re convinced your loved one is straying, we also recommend a few programs you can use to — legally — check on what your so-called better half is up to.
Suddenly can’t let go
Your spouse or significant other used to leave their phones lying around everywhere. It seemed there was always a scramble to find a lost phone.
Now, they won’t let go of the iPhone or Android. It’s always in their hands or pockets and they take it everywhere.
If the phone rings or they get a text message, they always find an excuse to leave the room. When bedtime rolls around, they don’t put their phone on the nightstand anymore. They turn it off and tuck it under their pillow.
He hasn’t done that in awhile
Early in your relationship, you and your husband were constantly texting each other. As relationships grow and mature, it’s normal for this type of behavior to ease.
Then you start to notice that hubby is bent over his phone or is contorted in some way where you can’t see his phone and he’s texting every few seconds. You ask who he’s texting and he says it’s about a work project or some family issue (a family issue you don’t know about) or gets angry with you.
You have the right to be suspicious. Also, be on the lookout for strange texts from him — he may have accidentally sent you a text meant for his clandestine lady friend.
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The texting will eventually lead to sexting. But smartphones aren’t the only place where sexting happens. PCs and laptops aid and abet affairs too.
A new favorite place for texting is Google Docs. Your unfaithful partner can easily say he’s working when he’s actually sexting with a new lover, that’s because the cloud-based word-processing service is predominantly a work tool.
You don’t want to be nosy but …
One day your significant other gets careless and leaves his phone unattended. This could be your chance to put your cheating fears to rest or prove them. Are there contacts on his phone labeled in strange ways such as by first letter only? Check the call logs to see if this one-initial person is always calling or being called. Are you seeing the same number throughout his call logs?
Are there corresponding texts to this number or initial or strangely enough, there are no text messages at all. There is one silver lining: With his phone in your hands, you can add apps to track and monitor his phone.
There are a number of spy apps out there, however, many require you to jailbreak their iPhone or root their Android. This is something to avoid. Others allow you to install the app without having to root or jailbreak.
You can also use tools already on his phone. If your spouse uses an Apple device connected to a family account, make sure they have enabled location sharing and you can locate their device by logging in to iCloud.com and clicking on Find My iPhone or by using the Find My Friends app.
If you really want specific details on where your partner is frequently visiting and they use an iPhone, you’re in luck. In Settings, there is a Location Services feature that gives up all the places the phone has been to recently. You’ll find a list of cities they’ve been to that you can tap and it’ll open specific addresses. Here’s how to get to this feature:
- Click Settings
- Tap Privacy
- Select Location Services
- Scroll down to System Services
- Select Significant Locations. This is where you will find a log of visited locations
Of course, you’ll have to get access to their iPhone for this but it’s a goldmine if you do.
If your spouse uses an Android phone and is logged in to Google on a shared computer, you can type “Find My Phone” into the search bar and you’ll be provided with the phone’s location. Google is an easy application to accidentally stay logged in to so this may be an easily obtainable clue.
Related: Track the location of your phone or family using the best apps and tools
As we become more reliant on GPS these days, you may also want to take a peek at your spouse’s location history. The “previous destinations” menu option on a navigation system or the Google Timeline feature for Andriod users (found in the Google Maps app or Google Maps online if they are logged in) can give you some insight into where your spouse really was when they said they were stuck in traffic.
Why can’t I get in here?
Let’s go back to that day your significant other got careless and left his phone unattended. You lunge to grab it.
But you can’t unlock it. The pattern you knew doesn’t work anymore. His PIN doesn’t work. When did he put in a fingerprint lock? You’re persona non grata on his phone.
Don’t despair yet. There are a number of spy apps and services that you can use to monitor his phone without having to install an app.
For example, Highster Mobile uses the over-the-air method to download and install the app on your phone. During installation, enter the telephone number of the phone you want to monitor.
Activate the app by entering the license key which is provided immediately after you pay for the service. From your cell phone, laptop or tablet log in to your account and view information uploaded from the phone you are monitoring.
Your significant other hasn’t changed her password and she leaves the phone lying around everywhere just like the old days. You feel ridiculous for ever having suspected her of infidelity.
But people are people and people get careless. You suddenly catch her talking on a phone you’ve never seen before or you find a SIM card just randomly sitting on a bathroom counter or coffee table. If you find a stray SIM card, see if you can use it on your phone and if you can, you’ve just opened a door to your wife’s secret life.
They can be smarter than you think
For the tender-hearted, there is nothing more dangerous than serial cheaters who are tech-savvy. They know their way around.
You’ve looked in the Cloud, went through her phone and found nothing that would incriminate her. Your partner may be storing saucy photos, videos and apps right on her smartphone in almost plain sight.
There are apps that can clone other apps, such as WhatsApp, Instagram and more, and hide the cloned versions behind an icon that looks like a calculator, for instance.
Obviously the cloned version would be used to communicate with a lover. If your partner doesn’t want any mistakes to happen, she can remove the app that was cloned while leaving the replicate behind the false-front icon.
Passions run high when a relationship is filled with suspicions. Before your relationship becomes a game of spy versus spy, you might consider sitting down and having an honest conversation with your partner first.
But if you’re determined to use apps to track your partner’s phone, make sure you know the laws in your state. Tracking someone’s phone without his or her knowledge or consent might not be legal where you live.