Here is EXACTLY How Cheaters Hide Their Tracks

by Lauren Cook-McKay | Last Updated: April 27, 2022
how cheaters hide their tracks

Most people know what it feels like to suspect your partner of something untrustworthy. Could they be cheating? Lying about something important? The signs are there, but you aren’t sure what’s really going on.

Maybe it’s all in your head – But what if it isn’t? Read on to learn more about how cheaters hide their tracks, what to look for if you suspect your partner is cheating, and how to catch them in the act so they don't get away with infidelity.

1. Hiding Their Financials

Most people who cheat on their partners are forced to hide their financials to stop their significant others from catching them. A person having an affair is likely to spend money on things they don’t want their partner to know about.

A cheater might be purchasing dinner for their date or treating them to other fun activities. A weekend getaway is a typical affair-related cost, especially as it places them out of town and away from prying eyes.

Cheaters also purchase gifts for their secret partners, especially during major gift-giving holidays.

How do you know if your partner is doing this?

Consider it a red flag if your partner is unwilling to share their financials with you. Do they have bank accounts or credit cards you don’t know about?

Are they lying about what they spent money on? Are you finding mysterious receipts for dinners you were not present at? All of this can indicate your partner might be seeing someone else on the side.

2. Hiding Their Comings and Goings

One of the most obvious tells your partner is cheating is secretiveness about when they are coming and going. They hide precisely when and where they are going places without you to avoid arousing suspicion.

Your significant other might be vague about what time they returned home if they arrived after you went to sleep. A cheater is also likely to explain their whereabouts generally, using phrases like “work” or “out with friends.”  

A cheating partner can also downright lie about where they have been, making up untrue stories that you only later recognize as lies. For example, maybe they claimed to be at the office when their building closed earlier.

How do you know if your partner is doing this?

If your partner will not reveal where they are going or where they have been, or if you catch them in a lie, they might be cheating on you. It is always suspicious if your partner does not want you to know their whereabouts.

3. Closely Guarding Their Phones

Cheaters will keep a close eye on their phones for obvious reasons. While it is likely normal to keep your phone relatively private, over-the-top protective behavior is a typical sign of infidelity.

picture of guarding phone

A cheating partner will need to ensure their significant other does not see messages or phone calls to their secret lovers. This means they will be on high alert anytime you use their phone (or other devices).

They will also likely stop messages or contact names from appearing on their lock screen where you might accidentally notice them.

How do you know if your partner is doing this?

It’s a red flag if your partner jumps out of their skin every time you glance at their phone. It’s an even bigger red flag if they instigate arguments or fights over this issue, especially if you were using their device for a legitimate reason (not snooping).

4. Using Photo Locking Applications

Photo locking applications protect photos, videos, or other media from prying eyes. A cheater will likely have one of these to hide evidence of their affair.

A cheating partner will likely want to hide evidence of dates or excursions with those they meet in secret. These apps can also be used to hide photos or videos sent between two people, so you might also find these images locked away in an application.

How do you know if your partner is doing this?

There are many popular photo-locking applications available on AppStore or Google Play. Search for these on your significant other’s phone.

Here are a few popular ones, but keep in mind that this is nowhere near an all-encompassing list:

Read More: Not Attracted To Your Husband After He Cheated? 13 Ways To Fix It.

5. Using Apps That Hide Applications

Many cheaters will download apps that hide applications on their phones. This is a simple way to stop a partner from detecting not only someone they are contacting but the means of contact itself.

People attempting to keep communications secret might download third-party messaging services, such as WhatsApp or KikoChat.

This allows them to send messages, pictures, and calls back and forth without risking saving the contact name on their phone. It also keeps all communication records off the stock apps, making them less likely to be found.

How do you know if your partner is doing this?

Here are a few popular app-hiding applications to look out for on your partner’s phone:

There are other similar apps out there, so take a closer look at any apps on your partner’s phone that look strange or out of place.

6. Use Incognito Windows When Online

Like hiding their communications with app-hiders or photo lockers, cheaters will also use incognito browser windows to cover their tracks. The browsers will hide their account information and history after they finish up.

Incognito browsers help cheaters hide messages or media they share with their partners via online platforms. Many messaging services offer online options you can use from your browser.

Incognito browsers can also hide social media platforms or online dating sites your partner may be using.

Some people will conduct entire affairs online and never actually meet in person. While it’s up to you if you consider this the same as physical cheating, it’s still damaging to your relationship.

Even affairs that remain solely online can lead to loss of trust, trauma, and a negative impact on a relationship.

Read More: Dating Sites For Married But Looking People

How do you know if your partner is doing this?

It’s difficult to know if your partner is using incognito browsers. Unfortunately, the best way to find this out is to catch them in the act of using the browser. A glance at their desktop might give this away because many browsers use a different colored toolbar for their incognito windows.

7. Avoid Being Tracked from Their Phone

Cheaters will also stop their partners from being able to track their phones. As you would imagine, someone deceiving their partner about their whereabouts won’t want them to be able to pull up their location on the map.

picture of cell phone tracking

You can stop people from tracking your location in many ways. The simplest one is to disable location or GPS services in the settings on your device. You can also manually “stop” sharing location with other people on whichever map apps you use.

How do you know if your partner is doing this?

Not every person who disables these services is cheating on their significant other. Some people simply consider location sharing to be a violation of privacy.

However, refusal to share location coupled with some of these other red flags or a history of cheating could be cause for concern.

If you know your partner cheated in the past, keep an even closer eye out for these red flags. People who cheat on their partners are more likely to cheat again in future relationships.

8. Using VPNs to Mask Location and Search History

VPNs are “virtual private networks,” or a way to set up a private network over a public one. Using a private network allows you to hide everything from your location to your search history, even when you are on a public or shared device.

Many VPN services are paid, but most offer a free alternative to their complete products. These free versions will include many of the same features but can be less secure than the paid option.

How do you know if your partner is doing this?

Here are a few popular VPN services to look out for on your partner’s device:

9. Sending Messages from Their Work Email

Many people will use their work email to conduct their affairs rather than go through the trouble of hiding communications and media on their personal accounts.

Work emails are often private from spouses or partners. In many cases, they are linked to private computers, phones, or tablets that are entirely separate from personal devices.

They also have the additional benefits of company-paid-for security.

How do you know if your partner is doing this?

The only way to know if your partner uses their work email for illicit communications is to access the email yourself. This can be difficult to do but might be worth the effort if you suspect they communicate with secret partners through their work email.

Read More: 13 Types of Affairs Everyone In a Troubled Relationship Should Know

10. On Their Phone in the Bathroom

Cheaters always look for private locations to chat with people they don’t want their partners to know about. One of the most accessible places to secretly chat with anyone is in the bathroom.

People have a reasonable expectation of privacy when they are in the bathroom. This makes it the perfect location to send a secret text or whisper a hushed phone conversation without others overhearing.

How do you know if your partner is doing this?

Your partner might be communicating with someone behind your back if they spend a suspicious amount of time in the bathroom or other private spaces. It’s an even more significant red flag if you hear hushed voices or other unusual noises coming from the bathroom while they are in there.

11. Having a Burner Phone

Purchasing a burner phone solves all the issues related to a spouse or partner accidentally stumbling upon illicit communications. A burner phone is a separate device used only for communicating with their affairs.

Many cheaters will purchase a simple pay-as-you-go phone for communication with one or more partners. You can find these at most convenience stores or buy them online.

How do you know if your partner is doing this?

A cheater will physically hide a burner phone to stop their partner from finding out who they speak to. Unlike apps, photos, or browser windows, a burner phone needs a physical location to hide in.

If you suspect your partner is using a burner phone, check the following locations where it might be hidden:

12. Fake or Hidden Social Media Accounts

Social media has changed so much about relationships, and affairs are no exception. People create fake or hidden social media accounts to find new partners and hide existing affairs.

picture of a woman using her fake social media accounts

Social media plays a significant role in infidelity issues, with some platforms causing more trouble than others. Platforms that rely on messaging and conversation, such as Facebook and Twitter, can connect people with new love interests and provide a secure direct messaging option.

In fact, one study suggests that active Twitter use can indirectly lead to infidelity, breakup, and divorce.

How do you know if your partner is doing this?

Keep an eye on your significant other’s social media use. Are they creating fake accounts that use false information? Do they restrict you from following or becoming “friends” with certain accounts?

These are red flags that something suspicious might be happening on these platforms.

Read More: How Do Cheaters React When Accused? 13 Ways to Know You’ve Caught Them

13. Working a Job with Unpredictable or Traveling Schedules

Cheaters often search for and accept jobs with unpredictable or traveling schedules. These unconventional schedules make it much easier for someone to hide where they’ve been or are going.

If a person works odd hours or schedules that change every week, it is easier to say they are at work without worrying that it will sound suspicious to their partners.

After all, if their schedule is constantly changing, why would you bat an eye when they are working a new shift time? If they often work late, why would you question them for a late night at the office?

Similarly, it is easy for someone to see multiple partners in different geographic locations if they travel often. They can maintain these relationships online or over the phone until they are back in the same physical place.

How do you know if your partner is doing this?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do if your partner has a job with unpredictable hours or traveling. If you trust them, you shouldn’t worry that they are cheating because of their profession.

However, if you already have suspicions, you might want to double-check their “late shift” or what they are doing while traveling for work.

14. New or Different Friends

Cheaters will also maintain new or different friendships from their significant others. These friends will be less likely to let something slip to a significant other. They will also be less likely to question a person’s cheating if they are not friendly with the person being cheated on.

Sometimes these friendships will be from before a cheater met their partner. These old friends will be loyal to the cheater, likely to keep their secrets, and less likely to reveal the indiscretion to the partner.

These can also be new friendships picked up at work or other places a significant other does not frequent. They might be hobby friends or otherwise share similar interests as the person cheating.

picture of a group of new friends

A cheater can spend time with these friends regularly without their partner in either case. They can also usually be trusted to keep secrets from the person being cheated on because they are not friends.

They may even act as a “cover” when the cheater spends time with someone in secret.

How do you know if your partner is doing this?

The best way to determine if your partner is covering their tracks in this way is to pay attention to friends your partner does not want you to meet. Consider asking to join them during the next get-together and building a friendship with them.

Consider it a red flag if your significant other actively discourages you from meeting their friends.

15. Takes up New Hobbies That Require Being “Out”

Cheaters will often take up new hobbies that bring them out of the house for long periods. These hobbies can become the perfect cover when they need an explanation for where they’ve been.

Depending on where you live, a cheating partner has many options to choose from when selecting their new hobby. Anything that keeps them out of the house, especially in evening hours, can be used to hide their actual whereabouts.

Consider these popular hobbies that provide an excellent cover for cheating:

How do you know if your partner is doing this?

Pay attention to how often your partner leaves the house to engage in their new hobby and how long it takes them to return. Check to ensure they have dressed appropriately for their activity, and the timing makes sense.

For example, if your partner goes “hiking” in open-toed sandals at 6pm, this might indicate that they are not really hiking.

Wrapping Up

An unfortunate number of people cheat on their spouses or significant others. If you suspect your partner is cheating, be on the lookout for these typical ways cheaters cover their tracks.

These red flags can mean that it’s time to have a difficult conversation with your significant other – or, they might help you catch them in the act.

 
Lauren Cook-McKay is the Vice President of Marketing at DivorceAnswers.com. She holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) from the University of San Diego and applies her training in private practice to helping couples struggling in their marriage. She strongly believes there is hope in all marriages and strives to provide therapy to couples that will lead them back towards a loving marriage, or an amicable divorce that brings peace and closure. Connect with Lauren on LinkedIn here.