Spyware can be used for various purposes, such as parental control, employee performance monitoring, and identity theft. The best spy apps for Android allow parents to track their children’s location and social media activity, while cybercriminals use these apps for malicious purposes. Let’s discuss how to determine if your device is infected with malware and how to remove it.
How to Detect Mobile Spyware
Detecting spyware on a mobile device is difficult because the most advanced spyware apps work in stealth mode and stay hidden. However, over time, the phone starts to experience performance issues, glitches, and unexplained slowdowns. These signs indicate that someone is secretly monitoring your device. Here are the most common symptoms:
- Fast battery drainage: Spy apps drain your phone’s battery faster than usual because they run non-stop. In addition to working 24/7, the spyware collects and transmits a huge amount of data, which leads to the consumption of a lot of energy. As a result, batteries wear out abruptly rather than gradually.
- Increased mobile data usage: The unusual spike in mobile data usage can only be seen if you use cellular data to access the Internet. You should check your smartphone settings to see how mobile data usage has changed over time. It increases as the spyware needs to transfer a large amount of recorded data and files to a third party.
- Unexplained slowdowns: When the device is constantly overloaded with tasks, it starts to glitch and slow down over time. Launching applications, performing basic functions, and even turning off the device takes forever, as spyware interferes with turning off the phone.
- Unfamiliar apps: You should check the apps you don’t remember downloading. But don’t limit yourself to checking apps only in the menu. Most spyware removes their icons from the menu to stay hidden, and the only way to detect them is to check the list of installed applications in settings.
- Device overheating: Overheating is closely related to using a lot of mobile data and quickly draining the battery. Spyware runs in the background and causes the phone to overheat even when not used.
How to Remove Spyware from Your Device
If your phone shows the symptoms described above, you should immediately take steps to remove spyware. The longer spy apps stay on your device, the more data they collect about you and send to cybercriminals, exposing your calls, text messages, social media activity, and location. Check out several options to remove spyware from your phone.
An anti-spyware and antivirus solution is the best way to detect and remove spyware from your mobile device. But you don’t want to download any app from the Play Market or Apple Store. It could be fake spyware in disguise that infects your device instead of removing malicious apps. Make sure you download a legit anti-malware tool developed by a reputable company. After installing the application, removing all the spyware traces from your phone should take a few minutes.
Some sophisticated spyware cannot be detected even by advanced anti-malware tools. So if your phone is still experiencing glitches and performance issues caused by spyware, you should perform a factory reset. A reset removes all files on the device, including spyware. But there is a risk of permanently losing your contacts, media files, documents, and other important data. So be sure to back up your phone so that you can restore your files later.
Before manually removing any software from your phone, you should test and ensure that the strange phone behavior is caused by spyware. To do this, you should use the “Restart in safe mode” function and disable all third-party applications installed on your device. Then you should open your device’s settings, go to the list of installed applications and remove suspicious ones. After doing the necessary cleaning, reboot your device, and it should work fine now.
- Enable two-factor authentication: Use 2FA to protect your social media account, email, and mobile banking applications. Even if spyware passes through your phone’s security system and infects your device, it won’t be able to steal your personal information.
- Update your OS: Usually, OS updates include security patches and upgrades that fix the vulnerabilities in the phone’s security system. So, make sure to install the updates immediately to protect your device.
- Change all your passwords: If you suspect your phone has been compromised, you should protect your personal information by changing all your passwords. Begin by changing the password of your email ID, as many accounts are connected to it.
So, spy apps can cause real harm to your device if installed and used without your consent. RealSpyApps contains detailed information on the most popular spyware. Make sure to check the list and learn how to protect your device.