I think we can all agree that hackers are everywhere! They leave our devices with viruses and steal our information, or worse, credentials of our banks and credit cards. I bet, nobody ever wants their information stolen, right? In this article, we will tell you how tips and tricks to find hidden spyware on Android!
Why does this matter?
Android devices, along with laptops, and other electronic devices has both premium hardware and software features. These allow Android devices to function almost the same as our laptops or personal computers. Given that, our Android devices have also become vulnerable to Android spyware and viruses. And I’m telling you, these viruses and spyware are up to no good.
If you are like me that has more private information on your phone than you do on your PC, then you’ve come to the right place. Data privacy has been one of the biggest issues when it comes to smartphones.
But, how do you really find hidden spyware in your Android device? Here’s how.
For the latest tips, tricks and hacks check out our dedicated section for Android Tricks.
Locating Hidden Spyware on Android
If you installed an app or downloaded something from the internet, then, your phone starts to malfunction, there is a high possibility that you have downloaded spyware.
Locating, finding, and removing hidden spyware on your Android is not as difficult as it sounds. If you downloaded a file or a photo, simply delete it. In cases that you have downloaded an app, hidden spyware apps can be found within the list of apps. This list can be found in the phone settings. Simply type apps in the search bar and look for apps that you don’t remember installing and uninstall it.
But, it doesn’t stop there…
Every app installed and uninstalled in our phones has a file directory. Dig in through your files and look for the folder named apps. Delete the entire folder of the app that is infected. Delete it in the trash, delete it everywhere.
In situations where the Spywares can’t be detected no matter what, the best thing you can do is to securely perform a device factory reset. By doing so, any form of spyware installed on your phone will definitely be deleted or removed.
If all else fails, consider this last resort.
Signs of Hidden Spyware on Android and How to Find Them
It would be uneasy and an absolute disaster if someone is tracking or spying on our Android phones. But how can we know?
Android Spyware usually comes in a form of spying apps, and to find spy apps on your phone, you have to precautiously observe your phone. People can easily install them on the phones of other users to monitor the target mobile activities.
That’s not all…
Understanding what these spying services can do is necessary for locating spyware on Android. Additionally, the key to knowing how to get rid of it is by understanding how cell phone spyware detection and removal work.
In this post, we’ll share with you several tips that can indicate that your phone is being tracked or spied on, what can be done about it, and how to remove spyware.
Unusual Strange Phone Behavior
One of the most common ways to check spyware on your phone is by looking for odd or strange behavior from your phone. If there is spyware or tracking software installed on your phone, chances are, your phone will act differently.
- Observe if your phone lights up on its own, shutting down automatically or make strange sounds.
- Find apps on your phone that you don’t remember installing. Clicking on malicious links elsewhere, such as a spam email, could be inviting these onto your phone inadvertently.
- Rooted phones are more susceptible to these attacks and unusual behavior. Change your passwords frequently.
- Some nefarious apps will piggy-back onto ones that may seem safe (for example, Godless malware), and back in the days of Jelly Bean exploits were found that allowed remote installation of apps via script injection. These exploits have since been patched, but hackers are always looking for new ways in. It’s always a race to see who can find exploits and either take advantage or secure the breach.
“Can these behaviors have other causes as well?“
Definitely, and those causes may have absolutely nothing to do with spyware.
Unusual Battery Drain
Another useful way to find out whether someone is spying on your phone is an increase in battery usage. After using a phone for a couple of weeks, most people become familiar with battery patterns and know their average battery life. If your phone is suddenly experiencing sub-par battery life for no tangible reason, it could be spyware. Spyware and tracking apps can drain your phone’s battery, especially if they’re running constantly.
It could also be an older battery, a new app you installed that’s running perpetually in the background, or a malfunctioning battery. If your phone is heating up for no discernible reason when it is idle, the same rules apply. It could be spyware, but most modern malware has improved in this area, so consider other causes as well.
Phone Call Noises
When having a call, do you hear any unusual sounds in the background?
Well, that’s an unwanted scenario. If you hear beeps or any other sounds during phone calls, then this can mean your calls are being recorded. Someone is listening or recording your calls. The call recording apps will make background noises, you will notice a static or feedback. But, sometimes, it may imply that you have a bad reception. Cautiously observe every time you have a call, it might mean something.
Random Reboots And Shut Downs
Spyware and tracking apps can cause random reboots and shutdowns on Android devices. If you believe that your phone’s software is stable and updated, then random reboots or shutdowns can mean your phone has spyware software installed. An unstable third-party app might also be causing this.
Thus, to be certain, uninstall the application. If your device still experiences random reboots, then it is infected.
Suspicious Text Messages
It is strange to receive random text messages with codes and symbols. Make sure that your phone is not being tracked or spied on. Download Stagefright to detect any vulnerabilities
Abnormal Increase in Data Usage
We all know how much we used the internet, right? Some days we use it less or more than others. If you think you used less data than what your phone data usage shows, then, you might’ve had something to worry about.
This is also a really useful factor in determining whether your phone has spyware or tracking software installed. It has been known that spyware tools use data to access and send the information they collected from your device. But, if the hackers are using high-quality spy software, it is nearly impossible to notice. This is because they use less data.
It could also mean that you are spending more time online, so don’t forget to consider all the factors.
Make sure that you monitor your phone’s data usage regularly to find out about any unusually high usage in data. For an app that will help you do this, try My Data Manager or other data usage apps to help you monitor data usage.
Sounds When Your Phone Is Not In Use
When your phone is idle, it shouldn’t make any sort of sound. If you’re hearing sounds when you’re not using your phone, it could mean that your phone is being spied on. If you want to eliminate both the possibility of spyware and also rogue apps causing the noises, perform a factory reset. If your phone is rooted, flash stock firmware. And don’t disregard OS updates. This will solve a lot of these problems.
Delay In Shut Down
Try shutting down your phone several times during the day. Android devices usually shut down quickly, but if your phone is taking an unusually long time shutting down, then this can suggest that someone is monitoring and controlling your phone. Or it could also be an app chewing up resources, an actual hardware problem, or a faulty/corrupted install.
Be wary of pirated apps. Advertisers collect data about your through ad/app bundles. Read what permissions an app requires you grant, and decide if it’s worth it. Watch for clones of legitimate apps and websites. A new technique, called smishing, creates an overlay on top of banking log-ins so that it can steal your information. Ensure you are on a secure site (the IP address starts with HTTPS instead of HTTP) when you enter sensitive information.
Third-party apps can be awesome, but they also haven’t undergone the same amount of scrutiny that app stores like Google Play or Amazon put their apps through. And some bad apps do slip through on these sites as well before they are detected. If you experience issues with an app, get rid of it and reboot. If you still are having problems, start over with a factory reset.
Check Suspicious Files
If you have a file manager installed on your phone, look for any suspicious files or folders created on your phone. If you find some new files and folders you know for a fact you didn’t install as part of an app or anything else, then there’s a chance your phone has tracking or spyware software installed.
Occasionally, you might be lucky enough to find phone numbers or emails that will lend a clue as to who is doing the tracking, but be certain before you assume and accuse.
Phone Suddenly Became So Slow
If your phone has suddenly become really slow for no obvious reasons at all, then there’s a risk that your phone is being monitored and controlled. Don’t leave your phone unattended around someone you don’t trust, use encryption, or at the very least, a lock screen.
Have you experienced that there is a random popup dialogue on your screen? There are popups that warns you about malware. But, the more you click on the popup dialogue, it redirects you to a shady webpage. It is best not to click anything on the page and immediately leave the webpage. Sometimes, these malware popups cover-up as advertisements. Thus, the terms malvertising and adware.
If a popup proclaims that you’ve won something that’s too good to be true; it probably is. Ads are annoying anyway, and there are a few apps you can download to block them like Adblock Browser for Android. These apps tend to be more effective if you are rooted.
Popups can be a sign of an existing infection, that wants to gain more privileges or information from you.
Still not working?
You can remove the spyware from your Android phone with dr.fone – Erase (Android). It wipes out everything from your device. It assures that the ones who are spying and tracking you cannot awaken the malicious content or recover any data from your device.
Use dr.fone – Erase (Android)
1. Download dr.fone – Erase(Android)
Download the application on your computer. Its operation process is easy and it supports all Android devices. It is also compatible with Windows and Mac OS.
2. Install and Launch
After installing and launching the dr.fone application, look for the ‘Erase’ button. Click on it.
3. Connect the Android device to the computer.
After you connect your device, a message prompt will appear on your screen. There is a USB debugging option you need to enable to completely connect the device.
4. Click on ‘Erase All Data’
After clicking on this, you will receive a confirmation code to verify that you want to erase all the data.
5. Erase process complete
Now, the files on your Android device is completely erased. It does not contain any viruses or spyware. If you want to reset all of the device’s settings, perform a factory data reset.
Aside from DFNDR Security is a top-rated antivirus application, it is free for Android devices. It optimizes the device’s performance with its features. The application has an all-in-one protection feature for anti-phishing and anti-hacking. It quickly cleans up the cache and junk files to speed up the usage. The only disadvantage with DFNDR is the annoying ads, but you can have an ad-free for a cheap yearly subscription.
- 24-hour monitoring of digital credentials
- Alerts when there are leaks and online scams
- Anti-hacking and anti-phishing
- Block applications and photos from intruders
- Protection against loss or theft of phone
- Protects against viruses and fake sites
- Protection against identity theft and online fraud
You can experience advanced protective features for 3 days. Just visit their website at www.psafe.com. You can download the application on your Android phone at Google Play.
Who’s Doing the Spying or Tracking?
Remember earlier when we said that the world isn’t always a sinister place? It isn’t, but there are some crappy people that do crappy things. What motivates them to take the time out of their day and expend the effort?
Most likely they:
- presume you have something they want,
- feel passionate about gaining your personal information (e.g. cheating spouse),
- need to satisfy an addiction (but hackers/phreakers still need the effort to result in something worthwhile),
- employ an app or method targeting a larger population segment,
- or perhaps, employ you.
There isn’t a great way to identify the person doing the spying, because information can be redirected several times to several places. Your best bet is to prevent or get rid of the spyware.
Commonly Asked Questions
Technically yes. Spyware is a specific type of malware. Malware is a general term used to describe a number of malicious types of software, including adware, spyware, viruses, trojans and more. Phone spyware can be installed remotely but a few conditions must be met in order to do so. One of those conditions is that you already have remote access on the phone that you wish to place spyware on. Spyware is capable of collecting data on your phone including personal information like internet surfing habits, content of SMS, user logins, password, as well as bank or credit account information. Spyware can also interfere with your control on your phone by installing additional software or redirecting web browsers. There are some people who find joy in hacking. It motivates them to spy or stalk you when they know they can get something from you. It satisfies them when they can collect your personal information, even bank accounts. Some even uses your information to engage in some transactions.
Are spyware and malware the same thing?
Can phone spyware be installed remotely?
What can phone spyware do?
Why do they spy or track phones?
Technically yes. Spyware is a specific type of malware. Malware is a general term used to describe a number of malicious types of software, including adware, spyware, viruses, trojans and more.
Phone spyware can be installed remotely but a few conditions must be met in order to do so. One of those conditions is that you already have remote access on the phone that you wish to place spyware on.
Spyware is capable of collecting data on your phone including personal information like internet surfing habits, content of SMS, user logins, password, as well as bank or credit account information. Spyware can also interfere with your control on your phone by installing additional software or redirecting web browsers.
There are some people who find joy in hacking. It motivates them to spy or stalk you when they know they can get something from you. It satisfies them when they can collect your personal information, even bank accounts. Some even uses your information to engage in some transactions.
No user wants viruses, tracking apps or spyware installed on his/her Android smartphone, but hackers are finding it increasingly worthwhile to put it there. The first step in fixing this issue is to check for spyware. Use the tips mentioned above to check whether there are spyware and tracking software installed on your phone, and if so, get rid of it.
Did you find spyware? How did you get rid of it? Tell us below.
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