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How to find hidden spyware on Android

I think we can all agree that there are malicious files all around the internet. These malicious files may come in the form of android spyware, malware, and adware in your phones. They can steal your information and are a real threat to your security.

RelatedHow to Clean Your Phone Completely

Our android devices are vulnerable to the many Android spyware and viruses. We have to be more cautious with how we use our phones daily; our conversations with friends and family, and many transactions such as banking or private data exchanges, are all susceptible to theft.

Data privacy is one of the most significant issues when it comes to smartphones. But, how do you find hidden spyware in your Android device? Well, I found a few ways you can tell if you have Android spyware on your phone. Check it out below!


Why did I get spyware and how do I remove them?

If you’ve installed an app or downloaded something from the internet that wasn’t from a secure site, and your phone started to function or perform differently in some way, then there’s a high possibility that you have downloaded spyware.

Locating, finding, and removing hidden spyware on your Android is not as difficult as it sounds. In situations where the Spyware can’t be detected, the best thing you can do is to perform a device factory reset securely. The factory reset will potentially eliminate any active threats that can’t be solved by manual deletion.


Signs of hidden spyware on Android

How do we know if we have Android spyware on our phones. Can it be used to track our movements and steal our information? Spyware and other malicious files are usually hiding in plain sight. People can easily install them on the phones of other users to monitor the target’s mobile activities.

In this post, I’ll share several tips that can indicate whether your phone is being tracked or spied on and what you can do about it, as well as how to remove the spyware.


1. Strange phone behavior

how-to-find-hidden-software-on-android-unusual-phone-behavior

A common way to check spyware on your phone is by noticing any odd or strange function. If there’s spyware or tracking software installed on your phone, chances are, your phone will act differently.

  • Observe if your phone lights up on its own, shuts down automatically or makes 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 applications onto your phone inadvertently.
  • Remember to change your passwords frequently. Rooted phones are more susceptible to malware.
  • Some apps will piggy-back onto apps that may seem safe. (for example, Godless malware. Back in the days of Jelly Bean, exploits were uncovered that allowed remote installation of apps via script injection.)
  • There are patches to prevent these exploits, but hackers are always looking for new ways inside. It’s still a race to see who can find exploits first 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.


2. Unusual battery drain

Another way to find out whether someone is spying on your phone is an increase in battery usage. After a phone has been in use for a while, most people are familiar with their phone’s 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 always running.

Unusual Battery Drain
Check for unusual battery drain

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’s idle, the same rules apply. Although remember to consider other causes as well.


3. Unusual phone call noises

how-to-find-hidden-software-on-android-phone-call

When having a call, do you hear any unusual sounds in the background? If you hear beeps or any other sounds during phone calls, someone could be tapping into your calls. Using call recording apps will make background noises, and you will notice a static or feedback.

But, sometimes, it also implies that you have bad reception. Cautiously observe every time you have a call, and combined with any other issues, you can consider what it might mean.


4. 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.

reboot
Rebooting

Unstable third-party apps can also cause this. So to be sure, uninstall any suspicious applications. If your device still experiences random reboots, then it’s possible that your phone is infected.


5. Suspicious text messages

how-to-find-hidden-software-on-android-stagefright
Stagefright Detector

It’s strange to receive random text messages with codes and symbols. For example, receiving your Facebook and Instagram codes without asking for it is a clear indication that someone else is trying to access your account.

how-to-find-hidden-software-on-android-stagefright-detector-2

Stagefright can be malicious for your android devices; hackers will use this to get system privileges on your android phone. What’s more frightening is that you can unwittingly install this just by opening an MMS file or visiting an unsecured site.

Make sure that nobody spies or tracks your phone. Download Stagefright to detect any vulnerabilities with your Android now!

Google Play

6. Abnormal increase in data usage

Most of us use the internet on a daily basis, and we probably have an idea of how much data we’re using, right?

If you think you used less data than what your phone data usage shows, then there could be a problem within your phone. Checking your data usage is also an essential factor in determining whether your phone has spyware or tracking software installed.

how-to-find-hidden-software-on-android-my-data-usage
My Data Manager App

For an app that will help you do this, try My Data Manager or other data usage apps will help you monitor your data usage.

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 for any unusually high usage in data.

how-to-find-hidden-software-on-android-my-data-manager-2
Monitor Data Usage

Spyware tools use data to access and send the information they collect from your device. But, if the hackers are using high-quality spy software, it is nearly impossible to notice.

Nevertheless, it won’t hurt to monitor your data usage regularly. You can download My Data Manager by clicking the button below!

Google Play

7. Abnormal sounds when your phone isn’t in use

When your phone is idle, it shouldn’t make any sound. If you hear noises when you’re not using your phone, it could mean that someone is spying on your phone. If you want to eliminate both the possibility of spyware and rogue apps causing the noises, perform a factory reset. If your phone is rooted, flash the stock firmware. 

how-to-find-hidden-software-on-android-factory-reset
Factory Reset

And don’t disregard OS updates. Updating your software will help solve a lot of these problems.


8. Observable delay in shut down

Try shutting down your phone every once in a while, and see if that changes anything. Android devices usually shut down quickly, but if your phone is taking an unusually long time shutting down, it could also be an app hogging up resources, an actual hardware problem, or a faulty/corrupted program file.

But if you’re sure that your hardware is perfectly fine and your software isn’t faulty, then this can suggest that someone is monitoring and controlling your phone.


10. Suspicious files in your file manager

how-to-find-hidden-software-on-android-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 that you didn’t install as part of an app or in any other way, 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 sure before you assume and accuse.


11. Sudden slow down in performance

If your phone has suddenly become slow for no apparent reason, then there’s a probability 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.

Must ReadSlow Android Phone – What Causes It and How To Fix It


12. Random pop-ups in your screen

Have you experienced random pop-up dialogues on your screen? Pop-ups that warn you about malware?

And when you click on the pop-up dialogue, it redirects you to a shady webpage? Sometimes, these malware pop-ups cover-up as advertisements. Thus, the terms malvertising and adware.

error-message
PC Error Message

If a pop-up proclaims that you’ve won something too good to be true, it probably is. Ads are annoying, and there are a few apps you can download to block them like Free Adblock Browser for Android.

how-to-find-hidden-software-on-android-Adblocker
Free AdBlocker Browser
how-to-find-hidden-software-on-android-Adblocker

Still not working? Try using antivirus apps on your device.


DFNDR Security

how-to-find-hidden-software-on-android-dfndr

DFNDR Security is a top-rated antivirus application, it is free for Android devices. It optimizes the device’s performance, removing any Android spyware detectable in your phone.

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DFNDR security
  • The app 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.
  • 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 your phone
  • Protects against viruses and fake sites
  • Protection against identity theft and online fraud

You can experience advanced protective features for three days. Just visit their website at www.psafe.com.

Are you interested in this app? Download it now by clicking the Google Play button below!

Google Play

Who’s spying on you?

A lot of people steal and sell your information online, access your bank accounts, and use your accounts without your consent. What motivates them to take the time out of their day and expend the effort?

anonymous

Most likely, they:

  • Presume you have something they want (money, sensitive information, etc.),
  • Will benefit by 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),
  • Or perhaps, hire you.

It’s hard to identify the person doing the spying, because information can be redirected several times to several places. Your best bet is to prevent anything that could potentially harm your safety. Download anti-malware applications and avoid going


Frequently Asked Questions


Conclusion: Be “app-smart”

Be wary of pirated apps. Advertisers collect data about you through ad/app bundles. Read what permissions an app requires that 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 beneficial, but they can also be risky if you’re downloading from an unsecured location. Android spyware can slip through the Play Store 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. No user wants viruses, tracking apps, or spyware installed on their Android smartphone. Still, hackers are finding it increasingly worthwhile to create even more intricate methods of illegally getting to your data, especially as we gear more towards online transactions.

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, do the necessary steps to get rid of it.

Did you find any spyware on your device? How did you get rid of it? Share your spyware experience by leaving a comment below!

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152 Comments

    1. geez, wish you would just tell us first how to find and REMOVE this hacker crap …. an explanation of why and maybe was useless. next time tell ppl go here …. delete… go there …. uninstall….. ……
      much more effective and useful

      1. For malware and spyware the one app that I found that was able to the spyware & trojain horse that infected my phone was a app Camera Guard by protect star it was literally the only app that worked I tried but defender it missed it so did malwarebytes and kaspersky but protect stars Camera Guard found both of them no problem the app uses military grade software and modern heuristic methods which I think is much better and the future for finding and getting rid of viruses oh and the also have a microphone blocker and scanner app which searches your microphone code for mal&spyware so I hope this answers your ?.

    2. Get in touch with acephanthom via gmail if you need proof of infidelity. He will get you all you need without traces.

    3. Do you know you can get proof of infidelity?
      Do you know you can get the peace of mind you deserve?

    1. Come on, guy. Yes Google is ubiquitous(and effin creepy with Boston Dynamics human hunting murderbots). I believe many would prefer to know if their spouse can hear every breath etc…

  1. CM security and all of the clean master apps have protected my phone great, I was surprised they weren’t mentioned at all! I certainly recommend them

    1. Rusty,
      I think CM security is an antivirus app isn’t it? We did list about antivirus apps as last point.
      Regarding clean master, do you think it can help us know spying? I dont think so as it just clean up junk!. What do you say?

    2. I been having the cm a po pop up on my phone has never done this before. is there a chance someone could be trying to spy on my phone?

      1. Hi Veronica,
        I haven´t heard very good things about Cheetah Mobile apps. The rep they have is that they have used the same techniques that malware pushers use to increase the installations of their apps (which makes the fact that they push a “security” app more than a little ironic). I would recommend a different security app of your choice and hopefully, the problem will go away, but What does the pop-up say?

        1. Me again. What does this mean about CM using the same techniques as malware pushers? Is it not safe to use them? Are they just good at antivirus but not spyware? So far in my slow research (trying not to become obsessive with my paranoia! ) I see CM has the most DLs and rave reviews. Excuse my ignorance on if spyware is or is not picked up as a virus.

          The other day I was in TriviaCrack and I clicked on my game for my turn and my PlayStore opened to CM?? The only ad in Trivia was for Clash of Clans and no where near where I clicked. I hadn’t been on the Web in hours and only other app i had opened was my text messages. Sound like I’m still infected? Thoughts?

          1. Hi Isa,
            It´s good to hear from you again. It´s really a personal decision if one uses CM or not and one should always read the reviews about any app they are downloading, but I haven´t heard great things about it and I was just sharing my experience of the app. So, you were taken to CM when you just wanted to enjoy your turn playing the game? I can´t for sure if may still be infected since technology usually fails from time to time and it is not always because we are being spied on, they are just technical errors. =-)

          2. I downloaded cm and I didn’t like it. It keeps wanting you to down load more products. I reset my phone now it runs better.

          3. Hi Renee,
            I have used it and I know what you mean, but hey, you never know when they might actually offer something you actually want to try out, but I am glad that your phone is running better. Thanks for reading. =-)

    3. N see now I have like five damn anti spy apps and none of them say anything is wrong but I damn near hit a ten for ten on that list I know my shit is being watched or monitor end … Ya you fuck off get a life .. Sorry bout that but idk iv used so many apps that say my shits good to go but its not

        1. there are apps that might show some symptoms listed in the article. you can run some of the anti-spyware or malware apps suggested in the article to see if they alert you to anything.

        2. Lookout Security is great. I would know first hand. They informed me of a spy app put on my phone. It was the worst feeling ever. I know who did it. & let’s just say I’m very cautious about leaving my phone laying around. I had the free version & it did the trick. Ppl, sadly are shady & our privacy is a thing of the past anymore. Research Lookout. You won’t be wasting your time.

      1. Zmana offers a two week free trial, I used them and they remotely connected to my phone and went through everything and found my spyware that no other app or company could find. You have to email them and ask them to do it, it took a few days but they did it. Then when they couldn’t remove it they gave me a free lifetime subscription.

    4. But they dont control your life. Once your collected data is used against you directly….the difference is very noticable. I dont like the fact google gathers it, but im not looking over my shoulder for google cars either.

      When a person you see everyday gets that data, its a whole other thing. Its not paranoia if your right. If you ever think someone is “so paranoid all the time”, imagine if they are correct. That is a hell no one should have to go through. On top of that, the feeling may never go away once its known to be real. If its done by people you care about, you may never trust anyone again.

      I only trust my dog. If it were not for him, i dont even know how i would cope. I just be sure to do right by him and he takes me out situations he senses are taking me to a bad mindset. It even appears he is misbehaving at times, even in my eyes, but usually he is just a step ahead and pulling me away from it.

      1. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of trust to someone close to you.
        Very touching story about your dog, one can always trust the dogs senses regarding protection & love.
        Animals know who the bad people are. Best Of Luck

      2. I swear its happening to me right now and it’s being broadcasted for everyone to see people think I’m fucking crazy and I’ve completely lost it it’s so frustrating I swear they are seeing me type this comment as I’m doing it right now real time monitoring its frustrating its fucking exhausting i swear they’re obsessed its sick and just sad if you look at it.. they dedicate their entire existence on watching me and watching my life just plunder.. That’s why ima give them one hell of a show lmao!! Enjoy Vince you PHreaker!!!!!!

        1. I’ve been dealing with a narcissistic psychopath, that has showed be every personality he has & one those personalities come out, the hacker. It started in May 2019. Ive went through 8-9 phones & can tell within mins when my phone has been messed with, i have told my mom & other family members how it happened & they dont understand/don’t WANT to believe.
          I literally drove myself crazy along with my closest family members whom I live with dealing with him & his goons. He is probably watching me type this msg/screen recording, he has me on a switch.
          He jailbroke my iphone Xr, transferred my service to another family member who I dont speak 2 anymore. He has used me as his escape goat for every situation that he created. h
          He acted like he loved me, the signs were crystal clear, my dumbass kept going back(the narcissistic lies) & this last time I got pregnant !!
          He is the devil in disguise, everything he has done to me was a plan, he told me I was getting ready to reveil the truth, so he had to protect them !!!
          Very twisted story, they continue to mess with my closest family members, the family member that betrayed me was my best friend, my right hand. I never imagined she wld go as far as she has, so Im stuck being tracked everyday, knowing that they have went through my IP address to commit crimes, the devil helped his true love to only worry about him & screw over her whole family over that has been there for her, he has brainwashed her. She is a narcissist too.
          I am not with him, dont want to be, wish he wld find another female to stalk, harass, troll & move on ( I dont wish this mess on anyone). I even disregarded a no contact order for him. Stalking is very serious, he is sadistically stalking me, he has & wants control for his own gratification !! While he was f*ck*ng me in bed, he was f*ck*ng me behind my back !!!
          1 night changed my life, anything to knock me down & put them both above me, ive been told Im beneath them.
          Whatever makes them happy !! It is sad that there are ppl that evil, I never though I wld meet one & loose my best friend at the same time.
          I know exactly what ur dealing with everyday !!! Im sorry that u became the chosen one, like I was 2. I just try to live life as I normally do, or try 2. Don’t let them win !!!!

          1. Hi Tina, your privacy and safety is of the utmost importance. If you’re having trouble with someone you know, please report them to the authorities.

    1. Some spyware apps that show files in a file manager occasionally have a phone number or E-Mail that info is being sent to

      1. What spyware app shows you who is spying on you ???
        I believe it is my ex boyfriend and I want to nail him to the wall and she him.

  2. Hi
    As spyware collects info and sends it to a specific address (I presume)
    – then what about putting a virus in a text and when it is collected by the spyware and sent back to the spyer… Revenge 🙂

    Well… I guess… what I am asking is…, is it possible to do that?

      1. Is there anywhere to send the phone that, for a fee, an expert could look and see where the info was being sent or how often or what spyware was installed and when?

        The spyinstall in this case was done in another country and I would like to know if it was there a month or 6? Possible?

  3. If I do a factory reset on my Samsung GalaxyS3 will that get rid of the problem if it is indeed the subject at hand we’ve been discussing. I am sure I have several of these problems mentioned above. I also have 6gb of files I must keep for a project this fall and I have no idea if they are corrupt yet or not. Do you suggest backing up to cloud and to memory stick or just memory stick? When I do get around to look at the files, I will use an old pc, just in case the virus tries to mess with more of my work. Any suggestions, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

      1. Hi judy i just read that you would not recommend cm or anything with cheetah apps I have heard this before so what apps would you recommend for a Samsung galaxy prevail ? To replace the cm antivirus junk cleaner etc please let me know thank you very much thanks for all the help guys have done

        1. Hi Larry,
          I think you would be OK with Antivirus apps from well-known companies such as AVG, for example. AVG is the one I personally use on my Samsung Galaxy phone and I am happy with it. Hope this helps. Thanks for commenting. =-)

      2. I have a android ZTE Paragon it has a 4.4 kernel KitKat I definitely know there are multiple people spying on my phone. my phone has been rooted and has a password set to where I can’t even delete these hidden apps on my phone for tracking and monitoring some kind of parent monitor maybe from http://www.myspot.com or http://www.mYnino.com there is an app called Android OS that is not supposed to be there also an assistant that has an icon of an eagle also a unknown app I cannot access called mi popplease help me I’ve lost jobs and good friends over this app contact me at please help me

          1. If you back up your phone and then do a factory reset won’t that keep the spyware and or malware in place once you access your information?!?!

      1. New spyware survives a factory reset, it imbeds itself in the OS and the only way to remove it is to take it to your provider’s store or best but if you have a Samsung and let them roll the OS back and reinstall it, then you also need a brand new Google account set up on another device to log into. You cannot reuse your previous account. I’ve been going through this it’s awful. My boyfriend was able to force my Bluetooth and send a picture file that was infected.

  4. I call my Motorola “the little spy in my room”. I put the phone on my table, and there’s two speakers nearby. Every so often, you’ll hear this inference you hear when calling near a speaker – except that I don’t receive a call or a text message. Looks like the NSA tuned in again.

    1. Every cell phone has to periodically poll the cell tower to announce that it is still connected etc. When you hear your speakers picking up the RFI from the phone doing this, it is fairly normal, if annoying. That said, if it is doing it often and no call or sms then it should be noticed.

      1. Thanks for adding on some handy information. You’re absolutely right, hearing feedback often with no call or text message can be a sign of spyware.

  5. My Samsung Galaxy Edge talk back feature is disabled. Tonight my phone started the microphone up. Its done this before and leaves me bewildered so this time I jokingly asked (who is this) and it replied ” im Galaxy and I am here to keep you company” spyware or ghost? Help please?

    1. Hi Marie,
      That is odd that your phone starts up your microphone if the edge talk is disabled. Have you had a recent update that could have activated it again? Check again if it is disabled, but if you suspect of spyware, you can always go for a factory reset that will leave your phone clean. If you do decide to reset it, make sure to read this articles first. Hoe this helps

      https://joyofandroid.com/top-10-android-backup-apps-to-save-your-essentials/

      https://joyofandroid.com/how-to-factory-reset-your-android-phone-tablet/

  6. My coworkers and I believe another coworker is recording our conversations with her cellphone. when she leaves the room, she always strategically leaves her cell phone on one of our desks. The other day, i picked up her phone to move it. Although the screen was black, there was a red dot blinking in the top left corner. Is that proof of her behavior? I’ve never seen a phone do that. She has some sort of LG Android phone. Please help! Is there any way to know for certain- besides unlocking her cellphone and looking through it?? Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Reen,
      How sad to hear about what you are going through. If I wanted to record someones conversation with my Samsung Galaxy I would use voice recorder and I tried it out and waited for the screen to go black.
      At least on my phone a blue light was constantly on, but maybe the LG phone show a red light when the voice recorder is on. My phone does flash a red light when the battery is low. Her behavior is suspicious though, I mean where she always puts her phone. I would directly ask her. Please let me know what happens.

      1. Many of the permissions that you grant to an app, so you may use the app, allow the app to turn on camera and microphone randomly to see what your up to. On my phone when the screen is blank but the blue light blinks means a recording is taking place. Big brother (and little brother) are always watching- remember that.

        1. Hi Rechelle,
          Unfortunately in order to use apps we need to give them those permission and just cross our fingers that we are not being spied on, and if were are we might never know or might not be able to do anything. We are obviously not alone, ha ha.

  7. Person who wants to track my phone needs my phone to get a spy app or he can get it somewhere from internet just writing down my number ?

    1. Hi Kristina,
      All spy apps have to be installed onto the target smartphone or tablet. Unless they are a super spy that can do otherwise you have nothing to worry about it they don´t get their hands on your phone. =-) Thanks for commenting.

      1. This is one of the worse experiences of my life. I lost more than my privacy, I lost a person I trusted the most. Absolute devastation.

        Your comment of, “Unless they are a super spy that can do otherwise”…
        Is this something you know about? Would it be safe to say that an IT Professional that has extensive knowledge in hacking COULD be “a super spy”?

        I’ve now changed my phone number, my SIM card, factory reset and started my phone with a fresh Gmail account, not restoring anything that was backed up. We used the machine at the store to transfer my contacts.

        Now I’m left to wonder if it’s possible that something could have stayed on the physical phone and if I should also get a new device?
        More importantly, I’m wondering if any of my efforts will even help if I am dealing with what you’ve called a “super spy”?
        I’ve looked up a spy software that says it only requires the target to answer a phone call! I don’t know how true that is, that’s how it’s advertised.
        I’m sure if he hasn’t already, he will soon find out my new number soon.

        Any thoughts?

        1. Hi Isa,
          It is really unfortunate to hear about what you are going through and I hope that things get better soon, I really do. When I said super spy, I meant government level stuff. With what you have said I think you have done enough to start fresh. and I wish you the best in your new start. =-) Thanks for commenting and I hope to hear from you soon. Take Care.

          1. One more question. ..for now. . (Scarred/scared for life! )

            Can you help me confirm I understand this correctly. ..

            “After collecting a sufficient amount of data from the infected phone, Proxy will post the info to http://proxylog.dyndns.org/proxy/log.php , which is a dynamic DNS provider. The data can be searched and filtered by anyone with an account at this site, and then used for illegal acts.”

            Once I told one “subject” involved in this nightmare I’ve lived…I feel that subject was then able to track my phone activity as well. .. Is that what this above quote is saying? Once you’re phone is hacked through that method, any hacker with an account can also see what’s being sent from my phone to the site they have an account with?

          2. Hi Isa,
            Yes, I understood the exact same thing you did. If you know that you phone has been infected with this software, Have you tried a factory reset? that will wipe your phone clean of anything that was installed but remember you always back up your phone. =-)

        2. Hi I was so happy when I seen your post. Because I too am dealing with what I call a SUPER SPY (possibility) . He too is an IT and has been for over 30 yrs . He desire s to be the TOP at all He does. And I also seen that same sight saying you only need a pick up when they dial your number. I would like to ask you Judy a big favor from those of us dealing with people that are bright enough to work beyond the “government” level INDEED … Could you PLEASE check ALL POSSIBLE resource s on your end to see if you can help myself an the others put an end to what I know must be going on. After getting a new device the person was still able to tell me word for word things that were said an done on my phone that there’s NO OTHER WAY that I know of that it could of happened … PLEASE help us as I’m mostly bed ridden an SO ADMIRE her desire to help us uninformed folks out !! Bless you for your help …. These are scary (should be illegal) things going on …such an invasion of security an privacy …. HELP US please !!!Hugs to you an IS A as well

        3. My ex’s crazy ex worked in IT and without getting her hands on the (brand new) phone or (brand new) Sim manage to send him an email from his own email of photos that were on his phone!! I don’t know how bit she did it more than once.. even changed photo date details and lied and tried to get his ex wife to take the kids away from him!
          Bitches be crazy!
          She even accessed my friends details by only knowing her first name and address and got her work mobile number!
          So yeah it is possible without getting to the phone… and you don’t have to work for the government to be able to do it.
          Scary huh?
          Oh and just a note.. this is in Australia..

          1. Hi Anon,
            Wow, she was able to do all of that? That is scary. What did your friend do to end this or is it still going on?

      2. Then obviously there are a lot of super spies out there. What about the spy app they have out that steal all your information out of your wallet? That’s why they started making those aluminum wallets to protect your credit cards and bank cards.

  8. Hallo! For sometime now my friend believes his boss is spying on his text ‘messaging’. Every time he sends a text directly to the CEO about a progress of a project, the supervisor will hurriedly convene a meeting and discuss about the same issue and document it to appear that it came from her. Sometimes she (supervisor) would send a general text to the entire team to appear it was her initiative/originator of an idea few minutes after my friend communicates to the CEO about an idea via text. He has ruled out about CEO’s possibility of forwarding text to supervisor because there are several other (her) peculiar behavioral trends that follow (some of his) text messages to other members of staff.
    1. Could the supervisor be spying?
    2. How will my friend know this for sure – i.e. gather evidence that his boss has been spying? – If spy apps can be written/created, I don’t understand how another app that exposes those phone numbers/IP addresses that spy cannot!

    Joddy

    1. Hi Joddy,
      That is some suspicious behavior and if that happened to me I would be thinking the same thing. Your friend can try a factory reset to clear his or her phone of any spyware that may have been installed or your friend can try anti spy apps on Google Play. For example, there is Anti Spy Mobile Free. Hope this helps and please let me know what happens. Thanks for commenting!

      https://joyofandroid.com/how-to-factory-reset-your-android-phone-tablet/

      1. Thanks for replying. After installing the Anti spy app you recommended (Anti spy mobile free) it returned 3 warnings on scanning: palmchart, com.adroid.google settings and Baibu Browser.
        1. palmchart app has the following spy able permissions (exact words from screen): runs on device startup; knows location by cell-ID and wifi; knows location by GPS signal; Records audio on voice calls; receives all SMS messages; Reads all SMS messages.
        2. com.adroid.google settings: Handles outgoing calls; Runs on device startup; Reads Browser bookmarks; Knows location by GPS signal.
        3. Baibu Browser: knows location by cell ID and Wifi; Knows location by GPS; Records audio on Voice calls; Runs on device start-up; Reads Browser bookmarks.
        Please interpret this, and let me know which ones should be uninstalled? Thank you.

        1. 1. I think you mean Palmchat, not Palmchart. I would uninstall this unless you’re really partial to using it and willing to accept any risks.

          2. I would leave this alone. Not a problem..

          3. I would uninstall this immediately! It’s from a company called DU Apps, who is responsible for some of the most obnoxious, worthless malware for Android. Get rid of it or you WILL have problems!

          Never install anything by Cheetah Mobile, DU Apps, Go Development Team or 360 Mobile Security, just to name some of the worst offenders.

  9. Why shouldn’t you install cheeta mobile apps? What is your suggestion for junk cleanup. My phone has been glitchy going to black screen and not wanting to reboot ect. What do you recommend?

    1. Hi Emily,
      Cheetah Mobile’s main business is your data. You value your privacy, don’t like spam, then don’t install anything from CM.

      I also know that they have used the same techniques that malware pushers use to increase the installations of their apps (which makes the fact that they push a “security” app more than a little ironic).

      The apps they have such as task killers, ram optimisers, battery doctors are not only unnecessary on Android but actively counter-productive. Bottom line: I would not install anything from that outfit. What kind of phone do you have?

  10. Hi sir,
    I have a serious issue with 2 apps (monkey test and time service) in my HCL tab which frequently gets installed, reflects in screen “Time service stopped working”. Guessing above apps are virus:
    I have done factory reset but still i am facing issues like::
    * suddenly tablet doesnot respond [touch doesnot work]
    * unknown apps gets installed [du speed booster, multiple others..]
    * slow performance
    * frequent notification of time service or monkey test.

    please suggest and help me out of it

    1. Hi There,
      If the tab is not rooted, you could turn off WiFi and perform a factory reset. Unless the tab came with that stuff on it from the factory, then a reset should get rid of it. IF, however, the tab is rooted, then my guess is it will need a complete reflash of the factory firmware.

      I think that it came rooted with this stuff installed and even if there was firmware to reinstall it might actually have the malware cooked into it. My recommendation is to replace it. Please let me know what happens.

    1. Hi Moon,
      If you get a new phone that one will be clean as a whistle. Just be careful that you only download apps from a trusted source and to be careful who you lend your phone too so they won´t download any spy apps on your phone. Thanks for commenting! =-)

  11. After an injury and mountains of medical bills, I now have a bill collector who I believe has somehow gained access to my cell phone contact list and maybe tracking my whereabouts. Is this possible? I do not know how to check an app drawer or file list for dates of possible spyware downloads. Here is what happened: I have at least 3 people from my cell phone contact list who were sent text messages stating the name of an “Investigator and for (my full name) to contact (a number) to address the investigation of (case number). The people that were sent these messages have no connection to me besides being in my contact list. One of the individuals was a male friend I had just met 3 weeks prior and had no other communication with him besides a few text messages. What can I do? How can I figure out how this happened? I cancelled my gmail account from my phone.

    1. Hi There,
      How unfortunate to hear about your injury and the mountain of bills. I hope you are feeling better. When you unlock your phone, there should be an icon that says Apps. Tap on that and you should see all of the icons that all installed on your phone. If you see one that you know you didn´t download or don´t remember, uninstall it. If you ever let this person borrow your phonw for whatever reason, ht could of installed a spy app on your phone or if you don´t have a pin code on your phone, he could have taken it while you were not looking. Perform a factory reset and that should wipe your phone clean and that includes any spyware that was installed. Before you do this remember to backup all of you data. Did you try using the Anit-Spyware app that was included in the article? =-)

      https://joyofandroid.com/how-to-factory-reset-your-android-phone-tablet/

  12. I have recently had a small white dim light appear in my upper left hand corner of screen or three small dim white lights in a row across the bottom of screen where menu buttons usually are. Also when light appears in my upper left hand corner there is no notifications verifying it could you please help

    1. Hi Alex,
      Have you used the anti-Spy app to see what results in gives you? It could also have nothing to do with spying, has your phone experienced any damage, from a drop maybe? =-)

  13. I had the suspicion my ex was spying on me because he would make comments that I would say on my phone conversations. At first I thought he had some type of recording device in my apartment, a couple of days ago everything sinked in that he could’ve paid to track my phone. He once mentioned of paying $300 but I took it as a joke because my phone had a password. I noticed that when I would make calls people couldn’t hear me at first or they would hear a lot of noise in the background. I panicked downloaded some security apps including Norton, karspenky & wiretap removal. And when I was making phone calls the wiretap app warned me of hangouts activated another call. I was so paranoid that I lost all of my pics and videos, and just did a factory reset and changed all my passwords. But I’m so traumatized now can he spy paying those websites without access to my phone? Please help…and thank you for all your helpful answer. I’ve been reading them all. It’s so sad how people have no respect for others privacy.

    1. Hi Mvy,
      How unfortunate to hear about what you are going through. You did well in doing a factory reset since that eliminated any apps that may have been downloaded to your phone. I don´t think that those sites that offer spyware can spy on your phone because I have read how their software´s work and one requirement is that the person who wants to spy has to have access to the other person´s phone or else it won´t work. It is sad how some people invade other people´s privacy, we have enough things to worry about and shouldn´t have to worry about these kind of things. I hope this helps. Thanks for commenting and reading. =-)

    2. Hi Mvy,

      Sorry to hear about your situation. However unless he works for NSA, those websites won’t access your personal data. The only way that can happen is if your ex somehow gets hold of your smartphone and installed the software. Hope this helps and if you are the US, you can report this to the cyber crime division easily.

  14. Thanks for another fantastic article. The place else
    may just anyone get that type of information in such
    an ideal method of writing? I have a presentation next week,
    and I am at the look for such information.

    1. Hi Cecila,
      You are most welcome for the information and I am glad that you liked it. Good luck with your presentation and don´t forget to keep coming back for more useful tips and tricks. Thanks for commenting. =-)

  15. My phone has recenlty been dropped, but before I’ve been having a problem with my battery percentage being off from what it really is I had a AT&T worker check it last year. Yesterday I had a vibrating pop up from Google saying my battery is damaged and someone has hacked something with my phone it gave me an option to repair, but I just exited out the window because I think it’s a scam. What do you think? Thanks!

    1. Hi Crysta,
      I have never seen a pop-up of Google telling me that I have a damaged battery. When my smartphone´s battery was damaged, It would not charge at all, but I never got a similar message. Are you asked to give any personal information in that pop-up? Scams usually look for that, they try to get you to introduce your information. Have you considered a reset to clear any spyware? =-)

  16. Hi!
    I am a stay at home wife and mother so I am always scared someone is watching me or going to try. I am completely, mentally healthy and physically so it is not paranoia. I have proof to back this up. I read a lot on phones, androids, after (just want to note my phone has been dark and just lit up to a weird shade of bright as I started to type this…doesn’t matter how much I turn up the beightness, it changes while I am on it, also everything just turned to different shades of grey like the top of the screen, the letters I am typing…the color just went away and now all is gray, then as soon as this happened another random person calls me), anyways I read a lot on spying. I have an antenna for my tv, so I noticed one day, this number calls.me again, I look at my files and find a .face (face detection ( and another random file with a lot of letters and numbers. After I deleted those two files my phone stopped making my TV go all crazy when I would stand by the antenna. Before I would stand by the antenna and it would make the picture all crazy. These people will not stop calling, and they keep downloading files. I did a system re..whatever, and lost all of my recordings and photos. Everything. I started over from scratch, taking the sacrifice of losing everything. I backed up all of my files but still lost everything. I don’t care, but now I do because it was for nothing. Someone is spying on me, and putting fIles on my phone. Also, can spy people hack into my phone and watch me through the camera, and record me and how do I stop that? I have a feeling pretty soon technology will advance into some sort of invisible tripod that rises from our screens and can pivot around the room. I am healthy but can see this sort of thing and can feel it happening now or soon. I know someone is watching me, but I can’t just hide my phone under a pillow all day. Please help me and answer my question so I can have peace.

    Sincerely,
    J. Lion

    1. Hi J Lion,
      If you did the factory reset, that should have gotten rid of any spy apps that were installed on your device, but did you install an anti-spyware app, like the on #13? Having a good, a anti-virus also helps. I understand how scary technology can sometimes get since basically we have our lives on devices that can be hacked somehow. All we can do is to try and protect ourselves the best way we can with good software’s. Thanks for commenting. =-)

      1. They can also are binded and wrapped around your Google apps from factory installation and factory resetting won’t help…In dealing with this now!

  17. If there is a tracking app installed on my phone did the person need to have access to my phone?? Can the app be installed remotely??

    And, if so, do they need access to remove the app?? Or can it be removed remotely since they have access to phone any way/?\

    While typing this message my phone had two notification rings within 4 minutes… No text message… No recent calls noted..

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    slyca

  18. I saw a notification in my phone and say they detect something so I click the start, after that the phone it turn of by bit self and it’s on but the light with the att symbol keep in on until the battery die. Is it normal like that?

  19. Hey – thanks for the advice. Tried CM (?) I think that’s the app. It found “Keeper” – and warned me – but it doesn’t appear to be spying, or virus – just a password vault that is well known. (don’t they feel dumb warning people about this?) Anyway – guess I feel a little better having run this app on my phone- but what are the chances of there being less well documented or perhaps iffy-on the legal side of things software available that people are using? Can anyone or any app detect, clean or limit them? I like having a cell phone, but the more “smart” they get, there are a growing number of concerns that I have. It’s just a pain, personally, to have to worry about things that should be simple. Like a phone.

      1. Hi Ed,
        I agree, the smarter devices get, the scarier they get for some since you have to protect yourself from all sorts of threats, Back in the day, phones were mostly used just for calling but now, they are like computers in our pockets. =-)

  20. Hi Joy, my Trouble is extensive. 1.Some how someone has put a fake facbook sign in page, totally different than it’s suppose to be. 2. some how they have completely control my google app on my phone, between FB and instagram, goggle I have changed my passwords 30 times a piece, as soon as I secure the accounts 20 min later they have already changed them. on my google settings I’ll go to my locations and it shows nothing and right there your to be able to see other devices connected to account, get this, a part of the page slides up and covers all of the info not to mention all of the fake sign in pages I get from google, I get NO notifications for anything, all the same with gmail account get no Emails no text messages, it’s like they are being forwarded somewhere else. can someone take control over your google app on your phone> all of the android file folders are empty, and there ar these files called Noimage files instead. It’s like they removed all of the android files and put a complete new program in that mimics google and the phone itself, I’f heard spanish speaking come thru my phone speakers and on my lap top Offline!!! Why would someone go to all of this trouble for a guy that has nothing to give or get, no money no assets I’m on SSI, and this is a Califorinia lifeline service, there is just nothing to be gained I did get a little bit of tracking some travels that were not mine they even took pictures and i have screenshots on there truck with a big sort of device out there window or on a rack on top of it. i’m sorry about this enormous comment but I really need some advice. my phone is a galaxy s3… please help me!!!! they even got to both email accounts and almost my bank. thanks Tony

    1. Hi There,
      I´m sorry to hear about the problems you are facing. If I were in your shoes, I would go to the local authorities to see if there is anything they can do. You can always try a factory reset (with this your phone will be like when you first took it out of the box) to wipe your phone clean of any spyware and some users have even switched phones as well.=-)

  21. Hi, Thanks for your blog.

    I have just installed Anti Spy which found no Spyweare on my device. But, I have a nagging feeling that my Android phone has been tapped due to a consistent nose sniffling noise on the line whenever I phone people.

    Is there any other way foreign or domestic could spy on my phone activities other than installing a spyware on it? Thanks.

    1. Hi Sky,
      You’re very welcome and I’m glad you like the information. In regards to your comment about spying, I have read about being able to spy without installing anything but it’s not something I’m familiar with. You could try calling your carrier and telling them that your calls have that sniffling noise since it could be something their having problems with.

  22. Hi all ;

    do you think use spoofing apps for mac adds or ip or even spoof all device data is best protection for at spy or tracking .??

  23. My spouse said a fellow employee told him that their dispatcher could ping their cell phones and know where they are? He said the dispatcher showed him and app he had on his phone that allows him to track them. Is this even possible without the dispatcher being able to install software on the employee’s phone? My spouse swears it’s true since he always seems to know where he is at.

    1. If it is a work phone or on their network, they can impose restrictions and GPS geolocation. Some places do this to track remote employees (delivery people). If it is his personal phone and not on their network (including their email server), they would need an app on it that they access. If he didn’t approve this, then they are doing something they are not supposed to or tracking him another way.

  24. I am new at this but I think that someone has spy ware on my phone. How to detect that and how get rid of it and keep it out. Thanks

  25. Hello, my android has been 100% hacked by some random person. they text me through a random number generator so impossible to block. also ran a number of different apps. android is up to date but they message me saying “oh i love this song” and then name it or say they like what i’m wearing today. so they can hear and see me and also see whats on my screen at the time. this has been going on for a while now and number changes, sim changes nothing stops them from coming back, even changed phones. no one has had any physical access to my phone to install anything and also factory reset has proved inefficient.
    the one day they told me in a text.
    “I’m actually very intelligent. i use a prepaid cell though a hacked carrier. no data. No Dns. No IP. No ID”. is what was said to me.

    I’m on current android operating system on s7 edge, phone is not rooted. any help would be greatly appreciated. And yes it sounds like something out of the movies but this is 100% legit and i’m at a loss.

    1. I would ditch the phone and carrier. If someone has your phone’s IMEI number, they can clone your phone. You could report it to the authorities or ditch the phone and get something else.

  26. I hate to be the bearer of the “worst” news. ever..but if you have a dedicated, addicted, sociopath (like my ex), nothing will stop them. My children and I have been stalked and tortured since 2012. Ive changed phones 15 x. Ive changed carriers 3 x. I’ve stayed off the grid with a flip phone for 1 year. During that time, my t.v. and landline, and nav in my car was accessed. Back then, people were in denial that this was taking place. It was very difficult. My daughter and I cried and cried, almost every week it was something new. And yes, we did the factory reset. We did the hard erase! So, if you have a bonified stalker, not much you can do except disappear! Move far away! No contact, no forwarding address! Im still optimistic, that a genius developer will come up with something new. And hopefully soon. All of you stay safe, and keep your children AND your pets close! Oh, and btw, BLUETOOTH is NOT your friend! Peace!

  27. I just ran a spy checker on my Lg logos phone and it shows com.android.settings to be bad. Don’t I need this?? I know something is wrong with my phone. Of the symptoms you guys list I have nearly all but there’s a reason so I’m not surprised. Sure would like to have proof of who.

    1. Back up any important files on your phone and force a factory reset. Unfortunately you won’t be able to determine how the spyware got on your phone or who put it there, but it will remove any spyware hiding on your phone.

      Here are some articles to help you keep your phone protected in the future:
      7 Best Android Security Apps to Live Free Life
      Exploring CM Security Antivirus and AppLock (Android) – Safety First
      Lookout Security & Antivirus (Android) App Review

  28. If you think you are being cyber talked via your phone you probably are but they are not just stalking/hacking your phone.

    They are hacking into your home WiFi and packet sniffing it to get the data necessary to keep tabs on your further or any other wifi internet connection you regularly access/connect to.

    change your homerouter/ap/wifi hardware and then dont use the same name or PW for your new hardwares SSID and DO NOT LET IT BE BROADCAST … this means you will have to manually enter the router/AP name with out being able to see it in a list of wire routers/APs that do broadcast their names for all to see via radio signal instead your wireless router/ap will only announce itself to those you give the name and PW to be entered manually intead of being picked from a list of broadcast SSIDs in your area.

    Also there are many different ways to spoof your phone, computer,tablets MAC addresses randomly so that they stalker has a much more difficult time keeping tabs on you

    1. @KeyParker this is all absolutely true. And im at a loss to combat an active hack. Im thinking about hiring a red hat or a really experienced white hat to come to the house and not only teach me, but put up shit that would make them work their ass off to get through. It would be expensive, but i think it’s worth it. I have a few friends who used to roll in those circles and can introuduce me, but the name of the game is, “if they really want to hack you, they will.” You’re never completely safe, but you CAN make their life very difficult for a couple of months. And god forbid if they can get physical access to your phone or get close enough to exploit your bluetooth….

  29. I recently did a debug in the google settings and it now shows a list of o7 items calle chimera container and most of these are apk in the details.and when I run a malware scan it was showing to have scanned 195 apps but counting my system apps I can’t see but about 150 apps.also when I disable and force stop apps that are pre installed they launch by themselves.HELP

  30. the best way to tell if you’re being spied on while running Android is to use your brain Android is produced by Google and Google is basically spyware, that’s if you are running a phone that has an Android operating system you can rest assured that somebody possibly only an algorithm but something is spying on you 24/7 everything you do everything you say it’s the nature of the beast are gay country America has no privacy laws unlike Switzerland until we get some these big giant data snatching companies will continue to fuck the American people… it’s just sad

  31. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of trust to someone close to you.
    Very touching story about your dog, one can always trust the dogs senses regarding protection & love.
    Animals know who the bad people are. Best Of Luck

  32. More specific examples PER possibility would be GREATLY appreciated. Your explanations are good, however figuring out if certain behaviors are really an issue is not so easy based on the article.

  33. Hey guys, I had come across a lot of recommendations on mxspy01 so I contacted him team to help me find a way around spying my husband cell phone and WhatsApp. So i could spy on what he was doing. I got the files to get it done and I have access to my husband phone. He was really efficient and I have access to everything including phone calls, SMS, emails and all his social media accounts. What I like about the job is that it cannot be traced. I have this working for 3 months now mxspy01 (@) gmail is indeed the best i have come across in recent times

  34. I also have this experience wherein pop up ads are consistently showing up on your android phone. This is so irritating! I tried everything from turning off google ads, disabling some apps I’m not familiar with, still I’m getting the same outcome. Can anyone help?

    1. Hi Olga, in most cases, this is due to the permission that the apps acquired upon installation. It’s best to check your apps permission and review it. See if there’s an app that should have certain permission granted. For example, there shouldn’t be a need for a call or cellular contact access if the app is about a game.

  35. All phone OS’s are spyware. It’s in the pre installed aps. Google is the worst violator of privacy so, Android cannot be trusted. Welcome to surveillance capitalism! Don’t want to be spied on, loose the smart phone. Flip phones still give location data so, really a land line is better but, the government has been embedded in telecommunications for decades. So the real answer is, don’t use tech if you value your privacy.

  36. I have LPPe service & other weird apps installed. Is this a spy app? I’ve already factory reset it & it still appears.

  37. I don’t even understand how I stopped up here, but I thought this put up used to
    be great. I don’t realize who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger for those who aren’t
    already. Cheers!

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