Imagine an invisible intruder gaining access to your messages, photos, and even your location – a chilling thought, isn’t it?
Your phone is a vital personal command center with loads of sensitive information, and anything that can infiltrate it is a significant threat to your privacy and security.
Spyware attacks on phones have become a growing concern over the years. The software snoops on all your phone activities, gathers crucial data, and sends it to third parties without your consent.
And the fact that you may have downloaded spyware without even knowing it further makes the situation even more intricate.
But worry not; in this blog, we’ll provide tips on detecting and removing spyware from your phone.
In a hurry? We care about your time, so here’s a quick answer to the question you’re looking for!
To detect and remove spyware from your Android or iPhone, use a reputable security app like Avast One or Certo Mobile Security. These apps scan your device for spyware and help you remove any threats found. Keep your operating system and apps up-to-date, and avoid installing apps from unknown sources to minimize the risk of spyware infections
What is spyware
Spyware is malicious software that monitors your phone activity without your knowledge.
The software operates undetected in your phone, stealing sensitive data, such as bank details, credit card info, and passwords. It can also access your microphone for voice recording.
Common spyware issues on your phone emanate from clicking on suspicious links or Ads and downloading apps you have no idea about. Spyware could also be manually installed on your phone.
How to detect spyware on your phone
Spyware hides covertly somewhere on your phone with no obvious signals. Sometimes you need to dig deeper and establish crucial signs to help you locate it. Here is a look into some of the key warning signs to look out for:
1. Unexplained slower speeds
If your phone suddenly experiences slower speeds than usual, it could be due to a potential spyware attack.
Signs such as apps taking longer to load, slow booting, and the phone taking forever to shut down should prompt you to check for spyware presence.
The spying software constantly monitors and transmits data by relying on your phone’s resources. This can potentially overload the phone and slow its overall performance.
Spyware may also make your phone sluggish during the shutdown process—it doesn’t want the phone to go off without collecting all the data.
2. Fast battery drain
Spyware software stays hidden in your phone, operating in the background without much notice. It adds to your phone’s other background activities contributing to fast battery drain.
The spyware will take over your phone’s battery since it requires energy to get crucial information and send it back to its makers. As such, if you aren’t the type that doesn’t spend too much time on your phone browsing through various apps, you should have plenty of battery.
If you’re doing everything right and your battery still drains faster, checking and getting rid of spyware could be just one of the many ways to create space and extend your phone’s battery life.
3. New or different apps on your phone
New applications on your phone without your knowledge could indicate a potential spyware infection. It’s too easy and common to download a malicious and fake app out of curiosity or by mistake.
For instance, you may have unintentionally installed one by interacting with suspicious links in emails or text messages. Besides, not all apps you download from Google Play Store are genuine—some are harmful, camouflaging them as genuine apps.
Vigilance is key to avoiding the consequences of having an unusual app on your device. Always check the app list on your device regularly to ensure there’s no app you don’t remember downloading.
4. Constant overheating
Using your phone continually causes it to overheat over time. Other reasons for overheating may arise from faulty internal wiring or running too many apps simultaneously.
However, your phone overheating constantly without doing anything extraordinary could be a potential sign of spyware infection. The software depends on your phone’s resources, pushing the CPU and RAM to exhaustion.
It runs programs, uses data, and consumes the battery until it finishes extracting and sending the data to its makers. This constant overload on your phone’s resources results in overheating issues, possibly leading to total collapse.
How to remove spyware from your phone
Identifying a spyware presence on your phone isn’t enough. You need to take extra measures and remove them to avoid losing your sensitive information and even damaging your device. Below are crucial steps you can take to remove spyware from your phone.
1. Conduct an Android scan using antivirus software
One of the fastest and most effective ways to eliminate spyware from your phone is to use a reputable Android spyware scanner. The software is designed to scan and remove any traces of invisible apps that want your data.
It can also detect other malicious files that could compromise your data privacy and security. The secret is to find a genuine spyware scanner that readily identifies spyware and ensures its removal, sparing you the need for time-consuming manual procedures.
2. Get rid of suspicious apps
You can manage spyware infections arising from the installation through personal intervention. This includes initiating a manual reboot of your phone to remove all the infected applications.
Here are a few steps to follow:
- Press and hold the Power button
- Wait for the message Reboot to Safe mode to appear
Confirm the action, and you’ll observe the “Safe mode” label in the left corner of your screen.
3. Remove spyware via factory reset
Should manual attempts to remove spyware prove futile, resort to a factory reset to clean your device, including any spy apps. To execute a factory reset:
- Navigate to Settings
- Click on System
- Navigate to Advanced and click on reset options
- Tap on reset all data (factory reset)
Factory resetting removes both data and spyware from your device. However, backing up your device before initiating a factory reset is advisable to safeguard your valuable data.
Experiencing a spyware infection on your phone shouldn’t be a reason to panic. While it can be dangerous, that does not mean you can’t get rid of it and safeguard your sensitive data. Follow the above steps to detect spyware, remove it and secure your privacy.