Spy software, or simply spyware, is a group of rather suspicious data that usually comes along with any application that you download on your phone. If you’re the type to click on pop-up ads and download package software, the risk of your device getting infected by a spyware is high. There are times, however, when the spy software is intentionally downloaded by someone onto your phone for the purpose of tracking you.
While it seems bizarre, it’s actually possible. In fact, there have been cases of people who ended up facing charges for secretly installing spyware. There can be a lot of reasons why people would want to use one: keep an eye on a suspected cheating spouse, track the whereabouts of a business mogul, or gain access to important information stored on the phone.
Whatever the reason is, it is important that everyone, including you, takes precautions in safekeeping their personal data (e.g., messages, emails, voicemails, pictures, and videos). And although the law is here to penalize the perpetrators, one can never be sure that they’re completely safe from the imminent dangers of spyware.
What can you do then? Here are steps you can take to protect your personal data from hidden spyware on Android phones and tablets.
Ways to Check for Hidden Spyware on Android Phones and Tablets
Technology is getting smarter every day, and so do malware applications. They are undetectable, but there are indications that someone’s spying on you using a spyware, making it possible for you to remove the software before it can do you harm. Here’s how to detect one.
Scroll down for video
1. Download anti-spyware applications.
There are multiple anti-spyware applications that can detect hidden spyware on Android devices. If there are any suspicious software installed, the anti-spyware app will alert you and provide you in-app options or instructions on what you should do to keep yourself and your data safe. They aren’t always free, though, so prepare to spend a fortune. Anyway, it is a small price to pay for the services you get.
2. Factory-reset your device.
This is not exactly a way to find out if there are malicious apps hidden on your phone. But if you trust your gut feeling that someone is tracking you, you can secure your phone and its content by performing regular factory data reset. With this, all the data, including hidden apps and malware, will be deleted from your phone. Make sure to back up its content so you don’t lose any important files.
3. Update operating system.
Android devices’ operating systems have an embedded security system that blocks viruses, malware, and spyware. However, it stops functioning properly when the phone’s OS is not updated. Always remember to update it then so you can make sure that your phone is spyware-free.
4. Check phone settings.
One way to find hidden spyware on Android devices is to go straight to its settings. Click on Apps or Applications, then click on the three vertical dots founds at the top right portion of the device’s screen (may vary depending on phone model). Lastly, click on Show System Apps to view all the downloaded applications and check if there are any apps installed that you are unaware of. From there, you can automatically delete or uninstall the software.
5. Review phone downloads.
Hidden spyware on Android never appear on the list of apps your phone has, but it will still show up on your phone’s download history. On your phone, find My Files or Files and click on Downloads. There you will see the files, videos, pictures, and application you downloaded on your phone. You can delete any unknown files if you want.
If your phone lags too much because of spyware, you can always send your device to the nearest repair shop. If you bought it from a telephone company, you bring the phone to their corporate store so they can check it for you. Just a heads-up: There might still be a deductible amount you must pay even if your phone is insured.
You can also send it to the phone manufacturer for general repair under warranty conditions. Note that warranties vary for each manufacturer, which is why you need to call them through their toll-free number to check if it is still eligible to be returned for inspection. You can also request them to install anti-spyware software on the phone.
Watch the video below