With the increase in the number of devices over the years, the number of spyware apps has also increased to a considerable extent and it is getting difficult to spot spyware apps or at least detect spyware while it is running on the devices. Mspy, cocospy, spyzie, truthspy, etc. are just some of the examples of spyware present on the internet. These tools state that they are parental monitoring tools; however, they are hugely used for hacking and other illegal activities so the difficulty increases to spot spyware. You might have many unknown apps that got installed mistakenly and are still there.
A woman in the UK recently came forward, making the headlines when she confessed that her husband had installed a spy app on her phone and was monitoring her every move. She couldn’t spot spyware because she wasn’t expecting it.
Tracking apps and spyware are a real threat to privacy and security. So we decided to make a dedicated guide to know if someone has hacked your phone. Is your phone hacked? Read below to know more…
Table of contents
- How to spot spyware and virus on your device?
- How to clean your device from spyware
How to spot spyware and virus on your device?
1) Has your iPhone been “jailbroken”?
Installing spyware apps on the iPhone requires that the phone is jailbroken in many cases. Sometimes even an unauthorized login form your apple id can be a hint that your iPhone has been hacked. The “jailbreaking” process – is nothing but bypassing Apple’s strict built-in rules on installing software from sources other than the Appstore.
If This has happened with your iPhone happened to your phone, then look for apps like Cydia, Icy, Installer, Installous, SBSettings – which are some of the most common jailbreaking tools available in the market. If such an app is installed on your device, then you can be sure your device has been hacked.
2) Check your internet usage
When a spy app I active, your internet usage will go through the rood. Reason being that the spy app will keep uploading the data to the receiver. Also, the hacker will remotely access the webcam, which will make your device consume more data. All this results in high internet usage. So check to ensure that there is no abnormal data usage.
3) Odd Notifications
If you suddenly get a notification from an unknown app you have not installed, then you can be sure some spy app has been installed on your device. Does your stay light even when you try to turn the screen off or light up when you’re not doing anything?
These are signs of spyware. Now this alone is not enough however if you combine it with other signs in the article you can be sure something is fishy
4) Ads on your phone
If you see random ads on your phone, then you can be sure that spyware or adware has been installed on your phone. You need to make sure you remove it in order to ensure your privacy and security. Do not be negligent in terms of the security of your devices. You never know who is watching you right now.
5) Phone overheating and Abnormal battery usage
Does the battery discharge lot quicker than it should, and or does your phone get warm even when it is not used? Is your phone getting slower while running apps? Are there unknown apps running in the background? Does your phone take too long to respond, or do you get camera or device notifications out of the blue? On their own, these may not indicate tracking apps, but together with signs, they are an indication that your device has been hacked.
6) Odd messages in the inbox
If you start receiving text messages in a coded format from unknown sources, then it’s possible that it was an ‘instruction’ message sent by the hacker controlling your device. Many spyware works by receiving such messages and are controlled by the same principle, and they may sometimes appear in your inbox.
7) Checking for hidden folders
Using a file explorer app and check your internal storage. Enable the hidden files option. The company-made spyware tends to create files with words like ‘stealth,’ ‘spy’, and ‘mobile spy’ in the names which can serve as proofs.
8) Check unknown apps
Check all apps section in your android device to see if there are any unknown apps installed on the device. If you find an unknown device, then you can be sure that the device has been compromised, and you need to uninstall the app ASAP..!!!
9) Real-world evidence
If you notice your friend or your partner knowing things they should not know or private conversations, which only you know about, then you can be sure something is wrong. If your account or device is compromised, then make sure you do not let anyone access it. Do the steps mentioned below to clean your device from malware thoroughly.
How to clean your device from spyware
1) How to block spying apps and spot spyware
A good antivirus app can make all the difference. When you install an antivirus app, the Antivirus app will spot spyware and you don’t have to break a sweat there. Make sure it is a reputed brand. I personally use Norton since its secure and really good. I tried McAfee before, but I prefer Norton over McAfee. Make sure to update the definitions and scan your entire phone. There are many antivirus features as well, which I think will be very helpful.
2) How to remove tracking apps and spot spyware
Update your system and apps. Only install apps from the play store. And make sure you uninstall any viruses found in step 1. With this, your phone will be much safer and secure. You can also manage individual permissions for apps in newer versions of android so that your data does not get misused. Google play security feature is also a good option that can help improve your phone security and also spot spyware in some cases.
If you’re using an iPhone and your device has been jailbroken. Upgrade to a newer version of ios or reinstall ios. You will find many guides on the internet to do so. Methods might vary depending on the device.
3) Physical device security
Installing these spy apps requires either physical access or user carelessness. Make sure to avoid both. Put a good password for your device, which cannot be broken easily. Make sure you do not click on unknown links and download unknown apps from the internet. This will help you keep your device safe. Physical security and Link security guides are available on the hacking world.
4) Uninstall apps from your device
Uninstall unknown apps. Do not give admin and accessibility permission to unknown apps. Only apps like antivirus which you should download only from the play store need access for admin.
Uninstall any unknown app you find in the all apps section of your android device.
5)Reset your device if you aren’t able to spot spyware
Last but not least, reset your device if you are unable to remove the virus or spot spyware. Try to take a backup of all files. Do not take back up of apps. Only files images and scan them on a pc with antivirus. Then reset your android or ios device once you have taken backup.
This is the last resort to detect spyware; however, it always works. Just make sure after resetting, you only install trusted apps from the play store.